Marina Prior: Leading Lady On Tour and CD.

Marina Prior: Leading Lady On Tour and CD.

It’s hard catching up with Marina Prior these days. Australia’s favourite musical theatre diva is on the road touring for the rest of the year. Peter Pinne spoke to her in between concerts in Bathurst and Orange.

Marina Prior has done tours before but this is the first time she has toured to regional Australia. “I’ve been doing concert work for some time. I enjoy solo work and the freedom it gives me. It’s easier that doing eight shows each week and with a young family at home I find I have more time to spend with them. The tours are mostly on the weekend so it works out well.”

Her current Leading Lady tour mixes musical theatre songs from her new album Encore with songs from her 2012 album Both Sides Now. It’s an intimate performance with solo piano by her long-time accompanistDavid Cameron. “We’ve been working together now for 24 years. It’s been a great collaborative partnership.”

Both Sides Now was a departure for Marina featuring as it did songs she sang when she was starting out on her career as a busker. Hits by the Beatles, Queen and Joni Mitchell are a far cry from the vocals of The Phantom of the Opera, but this tour gives her a chance to combine the two genres - music theatre and pop.

Meadowlark” from Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife is Marina’s new favourite song and it just happens to be on the new album Encore. “I find that although audiences don’t know it they respond to it because it’s a story song. It’s very satisfying for them and for me.”

Encore also includes Marina’s all-time favourite show song, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, plus songs from Cats, Camelot, Promises Promises, The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia, Annie and Phantom. “I have to include Phantom because the show was such a watershed time for me in my career. It holds so many dear memories.”

After singing for so many years in major roles, Marina’s voice is in remarkable shape as her new recording testifies. How does she keep it that way? “I concentrate on my vocal technique and basically only sing songs in my comfort zone. Plus of course do warm-up exercises before each show and warm-down exercises after.”

Known for her leading lady soprano roles Marina in recent years has proved she can also handle comedy in productions of Guys and Dolls, Promises Promises, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Personally she’s found it a “great achievement” that she has been able to broaden her range.    

She was born in Port Moresby, New Guinea, and came with her parents at an early age to Australia. She had a return visit there when she was 15, and another four years ago for her philanthropist godfather’s 80th birthday where she sang at Government House. 

Following the Leading Lady tour Marina undertakes a three-month 24 concert Encore tour which starts at the Playhouse, Canberra, Friday 13 September, and ends at the Star Court Theatre, Lismore, Saturday 23 November.  It takes her through all the Eastern states plus Western and South Australia.

And next year looks no different, with more solo touring, a bigger ensemble and new songs on the schedule, Marina Prior’s going to be one very busy diva.

Subscribe to Stage Whispers Performing Arts Magazine now and be eligible to win one of five copies of her latest CD - ENCORE. Remember to nominate this CD as your prize choice. Click here for details.

Tour Dates

 

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