Pastrana – Opera House Workshop Production

 Essington Productions in Association with the Sydney Opera House Trust



Original Workshop Concert Production

Opening Night: 7 December, 1988

 Broadwalk Studio, Sydney Opera House


Julia Pastrana: Valerie Bader

Charles Lent: Barry Quin

Johanna: Mary-Lou Stewart

Mrs Pastrana / Millie: Natalie Mosco

Christine: Carmen Tanti

Freddy: Adele Johnston

Alf / Dr Sokoloff: Dennis Clements

Mendez / Wickins: Jack Webster

George / Chirenov: Anthony O’Keeffe

Garrick / Bill: Darrell Hilton

 Onlookers, Hotel Guests, Stage Door Johnnies, Tarts, Reporters, Mourners, played by members of the company

Time: 1850 – 1885


Flute, Oboe, Cor Anglais: Lee Hutchings

Eb, Bb and A Clarinets: Briona Gill

Bb and A Clarinets: Michael Piraner

Violins: Cathy Shepheard, Janice Walker

Violoncello: Adrian Wallis

Double Bass: Brian McVernon

Guitar: Richard Fowler

Piano: Allan McFadden

Percussion: Michael Askill, Jeff Ciampa

“… carefully understated concert-staging … it was performed without sets, with minimal costumes and with scripts in hand … Peter Northwood’s book is distinguished by uncliched characters and sharp social observation … the songs take on an operatic role in driving the story  … and a few of Allan McFadden’s songs, especially For Myself Alone, have the melodious accessibility of real hits.”

Martin Portus (Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 1988)

“The music with its complex rhythms and harmony yet excitingly accessible melodies shows the influence of modern musical theatre … watching (Nancye) Hayes’s imaginatively staged ensemble numbers makes it obvious that if Pastrana were given the full commercial treatment, it would be a big production”

The Australian

 “It’s the stuff of strong drama and an unusual subject for a musical … the macabre is all the rage in musicals these days.”