International Tenor Paul Ettore Tabone will return to Queensland this March for performances in each of the regional centres that continue to hold a special place in his heart.
Paul, who is currently taking on the role of Ubaldo Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera on London’s West End, said the chance to return home to where his performing career began was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“The last time I performed in North Queensland was six years ago, when I came home while living in Italy. It’s well overdue,” said Paul.
“Each of the towns I’m performing in hold some significance to me. Ingham is the town I was born and raised in; Townsville is where I won my first big singing competition (City Stars); Mackay is where I studied my university degree; Toowoomba is where I won the Brian Boak Bursary for my opera studies; and Maleny is where my mentor and friend Kim Kirkman lives and where I used to perform with the Maleny Singers. Each town holds a special memory and place in my heart.”
During his Townsville show, Paul will also make a donation towards helping the local arts community get back on its feet following last month’s floods.
“My donation of $1000 will go directly to replacing sheet music and music textbooks at Oonoonba State School, which was completely ravaged in the floods.
“I grew up in in a town that floods every year, but a place like Townsville which doesn’t normally see that type of rainfall has been devastated. It makes my heart bleed. I don’t want this to stop the music flowing into each of those children’s hearts and giving back these essential materials will keep the music going.”
Principal of Oonoonba State School Anne-Marie Day said the donation would assist the school’s music program in returning to normal as soon as possible.
“Our music program has been disrupted and many of the instruments were affected by the flooding together with the music teachers’ sheet music,”Anne-Marie said.
“This donation will be used to assist in buying new sheet music so that we can get started as soon as possible. Our teachers and students are looking forward to the music program starting again very soon.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from our wonderful community in this time of devastation – this has enabled the students to get back to learning in a positive and supportive environment.”
Paul will be joined for each performance by Phantom of the Opera alumna Lara Martins, with the pair also conducting a masterclass after each show on audition techniques for the West End.
“This is Lara’s first time performing in Australia, she is so excited. She has an exceptional CV and Australia has always been a dream for her,” said Paul.
“The masterclasses after each concert will be free for ticket holders and we’ll be accompanied by Professor Judith Brown, Head of Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, to answer any questions about their Bachelor of Theatre degree.
“In each town, I will also invite a promising young voice to share the stage with me in hope of promoting promising talent – just like so many people helped me to do when I was young. In Ingham and Townsville, I will invite my past student Sarah Valinoti to join me on stage – I can’t wait.”
Catch Paul Tabone and Lara Martins in the Nostalgia Tour at Ingham’s Kelly Theatre on 7 and 8 March, and at the Townsville Choral Society Hall on 9 March. For information and tickets, visit paultabone.com