International Songwriting Competition winner Kate Miller-Heidke spoke with haven about the impending birth of her first born, her Brisbane roots and her lead role in The Rabbits, Australia’s hottest new opera stage production coming to QPAC this month.


Brisbane’s own award-winning singer/songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke returns to South-East Queensland this month, bringing with her a uniquely Australian opera and a radiant pregnancy glow.


KMH Feb-March Tour General Press Photo 2Now based in Melbourne, Kate told haven that growing up in Indooroopilly has made Brisbane a frequent hot spot for visits for her and hubby Keir Nuttall who both still have family in the area. On the eve of the opening of The Rabbits at QPAC this month (a uniquely Australian opera based on John Marsden’s children’s book of the same name, with a contemporary composition written by Kate – who also plays the lead role), Kate says she is really looking forward to spending some time in her hometown. On a recent visit home, Kate says she visited her old high school at Kelvin Grove to accept a Hall of Fame award.


“It was crazy (being back there) but also really cool,” she laughs.


Kate, who is expecting her first child, also shared details on how pregnancy has been treating her. Coming up to being six-months pregnant, Kate lightheartedly mentions that she has had to go through a number of wardrobe swaps and changes for her role as ‘The Bird’ in The Rabbits.


“I’ll probably be the fattest bird on stage!” she laughs. “But my voice has actually become fuller and multi-layered with her pregnancy.”


While she has found out the baby’s sex, she is keeping mum on it at this stage. Keir and Kate are expecting to announce their big news in May.


the-rabbits-08-2015-jon-green-high-resAs far as The Rabbits goes, Kate speaks very highly of her cast members and admits to feeling nervous about writing songs for a children’s book that only contained 12 lines of text. Kate modestly claims that she could not have done it without all of the other amazing minds behind the production. She says she really respects the fact that the opera-based play “does not shy away from darker issues, even though it is targeted towards children”.


Since premiering to sell-out crowds at the Perth International Arts Festival in February this year, The Rabbits has won four Helpmann Awards (Best New Australian Work, Best Original Score, Best Presentation for Children and Best Costume Design) as well as selling out shows for the Melbourne Festival season in October 2015.


“I really hope that it will spark children’s interest in native Aboriginal culture and history,” Kate says.


Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini highly praised Kate’s contribution to the opera.


The Rabbits has broken new ground in bringing together elements of opera, contemporary music and theatre,” Lyndon says. “Kate is an outstanding talent and a fine leader as both composer and performer for the show.”


The Rabbits comes to Brisbane…

Kate Miller-Heidke stars in The Rabbits.

Shows will run from March 17-20 at the Playhouse, QPAC, Brisbane.


Visit www.qpac.com.au


Words // Laura Markwort




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