Featured Collaborator: Cameron Menzies
Cameron Menzies is a Helpmann Award nominated and award winning International Australian director. His career has encompassed music theatre, theatre, Opera and documentary film-making. Cameron has been engaged by companies including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Köln Cologne, Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, OzOpera, Short Black Opera Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Australian National Academy of Music, City of Yarra, The L'Oreal Fashion Festival, Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, The Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Perth International Arts Festival and Intermusica UK and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
He has directed many world premiere productions, including CONTACT! - A Netball Opera for the Arts Centre Melbourne, Norman Lindsay's The Magic Pudding for Victorian Opera and song cycle Redfern for Short Black Opera Company for Opera XS at the Malthouse Theatre, directed Pecan Summer in its debut Perth and Adelaide seasons and AFTERLIFE by Michel van der Aa Nederlands Opera for Melbourne International Arts Festival 2012, and is the Creative Director for Operette for the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festivals 2012-15.
Cameron has been nominated for and won awards, including 2011 Berlin New Music Opera Award, the 2008 Bayreuth Opera Award from Opera Foundation Australia, The Besen Family Artist Program (Direction) Malthouse Theatre, Australian Opera Committee scholarship, The Amy Alice McDonald Scholarship 2007 - 2011, Opus 50, scholarships from the Victorian and New South Wales Wagner Societies, and has two Green Room Award Nominations. Most recently he was the recipient of the Sydney Awards 2016 - Best Direction of an Opera, Broadway World for the Sydney Premiere of Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House for Short Black Opera Company.
Cameron trained in acting under acclaimed teacher Hayes Gordon OAM at the Ensemble Theatre and obtained his Bachelor of Music from the Victorian College of the Arts. He was the Chief Opera Director at The Opera Studio Melbourne from 2009-2013 and lectured in Stagecraft at the Victorian College of the Arts. Cameron held the position of Artistic Director of Opera for the City of Stonnington from 2009 – 2014.
In 2014, Cameron made his International directorial debut in London, where he created a new production of Don Giovanni for Britain’s Foremost Chamber Opera Company DivaOpera to much acclaim. He returned to Australia to direct the Adelaide Premiere of Australia’s first Aboriginal Opera, Pecan Summer for Short Black Opera Company. Cameron has also directed William and Mary for the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, assisting on The Riders for Victorian Opera and directing a chamber work of Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon for The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival Len Vorster and Ensemble13. Cameron’s production of STATUS – Real Life stories of HIV Stigma for the 20th International AIDS Conference has received International critical acclaim.
Cameron was nominated for Best Director for the Green Room Awards for Professional Theatre Excellence in Victoria. His production of The Magic Pudding is also nominated for Best Costume and Set Design, Best Conductor and won the Green Room award for Best Ensemble.
Cameron’s has directed acclaimmed productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte and La Boheme for DivaOpera toured the United Kingdom, The Channel Islands, France and Monte Carlo and Europe since 2015. He has directed Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins Starring Meow Meow at Hamer Hall to great acclaim and a new opera commission by Finegan Kruckmeyer and Joseph Twist – The Grumpiest Boy in the world at the Malthouse Theatre both as part of Victorian Opera’s 2015 season. He has been the Event Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Annual fundraising Banquet since 2014 . Cameron directed his his highly sucessful production of Le Nozze di Figaro in Cape Town South Africa for DivaOpera and in Cherbourg France, Lucia di Lammermoor for Victorian Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne , Cosi fan Tutte in London and Pecan Summer for Short Black Opera at the Sydney Opera House in 2016. He has also directed fot the Australian International Opera Company for tours throughout China productions of La Traviata, Turandot, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute and two Shakesperean plays Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. Cameron also directed the new commission from Victorian Opera by Richard Mills called 'Tis Pity: An Operatic Fantasia on Selling the Skin and the Teeth at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
He is currently in the creation process of a new stage show called YMA: The Peruvian Song Bird based on the life of exotica legend YMA Sumac starring Cabaret Artist Ali McGregor.
In a new “tour de fierce” collaboration between the The Strange Bedfellows featuring Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen, composer Jessica Wells, director Cameron Menzies and PLEXUS, Ich Auch draws on ancient stories of the female and examines how these depictions still echo in the contemporary world. Weaving myth with legend, past with present, this will be a highly theatrical and timely exploration of how “his” story has co-opted and contaminated hers.
Resolutely confronting and provocative, the cabaret work of The Strange Bedfellows is set apart by the utter conviction and sheer talent of creators and stars Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen.
“Where would cabaret be without them?" – THE AUSTRALIAN