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April 12, 2011

I’ve just returned from the Bundaleer Festival which was a terrific setting for a concert, a tad cool in the evening air but the artists definitely warmed the night up - Silvie Paladino in great voice, Andy Firth a clarinettist with great panache, James Morrison with his hot jazz and the Adelaide Arts Orchestra led by Tim Sexton who pulled the program and arrangements together in style. We had a lovely time, as hopefully did the audience.

Now I’m in the midst of preparing for a few smaller events, school holiday action with the kids and getting down to do a little writing.

My long time record label ABC Classics has decided to release a best of CD, a reflection and compilation of my most recent recordings. It’s by no means exhaustive and focuses on the more popular end of my repertoire from recordings done with good friends Chong Lim, Guy Noble, Ben Northey (and the MSO) and Ted Tahu Rhodes. I really enjoyed doing all these recordings, a departure from my classical rep but back to my musical roots before getting into opera. To be able to interact and play with these fantastic musos was a rare experience – I felt like I was part of a band for a while and in fact we got the opportunity to do a lot this material live back in 2008 at The Sydney Opera House in a series of great concerts. The recording is available through ABC Classics and Universal Music from April 15.

Andrew Mckinnon has setup a Facebook Page for the upcoming tour with Teddy Tahu Rhodes so you might like to visit there for other news.

I would like to acknowledge the passing of the great Australian Bass Donald Shanks. A giant of a man with a beautiful rich voice and wonderfully generous colleague. He was in the first opera I ever saw (Banquo in Macbeth) and left a huge impression on me as he did countless others in Australia and around the world. I had the good fortune to sing with Don in many operas – Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale, l’Italiana in Algeri to mention a few. A man of great faith, humility and character. He will be greatly missed.
As will David Clarke who was chairman of the AO board for many years. A great benefactor to the arts and society in general. David was a great presence around the opera company and continued to be so after his tenure. I know he touched the lives of many singers and the wider community. Deep condolences to the families of these great Australian men. A sad week for opera in Australia.

Best wishes to all,


16 February 2011

Welcome to 2011 and apologies for not updating you all sooner. I hope that this finds you all well and ready to face 2011 with zest and zeal. I feel like it was only last week that I was singing ‘The Holy City’ at The Myer Music Bowl but of course that was Christmas Eve! Over the summer I managed to put into action my SLS skills with a few weeks at the beach before it was time to head to Perth for Die Fledermaus with The West Australian Opera.

This was a great debut production by a colleague of mine, baritone Andrew Foote who is trying his hand at directing – he should do more! He was aided by a terrific young cast, Katja Webb as Rosalinde in particular was a standout and I’m sure we’ll hear more from her. Artistic director and composer Richard Mills conducted (he spent all of his spare time buried in The Ring Cycle, which he will conduct for the OA in 2013 – an exciting challenge for all involved)

This weekend I head to Toowoomba with David Cameron. I’m very mindful of the devastating time this community has been through so hopefully we can bring something to those in need. Summer has been tough this year but music can be a soothing balm.
I’m still enjoying my time presenting on STVDIO (Foxtel channel 132) and have had the pleasure of interviewing great diverse artists like Tim Rogers from You Am I and guitar maestro Slava Grigoryan. STVDIO has the most fantastic programs dedicated to every possible facet of the arts.

The rest of the year is looking very full but I’m looking to finding time to do some writing – it’s been too long. I’ll also attempt to update this site on a more regular basis, however we are approaching the footy season. Go Dees!


The year ahead…

David would like to confirm the following dates to his diary for 2011:

On Monday February 21st David will return to the Sydney Town Hall for the popular ‘Good old Days’ concerts.

In early March David heads to Napier in New Zealand to perform on board ‘The Orion’ for the Festival of Opera and Music.

