BEFORE she was selling out theatres, soprano Marina Prior was a busker on the streets of Melbourne.
Regarded as Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre, Prior started out as a folk singer, an influence she said permeated her upcoming tour Songbird.
“I started out as a busker and folk singer, so in Songbird I go back through my roots in that way,” she said.
“I studied music at Melbourne University and I was a terrible waitress, so I used to busk in the Bourke Street Mall as a student to get me through. I learnt how to sing as a kid, playing that sort of folk music, and it continued until I got into my first show.”
The national Songbird tour starts this month with a stop at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on September 7. Prior said the 25-date tour was hot off the heels of last year’s successful show Encore, her first solo performance.
Encore saw the award-winning songstress sell more than 10,000 tickets and perform to sold-out theatres across the country.
“Last year was the first time I’d done a solo tour,” she said.
“It was wonderful. On the back of that success we’re doing this one.
“It’s an evening of classic music theatre ranging from Phantom of the Opera to Cats. It’s also a play with a lot of Celtic, Irish and Scottish music as well as singer-songwriter music.”
Inducted into Australia’s 100 Entertainers of the Century, Prior has performed in more than 20 leading roles and released seven albums including Encore and Both Sides Now, which features the songs of her favourite musician, Joni Mitchell.
The Songbird tour follows the release of Prior’s single of the same name, originally written by Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Fans can expect a collection of Prior’s best-loved songs from throughout her career, accompanied by pianist David Cameron.
“I’m looking forward to [performing in] Mandurah,” Prior said.
“I’ve never been there before and it’s a beautiful area.”
For more information go to manpac.com.au or call 9550 3900.