Spotlight on David Hobson in From Broadway to La Scala at Perth Concert Hall


From Broadway to La Scala cast, David Hobson centre.
From Broadway to La Scala cast, David Hobson centre.

IT’S hard to believe David Hobson once shunned the spotlight.

Before becoming one of Australia’s best known operatic, concert and stage performers, his dream was to be a composer: a serious young man, tucked away in his garret writing furiously like some sort of romantic figure.

But fate had other plans for the Ballarat local.

He made his name with Opera Australia’s La Boheme and went on to appear in Aussie TV favourites Spicks and Specks and Dancing With the Stars.

Hobson featured alongside Colin Lane in a comedy musical and even sang at the AFL Grand Final.

“I don’t know who I am – I did not set out to do all this,” the charismatic tenor said.

After singing in school and church choirs as a child, he turned to rock and jazz in his teens.

At university he began writing music and composed a rock opera based on Macbeth.

“My voice was heard on a demo tape: we did a backer’s audition where I played a couple of scenes from my Macbeth show for potential producer backers from Victoria State Opera and they were keen to put their money into my compositions but also coerced me into singing,” Hobson said.

“I said: ‘I’m not interested in singing, particularly opera’.

“They rang me a few times and said: ‘We’re doing this Broadway version of The Pirates of Penzance and we think you should understudy the main role and it will be good for your writing’.

“So that’s how it started: I had no intention in doing opera or being a performer, I just wanted to write behind the scenes.”

Hobson said he jumped from project to project and learned the necessary skills along the way.

“I was asked to do the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: I hadn’t seen the movie and didn’t really know about it,” he said.

“I said ‘Really, you want me to do that?’.

“I looked at the movie and saw what was involved in the dancing and said there was no way I could do that unless they gave me three or four months serious training and so that’s what they did.

“And that’s sort of how everything has happened.”

Hobson performs in From Broadway to La Scala next month with Lisa McCune, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Greta Bradman.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: From Broadway to La Scala

When: December 9

Where: Perth Concert Hall

Tickets: www.perthconcerthall.com.au