For this recital on the 6th of March David will be accompanied by the music director Sharolyn Kimmorley. www.renaissancetours.com.au

On the 14th and 16th of March David will be joined by Taryn Fiebig and Guy Noble for Opera in the Market.www.operainthemarket.com.au

On Saturday April 9th David will perform at The Bundaleer Festival in Jamestown South Australia. Silvie Paladino, trumpeter James Morrison and Clarinetist Andrew Firth will all join with the Adelaide Art Orchestra conducted by Timothy Sexton. www.bundaleerfestival.com.au

On Saturday the 18th of June David will again perform with The Victoria Welsh Choir at The Melbourne Recital Centre. www.victoriawelshchoir.com.au

Towards the end of June David will head to Sydney to rehearse the role of ‘Danilo’ in ‘The Merry Widow’. He will be joined by Amelia Farrugia as ‘The Widow’. Performances on August 4, 6(M), 8, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20(M), 25, 27. September 2, 7, October 13, 15, 20 & 22. www.operaustralia.org.au

David will again be joined by Teddy Tahu-Rhodes to repeat their hugely successful concerts performed in 2009. They will accompanied by Sharolyn Kimmorley.

Thursday October 27th - Llewellyn Hall, Canberra
Saturday October 29 - Perth Concert Hall
Wednesday November 2nd - Federation Concert Hall, Hobart
Friday November 4th - Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Saturday November 5th - Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Sunday November 6th - The Glasshouse Theatre, Port Macquarie
Wednesday November 9th - Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat
Wednesday November16th - Festival Theatre, Adelaide
Friday November 18th - Frankston Arts Centre
Wednesday November 23rd - Brisbane Concert Hall, QPAC
Saturday November 26th - Melbourne Recital Centre (2pm and 8pm)

Please check with the theatre for more information.

On December the 8th, 10th and 11th David will perform Handel’s Messiah with The Sydney Philharmonia. www.sydneyphilharmonia.com.au

The Year in review 2010
David would like to thank you all for attending his various concerts and operas throughout the year and for purchasing his latest 2 CD's. 'Enchanted Way' was released in April and went straight to #1 on the Classical charts, staying there for weeks. It even made it into the pop charts peaking at #12. 'Singing for Love' with Yvonne Kenny was released in August and is still in the #1 spot on the Classical charts.

A review of the year that has been so far: In Opera Australia's Die Fledermaus: "Dashing matinee idol David Hobson seems to get better with every role" Herald Sun, May 2010

"David Hobson combined suavity, mischievousness and vocal dexterity in the right measure" The Age, May 2010
"David Hobson is marvellous in this repertoire" The Sunday Herald Sun, May 2010

In his one-man show 'Am I really Here?' for The Adelaide Cabaret Festival: "The beautiful voice and classical training of Australia's best known opera tenor thrilled a sold out house. The unaccompanied lament of Orpheus for his dead bride came out of the black, gripping the moment by the throat and never let go". Adelaide Now, June 2010

In Die Wintereise with The Queensland Symphony Orchestra:"There were stunning moments such as the chilling reverberation deployed for Hobson's voice in Die Post (The Mail Coach). For singers, the Wintereisse is a Herculean challenge. The prolonged excursion into angst makes it taxing to deliver. Hobson projected admirably as a persuasive storyteller. His singing was intense, smooth and mercurial." The Australian, July 2010.

For his CD 'Enchanted Way': "The high tessitura that makes his voice the most instantly identifiable of any Australian classical/serious singer. The predominantly popular songs reveal him as no less skilled singing Celtic ballads as G&S, Viennese operetta or opera." The Sunday Herald Sun. May 2010

For 'Singing for Love': Hobson's intelligent, beautifully articulated version of 'I've grown accustomed to her face' was probably the highlight of the night. The Herald Sun, September 2010

March 23rd 2010

Thanks to all those who have inquired about the new CD The Enchanted Way. It will be released on April 30 and has been a great joy on so many levels.

Collaborating with friends, brilliant colleagues and recording material I've wanted to do for many years. I have a strong British heritage (Welsh, Scottish, and English) and songs like Danny Boy, She Moved through the Fair and Loch Lomond being in my concert repertoire for years. Growing up in Ballarat and hearing my father singing many of these wonderful Celtic and Folk melodies has made it feel like a natural process in my career - a homecoming of sorts.

