ONE of Canberra’s leading musicians has been snaffled up by Baz Luhrmann as assistant musical director for his coming production of the stage version of “Strictly Ballroom”.
Lucy Bermingham, born and bred in Canberra, is a veteran accompanist and musical director in Canberra, having worked with Citynews music writer and conductor Ian McLean on shows as diverse as “Carousel”, “Les Miserables”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “My Fair Lady” and “Singin’ in the Rain”.
“This is her big break”, and excited McLean told Citynews this morning. To take up her position on the production, Bermingham will relocate to Sydney. It is that believed that the musical direction of the production is also a Canberran, Daniel Edmonds.
She recently performed with the Rugby Choir and on Australia Day she will join Rachel Throne to perform at Casino Canberra.
Bermingham comes from a large Canberra musical family and her brother, Damien, preceded her to Sydney some years ago to become a leading performer in musicals.
According to McLean, it was during our recent trip to Sydney to accompany Brother Damien in his audition for “Strictly Ballroom” that she caught the eye of a Luhrmann aide, who told her, “you’re a very good pianist.”
You can say that again. Born and bred in Canberra then trained as a pianist under John Luxton at the School of Music, she joined the Australian Regular Army and was a member of the Australian Army Band Sydney and the Royal Military College Band, where she became second-in-command, leaving in 2008 after 12 years to marry and start a family.
She has conducted with the Woden Valley Youth Choir and Rhythm Syndicate, composed and arranged music for many choirs, bands, theatre groups and orchestras in Canberra including the Canberra Pops Orchestra and received ‘Best Musical Director’ several times at the Canberra Area Theatre awards, The CATS, at which she will perform with brother Damien in this year’s gala awards night.
Oh yes, Damien got a role in “Strictly Ballroom” too.