What began as an entertainment idea for a fundraiser became
a phenomenon watched by over 800 million viewers worldwide.
A recording of the concert became the biggest selling classical
album in history. It was of course the debut performance of the
Three Tenors, and arguably the
birth of ‘popera’.
Opera singer, lover of 80s music and emerging
‘Queen of Australian Popera’.
This brochure details her latest project – an album
in production reflecting a grand collision of 70s
and 80s songs and operatic style.
Vanessa’s bringing back iconic songs by artists
and legendary groups of this era with her unique
vocal talent and stirring orchestral arrangements.
“I love the thought that in one
performance I could be singing songs
from Madame Butterfly and Bonnie Tyler
– I mean, who else gets to do that!
popularity is not surprising. Opera was once entertainment for
the people, but somewhere along the way lost its common touch.
Audiences never lost their love of beautiful voices –
they just needed to feel the
songs were theirs again.
We want to
and relate to
They are the soundtrack
of our lives after all.
Consider Andre Rieu’s success.
Look into the eyes of any of his
greying and swaying audience
members and you will see
someone transported back in time
to a Saturday night dance.
Popera has long known the power
of presenting the familiar to
audiences. Some of the most
successful Popera artists and
groups have performed
covers of artists such as
and with good reason.
These singers are
“power ballad power–hitters”.
Generation Y may be digitally downloading
new music but 40-somethings with disposable
incomes are still buying physical CD albums.
– a time of exquisite highs and excruciating lows. Times when you thought
im exqui e hi h an excruciating lows. Tim s wh you though
xq isite high and
quis atin ows m
ti mes hen hough
y woul liv or i y you ﬁrs kiss rst ve, or ﬁr
you would live or die by your ﬁrst kiss, ﬁrst love, or ﬁrst heartbreak.
v u rst ki s r r eartbrea
ea tb eak
A grand collision of
70s and 80s songs
and operatic style.
Bring back iconic songs by artists such as Blondie,
Pat Benatar, Dusty Springﬁeld, Bonnie Tyler,
Donna Summer, and legendary groups like
Air Supply, Spandau Ballet and Foreigner.
80s music and opera may seem strange bedfellows.
But like chilli and chocolate, sometimes great things
come from the most unlikely partnerships.
this idea to life?
Her name is
Long efore sing
Long before singing
opera, Vanessa was
opera, Vanessa w a
chil o he 0s. She
chilld of the 80s. She liived
and breathed 80s music. If
n breathed 80s mus c
sh w sn t o ler skating
she wasn’t roller skating up
and down her driveway in a
ﬂowing white dress convin
w n w ite dress convinced
she was m se from ‘Xana
she was a muse from ‘Xanadu’,
she was plleading with her mot er
h w eading ith her moth
for a perm to look more like the
o perm oo more like
brunette from ABBA.
brunette from AB
Th s b
This album iidea gained momentum
his de gain momentu
afte chan meet ng n Florentine
after a chance meetiing iin a Floren
ter ance eeti ting
piiazza in 2005. Whille living iin Floren
2005 Whil liv
05. ile vi n Florence
on an opera scholarship, Vanessa was
n pe scho a ship, Vanessa
d scover d u k g n one the main
diiscovered busking iin one of the m
p zzas b ndrea Bocelli’ Florenti
piiazzas by Andrea Bocelli’s Florent ne
s ngin teacher
singing teacher. He explained a
n acher. explain
beautiful voice well-tr ned, cou
beautiiful voice, well-trained, co ld
tifu ice, e trai
transcend any music style, as his most
n music style as h m
famou tuden has prov
famous student has proven.
“ In this unlikely union of
musical styles, the innocence
of the 80s is captured and
heightened with romantic
Italian translations and stirring
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY VANESSA WEST
DIRECTED BY CA MER ON MENZIES
Australian arranger and operatic baritone Angus Grant has created the
poignant yet powerful orchestral arrangements and shares the same creative
vision for this album - a rapport built over 12 years performing and developing
shows together with Vanessa, including ‘Puccini’s Women; The Life of
Puccini through the eyes of his lovers’ and ‘What A Woman Wants’.
Australia’s emerging Queen of Popera
Trained in opera at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne-born soprano Vanessa West
debuted internationally in Italy in 2003 in Puccini’s epic classic, Turandot and Verdi’s masterpiece
La Traviata in Florence with the L’estate Fiesolana Opera Festival.
Vanessa returned to Italy in 2004 to perform in the ‘Australian Opera Gala’ Concert series with
Rome’s Festival Euro Mediterraneo, and in 2005 was based in Florence after being awarded
the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Award courtesy of the Acclaim Awards.
In 2005 Vanessa also performed in various concerts including the 51st Puccini Festival,
(Torre del Lago) and has worked extensively with Melbourne Opera Company, performing the
roles of Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Gilda in Rigoletto, 1st Lady in The Magic Flute and Donna Anna
in Don Giovanni. Vanessa also performed the role of Donna Anna more than 60 times
in Co-Opera’s Australian and Asian tours of Don Giovanni.
Vanessa debuted in the title role of Melbourne Opera’s 2007 touring production
of Madama Butterﬂy and performed the role of the Countess in their 2008 production
of The Marriage of Figaro to excellent reviews.