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Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
18 Jun 2020 - 20 Jun 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this production was unfortunately cancelled. 

In the 1950s when musical exotica was all the rage, Yma Sumac was a sensation – an Incan princess who astounded American audiences with her five-octave range and larger-than-life personality. She was a best-selling artist for Capitol Records, toured the world and appeared in a movie with Charlton Heston. Her songs have been sampled in lounge music, hip hop and movie soundtracks.

This one-woman show is a passion project for Helpmann Award-winning cabaret performer and soprano Ali McGregor, whose admiration for Sumac has led to her acquiring a collection of the singer’s jewellery and clothes in which she performs.

From the bird-like trills of ‘Chuncho’ to a mambo version of the ‘Queen of the Night’ aria, McGregor brings her astounding voice to Sumac’s music. Between vocal pyrotechnics, she tells Sumac’s story and her own journey discovering this fascinating artist.

Prepare to be enthralled by the lure of exoticism, mystery, heartbreak and above all – extraordinary singing.

Dates & Times

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

Thursday 18 June 2020, 7.30pm [CANCELLED]
Friday 19 June 2020, 7.30pm [CANCELLED] 
Saturday 20 June 2020, 1pm [CANCELLED] 
Saturday 20 June 2020, 7.30pm [CANCELLED]  

Running time is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, no interval

Sung in English

Patrons' Pre-Show Drinks Friday 19 June, 6.30pm [CANCELLED]

Cast & Creatives

Written by Ali McGregor
Director Cameron Menzies
Musical Direction Sam Keevers
Lighting Direction Paul Lim
Set Design Kathryn Sproul


Ali McGregor

Music Band Sam Keevers, Eugene Ball, Ben Gillespie, Hugh Harvey, Tamara Murphy, Phil Noy, Lily Paskas-Goodfellow