In 2016, Anna O’Byrne won the role of a lifetime when she was hand-picked by Dame Julie Andrews to play Eliza in the 60th Anniversary production of My Fair Lady, which played at Sydney Opera House and on tour. After enchanting audiences across the country, winning rave reviews along the way, Anna won the coveted Helpmann Award for her extraordinary performance.
In Becoming Eliza, Anna O’Byrne reflects on her unique experience and shares stories about working intimately with an internationally adored icon, and what it is to share a role, created sixty years apart as well as the lessons she learned from both Dame Julie and Eliza.
This enchanting concert evening features iconic songs from beloved musicals on stage and screen, including Camelot, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria and, of course, My Fair Lady.
Becoming Eliza is produced by Enda Markey (Do You Hear The People Sing?), with musical direction by Guy Simpson (The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon) and direction by Sharon Millerchip (Six). The show received its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House in June 2022 before touring to Adelaide and Perth.
Anna O’Byrne has established an international career spanning opera, theatre, concert and film. She has sung for royalty, world leaders and other dignitaries. She created the role of Christine Daaé in the Australian production/DVD of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies. She has played Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End. Other appearances include Laurie in Oklahoma (Melbourne), Jenny Lind in Barnum (Chichester), A Little Night Music, Amour, Strangers on a Train (London) and Sarah Brown in the UK Tour of Guys and Dolls. Anna is currently touring Australia in the smash-hit production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
Main Photography by Robert Catto.
Becoming Eliza at Sydney Opera House. Photograph by Prudence Upton.
Anna as Eliza in My Fair Lady. Photograph by Jeff Busby.
Anna O’Byrne has established an international career spanning opera, theatre, concert and film.
Anna is well known for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in Opera Australia’s My Fair Lady, for which she received the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Anna is currently on the Australian Tour of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap and touring with her one-woman show Becoming Eliza which premiered at the Sydney Opera House. The show reflects on her unique experience and shares stories about working intimately with internationally adored icon Julie Andrews.
Andrew Lloyd Webber cast Anna as Christine Daaé in Love Never Dies, his sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Anna was nominated for Sydney Theatre and Green Room awards for her performance.
Anna made her West End debut as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. Further West End credits include The Woman in White, Strangers on a Train, Kings of Broadway, and A Little Night Music. Anna debuted with English National Opera in Sweeney Todd, starring Emma Thompson.
She released her debut album, Dream, in 2016.
Sharon’s stellar career as a performer and creative talent has seen her recognised with a swag of awards, including three Helpmanns.
Most recently, Sharon was Assistant Director to Priscilla Jackman on RBG; Of Many One for The Sydney Theatre Company and played Louise Daley in the new Australian play A Broadcast Coup at Ensemble Theatre.
In 2022 Sharon was the Australian Associate Director for Six The Musical, Associate Choreographer on Yve Blake’s smash hit musical Fangirls for Belvoir and played numerous roles in Simon Phillips’ North by Northwest at the Lyric Theatre Sydney. Sharon also recently starred as Penny in The Appleton Ladies’Potato Race for Ensemble, played Caroline in the original company of Fangirls and Joan in Small Mouth Sounds at the Darlinghurst Theatre.
Sharon’s starring roles in musical theatre include Roxie Hart in Chicago, Meg Giry in The Phantom of The Opera and its sequel Love Never Dies, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Anita in West Side Story, Charity in Sweet Charity, Catherine in Pippin, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Columbia in Rocky Horror Show, Sonia Walsk in They’re Playing Our Song, Demeter in Cats, and Cordelia in Falsettos, and Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods for Sydney Theatre Company.
Other notable roles include the eponymous heroine Shirley Valentine, all female roles in Last of the Red Hot Lovers and all characters in Joanna Murray-Smith’s smash hit Bombshells.
Guy Simpson has been working as a Conductor, Orchestrator, Musical Director and Musical Supervisor for over 40 years.