I hope you enjoy these truly great songs and perhaps for some you'll discover for the first time some of these gems of the British Isles. The melodies are timeless and in some cases we have just let them speak for themselves with little or no accompaniment at all like Danny Boy and She Moved through the Fair in line with their folk origins. On other songs like Bushes and Briars and Barbara Allen we adopted a more 'Vaughn Williams-esque' style accompaniment - lush and descriptive. Jessica Wells and I had a great time planning the general soundscape of the album and her fantastic arrangements have been realised by The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Flinders Quartet. Friends Paul Kelly and Janine Maunder dropped by to sing and add a little of their magic. Conducted by my friend Ben Northey (we both grew up in Ballarat) made it even more special.

Now I'm busily preparing the role Eisenstein for Opera Australia’s Die Fledermaus. It's a great cast with Antoinette Halloran, Amelia Farrugia, Catherine Carby, Warwick Fyfe, Stephen Smith, Kanen Breen, actor Paul Blackwell and a guest appearance from Yvonne Kenny. The stylish production is by incumbent Artistic Director of the Sydney Festival Lindy Hume whom I've worked with many times before. It should be a lot of fun as it is a fantastic production. Brian Castles-Onion is waving the baton and is great fun to rehearse with.

In between rehearsals I'm off to Queensland to do Opera in the Vineyards with the talented young soprano Jacqueline Porter and accompanist David McSkimming (busy week that one!) The Adelaide Cabaret Festival beckons in June with my one man show 'Am I Really Here' with an ensemble led by the other 'David' of the keyboard David Cameron (he also adds guitar and sitar)

Probably my biggest challenge this year is Winterreise in July of which I'm very excited about. In between all of this I'm one of three presenters on the new Foxtel Arts channel called STVDIO (yes that is a V). It's driven by SBS and has a wonderful array of Arts programs that not only bring great performances but get behind the scenes and up close and personal with artists and performers from every discipline. The other presenters are ballerina Darcey Bussell and singer Katie Noonan.

Then onto a tour with the magnificent Yvonne Kenny. Very exciting! Not only is she one of our most distinguished artists ever she is also a lovely person and I am indeed fortunate to be sharing the stage with her. I believe this will be a very special concert series and the material we are preparing is sublime but more on that later.

I've also been busy training to get my SLSA Bronze medallion - just one of those things I never got around to until now. I would like to acknowledge the passing of the great Scottish Tenor Kenneth McKellar who was a great inspiration not only for his beautiful interpretations of some of this material but also his honest and direct singing on his Handel recordings of which I am in still in awe: a true singing master.

Best wishes to all and I do hope you enjoy the new CD.

The year ahead…
March 2010

On March 25 Foxtel and SBS announced the exciting new arts channel STVDIO. It was also announced that David Hobson will be one of the key presenters on the channel. David brings his unique personal insights to his role as presenter. Armed with his trademark wit, charm and tremendous passion, he will introduce some of the best opera and fine music programs. He will offer insightful commentary and fascinating analysis of some of the finest performances and documentaries.
For more information www.stvdio.com.au

MAY 2010
OPERA IN THE VINEYARD – May 2nd - David will perform at Ballandean Estate in Queensland with Jacqueline Porter
For more information www.ballandean-estate.com.au/OperaInTheVineyard.aspx

Later in May, David will return to the role of 'Eisenstein' in Fledermaus as part of the Opera Australia Melbourne Autumn season.
For more information: www.opera-australia.org.au

JUNE 2010
David Hobson - Am I Really Here?
David will lead you on an intimate evening of song as he explores his multi-faceted repertoire from classical to contemporary, and including his own original songs. 
Musical Direction by David Cameron. Written and Performed by David Hobson.
Saturday June 19 @ 3pm & 7pm
Sunday June 20 @ 6pm
For more information www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

JULY 2010
On the 16th of July David will appear with The Queensland Orchestra at the Powerhouse, Brisbane in Zender's version of Schubert's Die Winterreise.

August 26 - Adelaide Town Hall
August 28 - Sydney Opera House
September 1 - Melbourne Recital Centre
September 2 - Melbourne Recital Centre
September 4 - Canberra, Llewellyn Hall
September 8 - Hobart Theatre Royal
September 10 - Perth Concert Hall
September 12 - Brisbane, Queensland Performing Arts Centre

In early August ABC Records are releasing SINGING FOR LOVE - a compilation album of David and Yvonne’s repertoire with some additional new songs.

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