It’s off the couch and into the theatre for soprano Magda Lisek, founder and presenter of Couch Opera Live during Perth’s COVID-19 lockdown last year.
Five episodes of the YouTube offering, broadcast from South Perth, brought together WA artists and others using video clips shot in living rooms and kitchens, dance studios and churches across the world, raising money to replace live performance fees.
It also helped sustain young careers stalled by the pandemic.
Now Diary of a Couch Diva, directed and written by baritone Gregory Yurisich, puts the whole experience on stage at His Majesty’s Theatre Dress Circle Bar, full of opera, musical theatre, comedy and drama.
“The title and idea for the show had been sitting on my desk for a good few months. When I approached Greg the show came to life, and it’s been an absolutely thrilling journey working with him,” Lisek said.
“It’s great to see Couch Opera Live actually go live, and I think Fringe World is the perfect place for it!
“COVID-19 has affected artists all over the world and I feel that we are so blessed here in WA to be able to see our audiences in theatres and in person.”
Co-starring soprano Yann Kee and music director George Unkovich, with tenor Ammon Bennett and baritone Nathan Breeze, Diary of a Couch Diva finds two divas in a state of desperation during the pandemic.
They take matters into their own hands, with unforeseen results.
“There are a lot of quick changes in the show, with me dressing up as Pavarotti and Yann dressing up … well I think I’d rather not give too much away,” Lisek says.
“There are a few surprise visitors on stage, one famous visitor who is very unexpected but I’m sure everyone in Perth will know. You’ll see him the moment you enter the venue.”
Having a speaking part is a first for Unkovich, who accompanied Lisek on her YouTube clips.
“Even having one line in Diary of a Couch Diva is quite an experience,” he said.
Diary of a Couch Diva is at The Maj Dress Circle Bar, February 9-13, at 6pm. Details and tickets from www.fringeworld.com.au.