In the 1950s Mambo mania had reached fever pitch and a mysterious Peruvian beauty called Yma Sumac was the undisputed queen. Her startling five octave range and questionable ‘exotic’ history caused a sensation in Hollywood and beyond.
Ali McGregor now brings her astounding voice and charismatic presence to celebrate the tale of this mysterious icon.
The lure of mystery, heartbreak and above all – extraordinary singing.
Reviews from debut season at Adelaide Cabaret Festival June 2018:
"First class, and top shelf. There’s no reason why Yma Sumac, The Peruvian Songbird should not tour all over the world. It is that good."
"Ranging from deep, earthshaking bass to dizzying, sky-scraping high notes there are not enough superlatives to describe Mc Gregor's voice, or how listening to it makes you feel right in the core of your being. Completely exhilarating."
"Five stars really do not fully import the wonder that is this show. Don’t miss it."
"This is an unforgettable show."
The show runs for 70 minutes with 8 piece band (2 of which are also actors).
Writer Ali McGregor
Director Cameron Menzies
Dramaturg Jane Bodie
Lighting Director Paul Lim
Sound Design Russell Goldsmith
Musical Director & Piano Sam Keevers
Performers Yma Sumac - Ali McGregor
Moises Vivianco & Guitar - Mikelangelo
Cholita Lily Paskas-Goodfellow
Double Bass - Tamara Murphy
Drums - Hugh Harvey
Alto Saxophone - Phil Noy
Trumpet - Ben Gillespie
Trombone - Eugene Ball
Wendy Richards Working Management PL
T: +61 2 9 537 6415 /M: +61 407 789136
The Peruvian Songbird
Acclaim for Ali McGregor
‘McGregor’s voice is phenomenal’ TELEGRAPH ★★★★★
'McGregor’s vocal range and quality of sound is extraordinary, as is the energy she exudes' ★ ★ ★ ★ Edinburgh Guide
‘With an impressive set of lungs, her jaw-dropping range is used to full effect’ BROADWAY BABY ★★★★
'...underpinned with incredible musicality, superb dynamics and spectacular vocal feats, some of which are so breathtaking and ‘death-defying', as to be almost circus-worthy' AUSTRALIAN THEATRE
'...at the end of each song I found myself slightly out of breath.' THE NEW CURRENT ★★★★★
Filmed live from Adelaide Cabaret Festival June 2018
Filmed live from Adelaide Cabaret Festival June 2018
Ali McGregor started her career as a principal soprano with Opera Australia in 2000. After performing over 25 roles she crept into The Famous Spiegeltent one night beginning her love affair with cabaret eventually running away with the circus, joining hit show La Clique (La Soiree) in 2005.
Her shows The Opera Burlesque, Jazz Cigarette, Alchemy, Ali McGregor's Late-Nite Variety-Nite Night and Jazzamatazz! have toured international festivals that include Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Perth Fringe Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and London's Wonderground.
As an actress she has performed with Sydney Theatre Company under the direction of Max Stafford Clark. She has been nominated for a Green Room Award 3 times, winning for best supporting actress in an Opera for La Cenerentola and was awarded the Three Weeks Editor's Choice award in Edinburgh 2013.
She has also performed with Broomhill Opera Company & Clonter Opera Company in the UK and most recently Melbourne Opera Company, taking the title role in The Merry Widow.
Ali has released two independent studio CDs - Jazz Cigarette and ALCHEMY and released both a CD and DVD of JAZZAMATAZZ! through ABC Music for which she was nominated for an ARIA Award in 2014.
In 2015 she was awarded a Green Room Award for 'Contribution to Cabaret' and was also named as Barry Humphries successor, alongside Eddie Perfect, as Artistic Director of Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Sam has performed and recorded with many Australian Artists including:- Scott Tinkler, Jamie Oehlers, Kate Ceberano, The Black Sorrows, Stephen Magnusson, Alison Wedding, Vince Jones, Paul Williamson’s Hammond Combo, The Bamboos, Gary Pinto, Guy Sebastian, Daniel Merriweather, Katie Noonan, Renee Geyer, Ali McGregor and many others.
Sam has also performed with international artists such as Ricky Lee Jones, Sinead O’connor, John Cale, Meshell Ndegeocello, Mavis Staples and Joss Stone.
