Issued Wednesday, 21 February 2007
THE STUDIO AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE PRESENTS
GYAN AND LEUNIG - BILLY AND THE RABBIT
“Perhaps the most delicate and appropriate partnership between any two unique Australian artists.” The Program
In 2003, Aria Award winning singer/songwriter Gyan sent a ‘love letter’ of sorts to celebrated cartoonist Michael Leunig – a CD of songs inspired by his poems. The result was the exquisite Billy the Rabbit album and book. Now they are bringing their collaboration to the stage of Sydney Opera House for a strictly limited season of 4 shows.
Gyan sings her beautiful, bittersweet interpretations of Michael Leunig’s poems while Leunig draws and paints on stage, adding his own insightful and witty commentary as the imagery is projected onto a large screen. Both uplifting and heartbreaking, Gyan and Leunig’s performance is full of the characteristic humour, poignancy and gentle observations that make Leunig such a loved artist.
Gyan & Leunig will be accompanied by an outstanding band - the line up includes James Cruickshank (of The Cruel Sea on piano, guitar & banjo), Steve Elphick (bass), Simon Barker (drums), Simon Greaves (guitar) and Cleis Pearce (violin).
“…Gyan is a hugely gifted composer and a very fine singer ... Her decision to take 18 of Michael Leunigs ‘poem-drawings’ and turn them into songs is inspired… The result is a genuinely great and original Australian album that Leunig admirers will prize”. Sydney Morning Herald
Michael Leunig, declared an Australian Living Treasure in 1999, is well known for his contributions to The Age and SMH newspapers as a cartoonist as well as for his art and many books, all still in print. Billy the Rabbit draws more from Michael’s universally loved quirky observations of the human condition, though it is not lacking in political commentary.
After winning ARIA and platinum awards for her self-titled debut album in 1990 Gyan moved to the UK, then the USA where she signed to Universal and worked as a principal recording artist with producer Desmond Child (Ricky Martin, Aerosmith, Kiss, Cher). During this time, she was also a songwriter to Leanne Rimes and vocalist with Ricky Martin.
Details: Gyan & Leunig in Billy the Rabbit
Dates: Friday 30 & Saturday 31 March at 8.15pm
Saturday 31 March at 4.30pm
Sunday 1 April at 6pm
Artist Talk: Saturday 31 March at 6.30pm
Venue: The Studio