Bernadette Robinson’s performances in her solo show Songs For Nobodies at London’s Ambassadors Theatre last year earned the show an Olivier Awards nomination and announced her as a new star on the West End. Following the acclaimed season, she recorded her new album, Songs of Bernadette, during two premiere live concert performances at well-known London venue The Pheasantry.
On Sunday 28 June Bernadette launches her new album in her debut live- stream performance from MEMO Music Hall.
In this concoction of musical delights Bernadette pays tribute to the five iconic singers of the 20th century that feature in Songs For Nobodies: Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas; and presents songs by contemporary songwriters such as Damien Rice, Jane Siberry and Jackson Browne. She also introduces some surprise guests – Barbra Streisand, Eartha Kitt, Shirley Bassey and Julie Andrews.
I had a blast last year recording this album in London over two live concerts at The Pheasantry. We also performed the album at two other great London venues, Brasserie Zedel and The Ivy Club. A stack of famous people turned up, including Sandi Toksvig, Maureen Lipman, Phyllis Logan, Kathy Lette and the Oscar and Tony Award-winning lyricist Don Black. I really felt like I’d gone to heaven and I can’t wait to launch the album in Australia on 28 June at another iconic venue, MEMO, Bernadette said.
Bernadette’s performances in Songs for Nobodies have always delighted Australian audiences and critics alike, in 2019 London’s broadsheet papers raved, The Times called her “A jaw-dropping talent”; The Daily Telegraph, commented of her portrayal of Callas singing Vissi D’arté from Puccini’s Tosca, “It’s so sublime, it’s like a shot of morphine; for a blissful few minutes, all the cares of the world are gone.”
Songs For Nobodies was commissioned specially for Bernadette by the Melbourne Theatre Company and written for her by Joanna Murray-Smith, it premiered in 2010.
In 2017 and 2018, Bernadette co-wrote and performed The Show Goes On, a new solo piece, at the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. Again, she received overwhelming critical and audience acclaim: “Robinson is an indomitable force on stage. Her magnetism, acting skill and that fabulous voice – voices, really – should leave all comers astonished and mightily impressed” (The Age). “Robinson is a dumbfoundingly great musical theatre performer and as we watch her, our jaws dropping, we can’t see how she does it.
Pre-lockdown Bernadette performed Songs for Nobodies at Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House. Bernadette has also performed at, Hamer Hall in Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre and all leading Australian concert venues. She has also performed all over the world at corporate events singing specially programmed local songs in French, Spanish, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese (and English!).
Songs of Bernadette is Bernadette Robinson’s fourth album.
MEMO has an iconic place in the Australian entertainment industry from its beginnings as a Dance Hall in 1924, to a cinema, the home of Telefil Recording studios where Normie Rowe recorded his 1965 hit It Ain’t Necessarily So, headquarters of the Pan Pacific film company (Heath Ledger’s Ned Kelly) and in the last five years one of the country’s leading music venues.
In that time it MEMO has presented almost 600 shows featuring international acts and legends of the Australian music industry including Paul Kelly, Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier, Kate Ceberano, The Sports, Mental As Anything, The Black Sorrows, Dragon, Vika & Linda, Renée Geyer, Shane Nicholson, Diesel, Boom Crash Opera, Spectrum, Chain, Ross Wilson, Vince Jones, Normie Rowe, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
MEMO’s Live Stream Series kicked off with Kate Ceberano & Co. and The Black Sorrows in April, followed by Renee Geyer, Here’s to The Ladies featuring stars of musical theatre: Rhonda Burchmore (Mamma Mia, Mame), Alinta Chidzey (Chicago, West Side Story), Lucy Durack (Wicked, Shrek), Amanda Harrison (Wicked, We Will Rock You), and Queenie van de Zandt (Funny Girl, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Sunshine Disco Faith Choir, Horns of Leroy, BOWIE: Golden Years, BABBA, An Intimate and Up-Close performance with Debra Byrne & Dion Hirini, Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission.
Songs of Bernadette – Bernadette Robinson Live Stream Album Launch is the 11th MEMO Live Stream
DATE: Sunday 28 June
TIME (AEST): 7.00-7.30pm: Digital Doors, 7.30-8.30pm: Showtime
TICKETS: www.memomusichall.com.au – $12 – Standard, $15 – Premium (Backstage pass, after the show and Q&A via MEMO’s Facebook page