Music / “The Triumphs of Oriana”, Oriana Chorale, University House, ANU, April 22. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD
“THE 2 of Us” might sound like an obvious title for a show involving two singers singing together, but it works for singing stars Marina Prior and David Hobson, who will be here shortly with a show bearing that very name.
“We won’t necessarily be singing ‘Just the Two of Us’,” Prior says of the famous 1980s Bill Withers song.
“But on the other hand, you never know… basically, it is just the two of us doing shows together as we have been for 30 years.
Prior and Hobson need no introduction to lovers of musical theatre around Australia. She was a glorious Christine in early productions of “Phantom of the Opera” and his brilliant, light tenor made Hobson the most romantic Rodolfo to stalk the stages of Opera Australia in living memory.
Prior still lives in Melbourne but she fits her personal life into her busy schedule, saying: “It’s what I do”.
She’s in a coming production of “Hello Dolly” and so fits in concerts “before, after and in between”.
In August she’ll be performing in a production of Noel Coward’s play “Hay Fever” and has, in recent years, played in “straight” theatre shows such as “Jumpers” for the Sydney Theatre Company and “Noises Off” for the Melbourne Theatre Company.
Hobson, primarily an operatic singer, chips in with the correct technical description of how their contrasting voices work.
“Our timbres are compatible,” he says.
“It’s a very rich thing, we fit together very well,” Prior adds.
“Sometimes we play to 400, sometimes we play to 2000, but we still do the same thing and there’s a lot of chatting.
They’ll be performing the “Brindisi” drinking song from “La Traviata”, “Music of the Night” from “Phantom”, a bit of “Les Mis”, pieces by Hobson from “My Fair Lady” and “La Boheme” and some Celtic music.
“Heart-driven songs that are quite gut wrenching,” they chorus in perfect harmony.
“The 2 of Us”, Canberra Theatre Centre, April 22 only, bookings to canberratheatrecentre.com.au or 6275 2700.