Having nun of it: top Australian soprano stars in MacKillop musical

02/08/2010

The nationwide search for Mary MacKillop is over with acclaimed Australian soprano Joanna Cole cast in the title role for the new musical MacKillop to be staged in Sydney and Melbourne as part of the Canonisation celebrations.

Joanna donned the Mackillop habit for the first rehearsal with the 80 cast members on Sunday 1 August.

"Mary was a very special woman who faced some extraordinary opposition throughout her life," Joanna said. "The chance to tell her story and bring her charisma to the stage is one I feel very honoured to have been given."

Joanna is no stranger to playing strong iconic Australian women having previously taken on the demanding role of Lindy Chamberlain in the 2002 Opera Australia production of Lindy.

Based in Melbourne, Ms Cole grew up in Sydney and was a student at two schools established by Mary MacKillop’s sisters - St Luke’s Revesby and Mount St Joseph College, Milperra.

"Having such a seasoned performer as Joanna is a wonderful addition to the production," MacKillop Artistic Director  Anthony McCarthy said.

"That Joanna has personal experience playing and understanding the struggles of an iconic Australian woman as Lindy is also invaluable. And that she studied at Sisters of St Joseph schools for over 15 years makes her simply perfect for the role."

The national search continues for the supporting roles which include Mary’s parents, the convict Fagan and three priests, two bishops and a pope.

Tickets went on sale from 1 August via http://www.mackillop.info/ with 100 per cent of the profits from the production going to the Mary MacKillop Canonisation Appeal. MacKillop will play at The Seymour Centre, Sydney from 1-9 October and at The Besen Centre, Melbourne from 23-24 October.

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