Georgia Burley on stage in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Georgia Burley, finalist in the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Singer of the Year, entertained audiences with her comedic rendition of Heisler & Loewe's The Alto's Lament in the Finals. She spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod after her performance about why she connects so well with this piece and what she learnt from her Sydney Eisteddfod experience.
Who inspired you to start singing?
My mum is an accomplished pianist and wrote Christmas musicals for the children at church to perform. She could tell I could sing when, at age 5, I sang along in the car to The Main Event with John Farnham, Anthony Warlow and Olivia Newton John, confident with every word. Singing in the car was different to singing in public though and my parents really helped me come out of my shell and gain enough confidence to let other people watch me.
You chose to perform The Alto's Lament in the Sydney Eisteddfod Singer of the Year Final, tell us a little bit about this piece.
I've spent a lot of time singing harmony in a choir at school and church so I really identify with the song which is about wishing someone would let you be a soprano and sing the tune. I also sang this song as part of my final performance of my university degree.
Which other performers do you most like to listen and watch, and why?
I like to listen to and watch other musical theatre singers - Anthony Warlow, Kelli O'Hara, Audra McDonald and Laura Osnes are a few of my favourites. I love musical theatre because of the stories the songs tell and these performers are incredible storytellers with the vocal skills to match.
What is the best piece of performance advice you've ever heard?
The best piece of advice I have heard is something that applies to my song The Alto's Lament which is quite comedic, and it is that you don't have to try and be funny. You just have to believe the words you're saying and use those words to get the audience on your side.
What have you learnt from your Sydney Eisteddfod experience?
I've learnt that there are a lot of other young people like me looking for opportunities to sing!
What would you say to a young singer that was thinking about entering Sydney Eisteddfod?
It's a great performance opportunity with feedback from industry professionals who really know their stuff. The Singer of the Year category is particularly good because everyone does something different - there are performers from many different genres.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE NEXT?
My goal is to perform in a major music theatre production like My Fair Lady.