Home' The Mirror Queenstown Lakes : 15th August 2012 Contents 4
lakes district news
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FROM THE FRONT
Doors open for Direen
By DEBBIE JAMIESON
Direen won the
Horizon Award for
performer at the
Music Awards in
Hamilton at the
Photo: MIKE WALEN/
Wanaka might not be able to
claim Shania Twain any longer
but it already has the next best
Upcoming country music singer
Jody Direen's career is starting to
soar. She won the Horizon
Awards for upcoming stars at the
National Country Music Awards
in Hamilton at the weekend.
The award will see her travel to
Nashville in June next year,
where she will perform at the
Global Artists Awards, the largest
country music festival in the
world, as well as performing on
She was also presented with a
"There will be potential there to
stream to around 40 million
people if the timing is right," the
self-managed performer says.
"This will be a great foot in the
door and there will be lots of meet
It is a wonderful opportunity she
has worked hard for since
deciding to pursue a professional
singing and songwriting career
after completing a bachelor of
agriculture two years ago.
Even sweeter was claiming the
award from two other "fantastic"
competitors, including Kylie
Price, who last year won the Good
Morning Find a Star programme,
where Direen came third.
She believes her performance was
hampered by nerves and she has
worked hard to overcome this.
"It just shows that sometimes self-
belief and determination can be
more valuable than talent.
''I've worked really hard to perfect
my vocal skills and performance
Before taking up her prize, Direen
heads for Australia at the end of
the month, where she will spend
four days songwriting in Sydney
and meet Kenny Rogers in Noosa.
There she will continue work
on her second album, a more
country-pop-rock focused offering
than the straight country album
she released in April last year.
She also hints that there might be
something else in the wind.
"My contacts are starting to open
some big doors," she said.
Fagin role takes actor to Britain
By BROOKE GARDINER
Fagin: Queenstown-based actor
Familiar role: Alex Derbie playing
Oliver's Fagin in Invercargill in 2010.
Queenstown resident Alex
Derbie has landed the role of
Fagin in a production of Oliver
to be staged in Britain in
Delighted to be returning to
England to perform one of his
favourite parts, Mr Derbie will
play Fagin for the fifth time in
Lionel Bart's production of
Charles Dickens' Oliver to be
staged at the Thorndike Theatre
in Surrey, England.
Following a lengthy and nerve-
racking audition process in
front of a live audience, Mr
Derbie said he was pleasantly
surprised to secure the role and
hoped it would help him to land
more roles in the near future.
He has an impressive catalogue
of performances in more than 70
productions in Britain, Hong
Kong and New Zealand.
''There's an opportunity next
year to play King Arthur in
Camelot at the Richmond
Theatre or Thorndike Theatre.
This isn't top West End stuff but
they're still quite prominent
A conscious decision to look for
more theatre work in Britain
made sense as there were more
opportunities, especially for
males of his age, he said.
''I would like to do more theatre
work and there is an opening in
the UK for pro-am people that
don't need huge amounts of
money to play character roles
for older men.
''It's a numbers game, I've
probably missed out on as many
shows as I've done. There's a hit
His fifth role as Fagin will see
Mr Derbie play a much darker
character than the Fagin por-
trayed in many performances of
Oliver in recent years.
''They're taking it back to the
Dickens' era so it's going to be
dark as opposed to a light
Following auditions in June, Mr
Derbie had three weeks of music
rehearsals before returning to
New Zealand in July. He will
return to Britain late in
September for rehearsals and
the two-week season of Oliver.
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