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Rosie Hosking talks about her love for musicals and her excitement about performing in Bright Lights and Big Dreams.

Rosie, your career as a performer spans across musical theatre, operatic, cabaret and corporate stage for over 25 years. What drew you to it?

I started out training at the Elder Conservatorium as a classical singer, but I always had this insatiable curiosity about jazz and about rock and about all the other musical styles as well. So I think I naturally find I found myself progressing more into the musical theatre world, where I could explore and experiment with my voice. Using music to tell incredible stories, no matter the style of music or drama, means diving into a world and fully immerse yourself in a character. It’s so incredibly satisfying!

Is there a piece that has a special meaning to you? 

That is always a very, very tricky question: I remember being considered a bit of a recluse by my neighbourhood because they never saw me. I would spend most of my weekends watching Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Carousel, Meet me in St Louis, West Side Story, where I was enjoying the wonders of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Shirley Jones, Gordon McRae. Actually, I think my first crush was on Gene Kelly, probably a ways to crush, but I was so enamoured with the music and the stories they were telling… the romanticism in the songs, I think probably got to the teenage me, but the music of Rodgers&Hammerstein are still in my heart.

More recently, my relationship with musical theatre has also extended into the world of education, and I now train and coach the next generation of musical theatre performers. And when I sit down with these young artists, I’ll talk to them about their favourite musicals and titles like Hamilton, Wicked, Cats come up. And what I love to do with each of these students is talk to them about Bernstein, Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein and how these Golden Age composers influenced these current writers. It’s really quite magical, particularly in that first year at uni, where we spend most of our time in the world of those early musicals… their appreciation grows and they end up in awe, as they understand their legacy.

Let’s talk about Bright Lights and Big Dreams. Are you excited to be involved in this event? 

I’m beyond excited. The opportunity to hear this music fully orchestrated is next level to me. I remember when I sang in Carousel and I was standing in the wings and heard the orchestra play Rodgers&Hammerstein, I got slightly emotional. Experiencing the music of Sondheim, Bernstein, Rodgers&Hammerstein on a full symphony orchestra is really unlike anything else. From a performer point of view, it’s a dream come true: Stuart Maunder and Anthony Hunt have hand-picked a repertoire that will showcase each of our voices – and we get to sing our favourite songs! From an audience point of view, my recommendation is to immerse yourself in a musical experience that fills all your senses. It’ll be a beautiful night for everyone, and I can’t wait to share it with you all.