Diva shares her story

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Singer and ac­tress He­len Med­lyn will be putting her life on stage this month when she re­gales au­di­ences with the tale of how she got into show busi­ness.

Oper­atu­nity’s Evening Con­cert Hell on Wheels will fea­ture Ms Med­lyn’s long-time col­lab­o­ra­tor Penny Dodd on piano.

They will per­form at the Raye Freed­man Arts Cen­tre in Ep­som at 7.30pm on May 11.

Hell on Wheels tells the story of how a butcher’s daugh­ter from Corn­wall came to be one of New Zealand’s most-loved divas.

Ms Med­lyn will share all the fun, fail­ures, fum­bles and fri­vol­ity from her years of tread­ing the boards.

The show fea­tures a mix of opera, jazz, mu­si­cal theatre and com­edy.

Ms Med­lyn is a self-de­scribed ‘‘Jill of all trades’’ and has been a jazz chanteuse, a dancer, an ac­tress, a mu­si­cal theatre per­former, a nar­ra­tor, a clas­si­cal con­cert singer, a voice-over artiste, an opera diva and a cabaret en­ter­tainer.

Penny Dodd is an­other artist with many strings to her bow.

She cut her mu­si­cal teeth as mu­si­cal direc­tor and pi­anist for many lead­ing shows on Lon­don’s West End and re­turned to New Zealand to find her­self in con­stant de­mand as an or­ches­tral ar­ranger, con­duc­tor, vo­cal coach and ac­com­pa­nist, as well as be­ing sought af­ter as the mu­sic direc­tor and con­duc­tor for top na­tional and in­ter­na­tional en­ter­tain­ers.

She is now known and re­spected as one of New Zealand’s lead­ing mu­sic di­rec­tors work­ing in all fields of the per­form­ing arts – theatre, opera, ra­dio, tele­vi­sion, cabaret and con­cert.

Tour direc­tor John Cameron says: ‘‘We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted to present such a tal­ented, warm, vi­brant singer on this na­tion­wide tour, an artist of in­ter­na­tional cal- ibre and charm who I know au­di­ences will sim­ply fall in love with.’’

The Evening Con­cert Se­ries is pre­sented by Oper­atu­nity, a com­pany which presents more than 250 con­certs each year in 24 venues through­out New Zealand.

Tick­ets cost $45 with con­ces­sions and group book­ings avail­able.

Phone 0508 266 237, email book­ings@oper­atu­nity.co.nz or go to oper­atu­nity.co.nz for de­tails.

Photo: CLIN­TON CARDOZO

On stage: Singer and ac­tress He­len Med­lyn is per­form­ing in Hell on Wheels this month.

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