In 1996 he formed the 14 piece Latin Jazz group “Los Cabrones” which continues to perform around Melbourne and has performed at international festivals in China and New Caledonia.
In 2004 Sam toured Europe with the Jamie Oehlers Quartet performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Galway Arts Festival, a tour of Ireland and a residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
Cameron Menzies is a Helpmann and Green Room Nominated Director. He has worked with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Oper Köln, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and DivaOpera United Kingdom.
Cameron is the recipient of the 2011 Berlin New Music Opera Award , the 2008 Bayreuth Opera Award from Opera Foundation Australia / Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, and The Besen Family Artist Program (Direction), Malthouse Theatre.
Cameron directed the critically acclaimed production of Don Giovanni for DivaOpera United Kingdom in 2014. His international credits include Lucia di Lammermoor, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Turandot, La Traviata and productions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing in China. He is the director of Deborah Cheetham’s Pecan Summer Australia’s first Indigenous Opera for Short Black Opera Company. For Victorian Opera he has directed World Premieres of The Grumpiest Boy in the World, The Magic Pudding and “Tis Pity. He has also directed Jessica Pratt in Lucia di Lammermoor and the Weill/Brecht Seven Deadly Sins starring International Cabaret Artist Meow Meow.
Paul is a Melbourne based Lighting Designer who also has a broad range of experience in Theatrical Production, Technical Management, computing and electronics. Paul's lighting designs have been seen in Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, USA, Canada, China, India and New Zealand.
Paul has a keen interest in emerging technologies and how they can be integrated with live performance. He uses his multi-faceted knowledge to provide integrated solutions in theatres, festivals and events around the world.
His most recent work includes: Dark Chorus and Split for Lucy Guerin Inc, Changes 變 and Siva for Black Grace Dance Company, Nirbhaya (directed by Yael Farber; recipient of Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel Award for Outstanding New Play; touring UK, India and North America), Fault Lines (directed by Sara Brodie and Le Shan Modern Dance Company), Briefs: The Second Coming(touring Australia, UK and Europe), Effie: The Virgin Bride for Frontier Mushroom and Struttin with some BBQ for Australian Art Orchestra.
His extensive experience working with festivals includes Festival Lighting Designer for Melbourne Festival, lighting major artworks and the music program featuring in the festival hub; Head of Lighting for Assembly @ Edinburgh Festival Fringe, facilitated the lighting of 100+ shows into a dozen venues and designing the precinct lighting for Assembly's hub at George Square; Head of Lighting for Auckland Arts Festival, designing the precinct lighting for Aotea Square around the festival hub in addition to supporting shows within the programme.
Paul also works as a Lighting Programmer helping to realise the vision of other lighting designers. In this role, his shows include Tribes, Red, The Heretic, True Minds and The Crucible for Melbourne Theatre Company and Spicks'n'Speck-tacular: The Finale.
Jane Bodie is a playwright and screenwriter who was Associate Artist at Griffin Theatre Company in 2013. She was also Head of Playwriting at NIDA 2010-2013.
Her plays include; Fourplay (Trades Hall, Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival), Hilt (Playbox, Theatre Royal Bath, Edinburgh Festival), Ride (Beckett Theatre, Belvoir Street, Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Festival, Rattlestick Theatre NY starring Josh Lucas and Summer Phoenix, and Fox Theatricals Reading), Through, A Single Act (Hampstead Theatre London, MTC), Hinterland (Commissioned by NIDA).
A Single Act was nominated for the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Award and won the 2006 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Other more recent plays include Home By Now, Unit, Out Of Me (Soho Theatre, London), and Hallelujah (Theatre 503 London). Jane has directed many of the above productions.
Jane has also written extensively for television, radio and film. Her tv credits include Crash/Burn, The Secret Life of Us, No Angels, Echo Beach, Nearly Famous and Moving Wallpaper. Her feature film Dick Kerr’s Ladies is currently in development with World Productions (UK), her short film Alice was the Winner of Best Film in the anthology series POV and was selected for screening at Cannes Film Festival.
Jane was written three radio dramas for ABC Radio National and one for the BBC’s Radio Four.