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Cast Chosen For The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music

Cast of New Zealand children announced for all-time favourite musical

The lavish and much-anticipated London production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC comes to New Zealand this September and 18 talented New Zealand children have been chosen to join this stellar international cast.

The New Zealand children will play six of the seven von Trapp children, with three children chosen to alternate each character. The children were chosen after an exhaustive search involving over 1000 young performers singing, dancing and acting for resident director Anton Luitingh.

Mr Luitingh has spent the last two months refining his search and can today announce these children have been successful and will dazzle audiences when THE SOUND OF MUSIC opens in New Zealand on 12 September:

Playing Gretl: Bronte Walshe (Lower Hutt),

Ella Robertson (Wellington) and
Venice Harris (Tauranga)

Playing Marta: Aria Ferris (Auckland, North Shore),

Melody Lui-Webster (Auckland, Pakuranga) and

Amelia Walshe (Lower Hutt)

Playing Brigitta: Tara Canton (Lower Hutt),

Brooke Raitt (Wellington) and

Antonia Robinson (Auckland, Mt Albert)

Playing Kurt: Jaxson Cook (Lower Hutt),

Felix Star (Brisbane) and

Alexander Lake-Smith (Auckland, Henderson)

Playing Louisa: Daisy Maguire (Wellington),

Sophie Parkinson (Wellington) and

Kate Sampson (Auckland, Albany)

Playing Friedrich: Matthew Turner (Auckland, Half Moon Bay),

Finn Wilson (Auckland, Epsom) and

Julian Peddie (Auckland, North Shore)

Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian’s production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC opens at Wellington's St James Theatre on 12 September and in Auckland on 3 October at The Civic theatre. Both seasons are strictly limited. Tickets to the Auckland season will be available to the general public tomorrow after a week of pre-sales. Tickets to both seasons are selling quickly so fans are urged to act now to avoid disappointment.

This acclaimed production of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein musical premiered at the home of West End musical theatre – the London Palladium – where it celebrated a record-breaking 954 performances and was seen by well over 2 million people, before going on to enjoy sell-out performances internationally.

Reprising her West End role especially for the New Zealand tour is international opera star LESLEY GARRETT as the Mother Abbess. Britain’s most popular soprano, Lesley Garrett CBE has found fame on the stage, on TV and as a recording artist, winning both critical acclaim and the affection of many fans and music lovers.

Lesley’s operatic career includes lead roles with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, English National Opera at the London Coliseum, the internationally renowned Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Welsh National Opera as well as Opera North. Internationally she has performed in operas or in concert throughout Europe, the USA, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Her major television appearances include Lesley Garrett…Tonight, The Lesley Garrett Show, The Singer, Sacred Songs and Lesley Garrett – Desert Dreams for the BBC. Lesley has 14 solo CDs to her credit.

Maria will be played by Bethany Dickson, who has just completed a box office smashing season of THE SOUND OF MUSIC in South Africa and is now bound for Singapore with this production. Bethany was last in New Zealand playing the lead role Sandy in the box office smash-hit Grease. Her stage credits also include Carousel, High School Musical and Sunset Boulevard.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC features an unforgettable score that includes some of the most famous songs ever performed on the musical stage including “My Favorite Things”, “Edelweiss”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “The Lonely Goatherd”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, and the title song “The Sound of Music”.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells the uplifting true story of Maria, the fun-loving governess who changes the lives of the widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by re-introducing them to music, culminating in the family’s escape across the mountains from Austria.

The musical originally premiered on Broadway in 1959 to record-breaking advance ticket sales, where it won eight Tony Awards - including “Best Musical”. The show opened in London in 1961 and became the longest-running American musical of its generation. The 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including “Best Picture”, and quickly became the highest-grossing film in history. Even today, THE SOUND OF MUSIC remains the most successful movie musical in history.

Since the turn of the 21st century, the enduring magic of THE SOUND OF MUSIC has lead to major productions around the world, giving testament to its title as “The World’s Most Popular Musical”. For the London Palladium production, Andrew Lloyd Webber cast the role of Maria following a hugely popular 2006 BBC reality television show called How do You Solve a Problem like Maria?, which made its winner Connie Fisher into a star.

Producer and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall, said “We are thrilled to have found such an outstanding cast of Kiwi kids to play the von Trapp children. It give these children the opportunity of a lifetime to star in an international production, and New Zealand audiences will be astounded at the quality of their performances. Audiences who saw our recent production of Annie will recognise a few faces, and know that we have a wonderful pool of talent in this country.”

”It’s wonderful that New Zealand audiences will see a production of this quality which has entertained so many people at the London Palladium This show continues our vision of bringing the best of the West End and Broadway to New Zealand.”

SEASON DETAILS

WELLINGTON –

VENUE: St James Theatre

Season: From Friday 12 September

BOOKINGS 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or ticketek.co.nz

Groups 10+ SAVE! Call Group Bookings on 04 384 3842

AUCKLAND –

VENUE The Civic

SEASON From Friday 3 October

BOOKINGS 09 970 9700 or ticketmaster.co.nz

Groups 10+ SAVE! Call Group Bookings on 09 970 9745

www.soundofmusic.co.nz

LESLEY GARRETT, CBE

Lesley Garrett, CBE, is Britain’s most popular soprano, regularly appearing in both opera and in concert, on television and CD; she has won both critical acclaim and the affection of many fans and music lovers.

As a recording artist, she has 14 solo CDs to her credit; Soprano in Red received the Gramophone Award for 'Best-selling Classical Artist of the Year', Diva! A Soprano At The Movies, Prima Donna, Simple Gifts, Soprano in Red, Soprano in Hollywood and I Will Wait for You all received silver discs and A Soprano Inspired and Lesley Garrett both achieved gold discs. Recent albums are Travelling Light, The Singer, So Deep is the Night, When I Fall in Love, and Amazing Grace. She was also a featured artist on the platinum selling Perfect Day single released by the BBC in aid of Children in Need. Her most recent classical recording was the role of Despina for Sir Charles Mackerras's recording of The Magic Flute.

Lesley's major television appearances include Lesley Garrett…Tonight, The Lesley Garrett Show, The Singer, Sacred Songs and Lesley Garrett – Desert Dreams for the BBC. Other BBC appearances have included the documentaryJobs for the Girls with Linda Robson and Pauline Quirke, Viva la Diva and The Lily Savage Show. Lesley was also the subject of a South Bank Show on LWT.

Internationally Lesley has performed throughout Europe, the USA , Australia, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Lesley was awarded a CBE in the 2002 New Year's Honours List for Services to Music and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and an RAM Governor.

Music by RICHARD RODGERS

Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

Book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE

Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp

THE SOUND OF MUSIC is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company and David Ian Productions, and is presented in New Zealand by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises.

ABOUT LUNCHBOX THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS

Headed by James Cundall, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is one of Australasia’s leading producers of live entertainment, and over the last two decades has created a reputation for bringing top quality international productions to audiences across five continents.

Since 1992, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions has produced a wide array of live entertainment internationally and has brought spectacular theatre shows to New Zealand including Annie, We Will Rock You, Stomp, Potted Potter, Rick Stein, Slava’s Snowshow, Riverdance, Grease, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Bootleg Beatles, and The Imperial Ice Stars productions of The Sleeping Beauty on Ice, Swan Lake on Ice , Cinderella on Ice and The Nutcracker on Ice to name just a few.


ends

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