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Images inside Christ Church Cathedral (Large)

World Premiere Production


Review: Ken Longworth NH 14-10-02
"The wait has been worth it..."
"Fiddes music is a remarkable mixture of styles..."
"Kavanagh's lyrics have wit and bite..."
"Carson (sic) and Weller make beautiful music
together in their declaration of love..."
The Chorus work is superb..."
"So is there a happy ending.....?"

Abelard and Heloise received its world premiere
staging in Newcastle, Australia, during October 2002
as a Shakespeare et al production .

Christ Church Cathedral - Newcastle
Click image to visit the CathedralWebsite

A cast of 38 and an orchestra of 25.
Performances were held in
Christchurch Cathedral Newcastle
on 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 19 October 2002.

     Cast includes:

Stephen Weller as Abelard.
Stephen was born in Surrey UK, and received his theatrical training at
the Mountview Theatre School. His career since has been varied and
interesting, with a penchant for new works, or so it would seem.

He played the lead in the 1999 Cameron MacIntosh English production of Martin Guerre, a new musical by the creators of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.

As well as starring as Martin Guerre, Mr Weller has appeared in a number of musicals on the English stage, including as Enjolras in Les
in the West End, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera, and lead
roles in new shows such as Pride and Prejudice (as Darcy), Merrick (as John Merrick – the elephant man), Crusade and Blude Red. He has
recently appeared for Disney in Japan and in concert in Oslo.

Recent recordings in which Mr Weller appears include the Martin Guerre 1999 Cast Recording (as Martin Guerre) and Merrick (as John Merrick).

He has been the musical director of 6 productions.
Stephen is a rising star of the English stage.

He has appeared in concerts at the Barbican, Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Putra Stadium Kuala Lumpur and the Cardiff Millennium Stadium.

Click to view full size image
or visit Steven Wellers Website - UK

Sue Carson as Heloise.
Sue’s astonishing vocal range has amazed audiences over her 12 years as a professional musician, with her ability to capture any genre of music from opera to contemporary pop, country, folk, and musical theatre.

Essentially a coloratura soprano, Sue’s versatility has allowed her to play roles from Mozart’s Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carrie in Carousel and Rosalinde in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. She won a major overseas scholarship from the Newcastle Conservatorium and was nominated for a CONDA for her performance in
Hunter Valley Theatre Company’s production of The Venetian Twins.

She is probably best known around Newcastle for her band work having fronted several quality outfits such as National Bush Band Champions Sligo Maid (Tamworth Festival ‘95 and ’96), pop trio Love That Hat and
current outfit Kilkenny in contemporary styles ranging from pop to Celtic over the past decade.

She is an award winning multi-instrumentalist (violin, guitar and mandolin) which makes her all the more in demand in the Hunter.

Sue is very much looking forward to this premiere production of Abelard and Heloise in which she will play the lead of Heloise.

Click to view
full size image

Charlie Kedmenec as Alberic.
Charlie Kedmenec was born and raised in country Victoria where he
performed regularly with various amateur productions. Last year Charlie
completed his Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) at the Victorian
College of the Arts. Whilst at the V.C.A. Charlie received the
Sleath-Lowrey Vocal scholarship and was runner up in the Athenaeum Vocal Award. Throughout the past 3 years Charlie has regularly performed in VCA and external recitals and has been invited to participate in a series of concert this year as an alumnus of the College.
He has performed the role of Osmin in Eastern Metropolitan Opera's The Abduction from the Seraglio and Lepidus for Mandragora Theatre Co in Antony and Cleopatra. This year Charlie makes his Debut for Opera Australia in Der Rosenkavalier. Charlie has a passion for new music and has been involved in projects by various up and coming and established composers including Craig Christie, Anthony Crowley. and Mark Pollard and he is looking forward to working with Ross Fiddes and the team on what is a very exciting undertaking. Aside from his performance commitments, Charlie is also a founding: member and Musical Director of As You Wish Productions, a company that aims to teach young people the necessary skills involved in Musical Theatre.

Susan Hart as Hirsinde.
Susan Hawkins Hart Soprano
Susan Hart has performed widely in the fields of opera and oratorio for
a diverse range of professional companies. Her Mozart operatic roles
include Cherubino The Marriage of Figaro, Papagena The Magic Flute,
Blonde The Abduction from the Seraglio) and MIle Herz (The Impresario).
Susan's Menotti operatic roles include Laetitia (The Old Maid and the
.), Monica (The Medium) and Lucy (The Telephone). Miscellaneous roles performed by Susan include Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Frasquita (Carmen), Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Drusilla (The Coronation of Poppaea) and Madame Popova (The Bear). Susan's extensive oratorio repertoire embraces all styles from the Baroque works of Bach (St John Passion and Mass in B Minor) and Handel (Messiah, Samson, Dixit Dominus and Ode to St Cecilia) through the classical works of Mozart (Requiem and Mass in C) and Pergolesi's Stabat Mater to the modern works of Poulenc's Gloria, Vaughan Williams' Mass in G minor and Fanshawe's African Sanctus.

