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Dame Malvina Major to star in Hamilton’s Mary Poppins

Dame Malvina Major to star in Hamilton’s Mary Poppins

Dame Malvina MajorHamilton Operatic Society has this week announced that Dame Malvina Major will play a cameo role in its upcoming rendition of Mary Poppins.

The internationally famous New Zealand opera singer will act as the Bird Woman when Mary Poppins comes to Founders Theatre from Friday 6 May to Saturday 21 May 2016.

Chairperson Fiona Bradley said the Society, which is set to be the very first of nine musical theatre societies around New Zealand to stage the show in 2016, is thrilled to have Dame Malvina on board.

"Dame Malvina's international opera career has included twenty eight major Operatic roles, extensive Oratorio and Concert repertoire and discography of commercial recordings. We are beyond excited to have her on board with our next Society musical, and know her presence will be added incentive for many local residents to come along," she said.

According to Dame Malvina, who was born in Hamilton in 1943, The Hamilton Operatic Society is the operatic society she has ever worked for.

"I was in high school when I did my very first show with the Hamilton Operatic Society; The Belle of New York. I learnt a lot about acting and stage craft through the producer at the time, Molly Donald.

"Many years later, when I came back England in 1967, I played Maria in the Hamilton Operatic Society's premier of The Sound of Music. I also played Rosalinde in the Society's rendition of Die Fledermaus."

In light of the upcoming rendition of Mary Poppins, Dame Malvina says she is most excited about "working with people again."

"In recent years I have mostly been doing concert work, which lends itself to solo stage presence. It will be refreshing, playing a cameo role in Mary Poppins, to share a stage with many others, young and old, who are passionate about performing."

Although she has never performed in Mary Poppins before, she says she has enjoyed viewing the musical "several times".

"It's an exceptionally popular, healthy, happy story. Magic, really. I am confident that Waikato families, young and old, will jump at the chance to see it locally."

Ms Bradley said the Hamilton Operatic Society is looking for local talent to join Dame Malvina in the show.

"Auditions for the musical are set to take place this month at Clarence Street Theatre on Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November. We're looking for all the key roles; including Mary Poppins, Mr and Mrs Banks, Bert, the two banks children, and many more.

"We are also looking for dancers and general company members. In total the Hamilton production will involve a cast of approximately 40 actors, dancers and singers." she said.

"We're excited to see locals, young and old, put their hand up to stage one of the most popular Disney movies of all time right here in Hamilton."

Fiona said anyone interested in auditioning is required to complete and audition form and book an audition appointment. All audition information can be found on the Hamilton Operatic Society's website.

In Hamilton, Mary Poppins will be directed by David Sidwell, musically directed by Jenny Going and choreographed by Sonja McGirr-Garrett.

Tickets for the show, which will run at Founders Theatre, Friday 6 May to Saturday 21 May 2016 will be on sale at Ticketek from early December.

After Hamilton stages Mary Poppins in May 2016, community theatre groups from Invercargill, Wellington, Dunedin, Napier, Tauranga, Rotorua, Blenheim and New Plymouth will also perform the show.

Audition information: