Ana Marina has built an international career in musical theatre, which has included the role of Cosette in the 10th Anniversary production of Les Miserables and Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde. She is best known for starring as Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera, a role she has played over 900 times around the world (most recently alongside Anthony Warlow). Now, with the release of her debut album, Haunted, Marina is branching out into a solo career.
There is a theme of inner-turmoil flowing through the mix of five covers (‘Desperado’, ‘With or Without You’, ‘Love Song for a Vampire’, ‘Amado Mio’) and five original songs on the album- which together reveal that the album title is most apropos.
Indeed, many of the songs are very dramatic and emotionally charged. Most of the songs are slow ballads, which allows Marina to show off her light classical voice, while ‘Amado Mio’ is a faster, slinky Italian tango number that Morticia Addams would be proud of – interestingly, I felt this is when Marina really came to life. ‘Into a Flame’ is Marina’s original take on a Bond theme song.
The night of the launch was certainly emotionally charged for Marina. Not only was there the normal pressure of performance, but there was also the added vulnerability of performing her own, original material without her usual protection of donning a character. The Spring Hill Reservoir was a suitably atmospheric venue with its stone arches and high ceiling, quite reminiscent of the Phantom’s lair.
Backed by violin, cello and piano, Marina sang from the heart and her clear soprano was strong and touching. Between numbers, she shared inspirations for some of her original songs (she drew largely from personal experiences of loss and relationships) as well as some anecdotes from her time in musical theatre. The night finished with the album’s final track, ‘Wishing you were somehow here again’ from Phantom of the Opera, the only song she had previously performed live.
While I wish Marina all the best for this exciting new beginning as a solo artist, I selfishly hope this won’t mean we lose her entirely from musical theatre. Haunted is available on iTunes and on Marina’s website. Marina will be giving a repeat performance of all the songs on her album this Thursday 26 May at the Spring Hill Reservoir. For tickets, visit her website: anamarina.com.au