In 1991, 1993 and 2000 Susan sang with the Australian Opera Chorus,
notably in the Baz Luhrmann production of La Boheme. During 1994-95,
Susan performed in the Cameron Macintosh Sydney production of Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera as Carlotta, Mlne Firman and Confidante.

During her career Susan has appeared in concert with operatic stars
Anson Austin, Ghillian Sullivan, Christa Lehmann, Geoffrey Chard, Jamie Allen, Irene Waugh and Denis Olsen as well as with music theatre stars Michael Crawford, Marina Pryor, Judi Connelli, Peter Cousens, Geraldine Turner and the renowned flautist, Jane Rutter. A Fellow of Trinity College London (FTCL), in 1997 Susan graduated from the University of Newcastle with a postgraduate degree, Master of Music. She also holds a Bachelor degree in Education. In 1998/99 Susan was invited to adjudicate and present the award for the prestigious Doris Smith Scholarship for University of Newcastle Conservatorium. For several years she has been a part-time lecturer in voice for University of NSW Faculty of Music and Avondale College, and is regularly in demand as an adjudicator for Eisteddfodau.

View Susan's photo

Anne Rzechowicz as Maria
Anne studied music at Newcastle Conservatorium of Music graduating with a B.Mus.Ed. in 1982.
She taught in local high schools for 10 years before deciding to take the plunge to become a professional musician and actor.

Her award-winning ensemble d’Amore plays throughout the region at weddings and functions. She has her own studio, teaching singing, piano and flute. Two of her students are now performing on London’s West End.

Her stage credits include Mama Morton in Chicago, Miss Mona in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Mrs Pearce in My Fair Lady and countless
other roles. She has also been the Musical Director for several local productions including A Chorus Line, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies and The Wiz. Her screen credits include Alice in Final Exit, short film Please Blow Into This and appearances in All Saints, Home and Away and Head Start.

Abelard and Heloise marks Anne’s return to the stage after a six year absence.


Richard was born and educated in London, forming an interest in theatre and music whilst at school and winning a London Festival of Arts Prize in 1960. He migrated to Perth in 1967, over the following 4 years performing in some 20 professional and amateur productions with a number of companies including Patch Theatre, The Hole in the Wall Theatre, Transit Theatre, UBU, W.A. University Theatre and National Theatre of W.A. He appeared in plays by Shakespeare, Pinter, Stoppard among others and with actors such as Abigail, Joe Hasham, John Orcsik, Allan Cassell, Helen Neeme and Arthur Dignam.

Since moving to Newcastle in 1977 he established a hotel broking business and has interests in the hospitality industry. He has been involved with Young People’s Theatre as a tutor and performer, but has been seduced back to the stage by Ross Fiddes after an absence of 32 years.

Andrew Benson as Drogo
As a trained actor, Andrew has performed on stage in A Chorus Line, The Exception and the Rule, The Beaux Stratagem, Crazy for You and Re: MacBeth. His television and film credits include Moulin Rouge and Going Home. Andrew also produces small films with his film production company Poppett Productions, producing Shock Therapy and Le Chauser for The Shoot Out Film Festival.

Andrew trained in classical singing with The Trinity College London being awarded the Australian Exhibition Award in Musical Theatre. He has subsequently run acting and musical theatre workshops for the College in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. Recently he performed as backing singer for Vanessa Amorosi and at the 2001 Australian Night at the Proms and the New York Recovery Concert. This year he sang the National Anthem in Parliament House Canberra for the 2002 Young Australian of the Year, Australia Day Celebrations.

In 2000 Andrew was awarded an Emerging Artist Scholarship from the Australia Council and Performing Arts Newcastle to produce his satirical character cabaret show Aunty Mavis: Tea and Timeless Advice which he wrote, produced and directed to much critical and audience acclaim. Through the scholarship Andrew developed his skills as a director and last year he directed a feminist play Just Equal, and Evil Will Strike, a post-modern re-working of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible for the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. Earlier this year Andrew was the Assistant Director on The Westie Monologues at the Sydney Fringe Festival and Belvoir Street Seasons for Push Up Theatre. He has recently completed a season in Spunks for Push Up Theatre.

Andrew is currently working towards directing his new film Leave It To Lorn, writing a new cabaret show and the assistant directorship of Solitude in Blue for Glass Theatre/Griffin, a new play about the murder of Molly Dean.

Producer - Michael O'Sullivan
Director - Christiane O'Sullivan
Musical Director - Ross Fiddes (Composer)
Designer - Melissa Hankinson.

Copyright in this stage work is held by
Paul Kavanagh & Ross Fiddes (lyrics, music & book)
Matthew Lazarus-Hall (staging).
Any performance or reproduction by any means of the material or any
part of it is prohibited without permission of the copyright owners.