To coincide with the announcement of the fund-raising return season of John Bucchino’s It’s Only Life in Melbourne, AussieTheatre.com caught up the composer to discuss taking his Australian cast to Birdland, his career and life as an artist.
To coincide with the announcement of the fund-raising return season of John Bucchino’s It’s Only Life in Melbourne, AussieTheatre.com caught up the composer to discuss taking his Australian cast to Birdland, his career and life as an artist. For the full details on the return Melbourne season see: It’s Only Life: Melbourne then New York 1. How did you come to be part of this production in Melbourne?
Kevin Purcell, a wonderful conductor, arranger, and former head of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania suggested a production of It’s Only Life to his friend Mark Featherby. Kevin, who’d invited me to do a concert in Hobart the year before, also told Mark he’d ask me to come and play piano for the performances. Loving Australia as I do, I immediately said yes.
2. How do you find working with Australians?
From my first experience working with David Campbell, and with each subsequent encounter with various singers, I’ve been impressed with the high calibre of talent of Australian performers as well as their passion and dedication – essential attributes in this business!
3. The motivation for the piece is “life” and everything that goes with it. Are you of the opinion that an artist can only truthfully write about what they have experienced themselves?
I don’t believe artists must live the things about which they write, but I do think an artist must feel deeply – so deeply that they are in touch with that which is universal. Then they can draw from that emotional well and add specifics from their own lives and their imaginations or observations.
4. The piece as a whole can be quite moving for both the audience and actors, what is the main response you get from people after watching the show?
People do seem to be profoundly moved by not only the individual songs, but also by the cumulative effect of the songs as ordered in the show. That effect is a testament to the brilliance of Daisy Prince who was invaluable in constructing the arc of the piece and was also its first director.
5. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m writing the songs for a new musical commissioned by a Danish producer. It’s called ESAURA, it’s based on a Danish novel from 1913, and the show’s bookwriter is a talented young Dane named Mads Neilsen. I’ve spent quite a bit of enjoyable time in Fredericia, Denmark, where the story takes place. We will have a production at the town’s theatre in early 2013.
6. Has It’s Only Life been performed in New York recently, and how do you think it will be received in November at Birdland?
The show hasn’t been performed in New York since a concert version was done as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series back in 2006. So I’m thrilled to present it again with this fantastic cast at the legendary club, Birdland. I’m sure it will be a memorable evening for all.
The cast touring to New York in November include Christian Cavallo, Zack Anthony Curran, Madeleine Featherby, Laura Fitzpatrick, Sam Rabbone and Cameron Thomas. Bookings:Tickets to It’s Only Life at The Order Of Melbourne are just $25 and $30 and include a free drink from the bar on arrival! For tickets and information visit: www.za-productions.com