He is currently Musical Supervisor and Orchestrator of a new production of Into The Woods at Belvoir St Theatre and Musical Supervisor of Miss Saigon for Opera Australia later this year.
Last year he conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Sydney Harbour and was Musical Supervisor of the show at the Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. He was also Musical Supervisor of Cinderella – all for Opera Australia. He was also Musical Director of Anna O’Byrne’s solo show Becoming Eliza and Do You Hear the People Sing – a concert of the music of Claude Michel Schonberg in the newly opened Opera House Concert Hall.
For Opera Australia he was Musical Director of Evita (starring Tina Arena), the 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady (directed by Julie Andrews) and West Side Story (on the harbour).
Guy’s work on The Phantom of the Opera began in Australia in 1990 and has continued on and off for the past 30 years, conducting or supervising productions in Auckland, Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Brazil (in Portuguese), Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing and Seoul.
He has had a similar long association with Miss Saigon since 1994 – conducting or supervising productions in Australia, Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil, Seoul, The Netherlands and Japan.
Other international productions include Cats (Australia, New Zealand), Chicago (Australia, Hong Kong) and We Will Rock You – the QUEEN musical (Australia, Japan)
Other productions in Australia – Muriel’s Wedding, The Wizard of Oz, Dream Lover, Prima Donna (the opera by Rufus Wainwright), Passion, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(starring Geoffrey Rush), Love Never Dies (the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera), Les Miserables, Cabaret, Company, Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Pirates of Penzance, Snoopy, Seesaw, Zorba, Oklahoma!, Funny Girl, Call me Madam, Mack and Mabel, The Music Man, They’re Playing our Song, Carousel, Camelot, Little Me, Follies, Promises Promises, Gypsy and Guys and Dolls
As an orchestrator recent projects include the musicals Ladies in Black and Dream Lover.
As a producer of cast recordings he has produced the albums of Muriel’s Wedding and Dream Lover for Sony and 2 cast recordings of The Phantom of the Opera in Korea.
Enda Markey was born in Dublin, Ireland. He trained on a scholarship to Laine Theatre Arts in London, studying on the musical theatre course.
Following his training, Enda worked as a singer and actor in Ireland and the UK. In 2002, Enda moved to Australia and worked extensively on television, theatre, concerts, and cabaret around the country.
His production company, Enda Markey Presents, has offices in London and Sydney. His work includes: Side By Side By Sondheim (Australian Tour) including a gala concert at Sydney’s Theatre Royal starring Ruthie Henshall; Blood Brothers (Sydney and Melbourne) starring Helen Dallimore, Bobby Fox, Blake Bowden (Sydney), Josh Piterman (Melbourne) and Michael Cormick; Defying Gravity: The Songs of Stephen Schwartz (Theatre Royal, Sydney) starring Sutton Foster, Aaron Tveit, David Harris, Helen Dallimore, Joanna Ampil and Betty Buckley; Stephen Schwartz in conversation with Leigh Sales (Theatre Royal Sydney), Boublil & Schonberg In Conversation with Mark Humphries (Melbourne) and Julia Zemiro (Sydney). Geraldine Turner in Turner’s Turn (Australian Tour) and the Australian tour of Bobby Fox: The Irish Boy. In 2019, Enda presented Ruthie Henshall in her first ever Australian tour.
Enda’s production of Boublil & Schönberg’s Do You Hear The People Sing? Premiered at the Shanghai Grand Theatre starring Michael Ball and Lea Salonga. Subsequent productions in Manila (starring Lea Salonga) and Taipei (starring Michael Ball) followed. In 2022, the Australian tour, starring Michael Ball, John Owen-Jones, and Rachel Tucker, played at Hamer Hall and Sydney Opera House.
Becoming Eliza premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2022 and is currently touring Australia.
Future projects include further international dates for Boublil & Schonberg’s Do You Hear The People Sing? and Defying Gravity.