The Music of Georgia Stitt
As a songwriter Georgia Stitt can be described in one very simple word: honest.
Within a few short bars of music she captures and creates amazing emotional energy which can be both raw and poetic all at once. In fact, she invokes the sort of emotion which is distinctively real and personal: some moments can be about the smallest feeling, others can be thrillingly large in their journey and delivery.
Early into JMY's concert The Music of Georgia Stitt I realised something so very obvious that it’s a realisation I'm slightly ashamed to repeat.
Musical Theatre is dominated by men, but particularly male composers and lyricists who develop the building blocks of our musicals.
Thankfully this performance was an inspiration for those of us who actively seek out unique and truthful material. It was an introduction to Georgia Stitt and her amazing body of work.
The material allowed this very talented cast to create moments which constantly achieved great impact, and a production of an intense depth seldom achieved in concert performance.
The entire cast were an amazing collection of Australia's brightest musical theatre performers. However, it must be said that it was the women who shone brightest as they revelled in the material on offer, songs and characters beautifully conceived and written for them by an innovative female writer.
Kate Hanley's rendition of My Lifelong Love was simply sensational. Raelene Isbester's energetic performance in Wedding Plans was quite the eye opening experience for this recently engaged reviewer.
On the piano Adrian Portell intelligently brought the music of Stitt to life - with a very special mention to Marcello Lo Ricco who yet again provided a flawless sound design.
This was an event of a standard which we seldom experience in the Melbourne musical theatre scene: each individual performer would have wowed an audience in New York or London. The presentation of the night was thoughtfully directed and designed.
Husband and wife team Jordan Ybarzabal and Madeline Cain (who also delicately brought Stitt's Alphabet City Cycle to stage in the second half of the evening) should be very proud of the unique contribution they have made in bringing this event to Melbourne.
The next challenge is to mount a fully realised production of one of her works here in Australia. Any takers?
Bryce Ives is a Melbourne based theatre director