Starring Anna O’Byrne
Australian-grown international star and soprano Anna O’Byrne will reveal the story of working with Dame Julie Andrews and perform Andrews’ iconic songs in the world premiere of Becoming Eliza, at the Sydney Opera House from 9 – 12 June 2022.
“Anna O’Byrne is one of the loveliest Australian actresses in musical theatre today. Her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady was wonderful and now her (one woman) show Becoming Eliza is a tour de force. Don’t miss it! It will warm your heart.”
Dame Julie Andrews
In this new Australian concert evening, audiences will be transported to the set of Opera Australia’s 60th-anniversary production of My Fair Lady in 2016, where Dame Julie Andrews directed O’Byrne in her Helpmann-award winning portrayal of Eliza Doolittle. Anna O’Byrne reveals an intimate story about overcoming her fears and stepping into an icon’s shoes in this heartfelt celebration of Eliza Doolittle’s enduring legacy. It leaps to life with songs from Julie Andrews’ extensive repertoire including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “My Favourite Things”, spanning Mary Poppins to The Sound of Music and Camelot.
Anna O’Byrne says, “Being directed by Dame Julie Andrews in the iconic role she made famous was an experience beyond anything I could have dreamed. Julie showed me such warmth, wisdom, wit, and above all, generosity of spirit. It is a little of this spirit which I hope to share with the audiences of Becoming Eliza.”
Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott, says: “Becoming Eliza reveals an honest and personal story alongside captivating musical performances that will leave you feeling uplifted. Presented at a time when the original story’s themes of gender, class and overcoming adversity still resonate as powerfully as they did in 1956, Becoming Eliza fixes the spotlight firmly on the powerful stories of women.”
This generation’s classic leading lady, O’Byrne is best known for her role as Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and the original Australian production of its sequel Love Never Dies, for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award, as well as the English National Opera’s Sweeney Todd, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White.
Becoming Eliza is produced by Enda Markey and with musical direction by Guy Simpson and direction by Sharon Millerchip, who says: “Anna O’Byrne’s beautifully crafted script, had me turning the pages eagerly. With humour and candour Anna tells of her intriguing relationship with Julie Andrews and the challenges of inhibiting her own Eliza Doolittle. Add to this Anna’s glorious soprano and I’m sure the audience will be spellbound. I can’t wait.”