DONALD CANT
Biography

Best known as one of Australia's "Phantoms" in "The Phantom of the Opera", Donald is one of Australia's leading musical performers, with a career encompassing music theatre, concerts, cabaret, opera, Lieder and recording.

His most recent music theatre highlights have been the challenging role of "Judge Turpin" in the Opera Queensland production of "Sweeney Todd" (October 2003), the lead role of "Fred/Pertucchio" in the recent Broadway revival production of "Kiss Me, Kate" in Vancouver,Canada (July/August 2002), and the title role in the Australian Premiere of "Jekyll and Hyde", a staged concert version with the Canberra Symphony (October 2001).

Donald was an original cast member of the very successful Australian production of "The Phantom of the Opera" , performing four lead roles during his seven years with the production. The highlight was certainly his highly acclaimed 500 performances in the title role.

His music theatre career has been quite varied, with lead roles ranging from "Curly" in "Oklahoma" (the most exciting production being with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada), to "Cervantes" in "Man of La Mancha", and the "Celebrant" in Leonard Bernstein's "Mass". He has won two Best Actor Awards, one for the title role in the Australian premiere production of "Sweeney Todd", the other as the lead in "The Fantastiks".

Donald is also one of Australia's most sought after Concert artists. He performs regularly as guest soloist with Australia's major Symphony Orchestras and Military Bands. These concert performances are often shared with such esteemed Australian artists as Marina Prior, Julie Anthony, Chelsea Brown, Sylvie Paladino, and Tiffany Speight, and such talented musical directors as Tommy Tycho, Barry Knight, Michael Harvey and David Cameron.

His concert and corporate performances also take him regularly to Asia, Canada and Europe. He recently appeared in the televised UNICEF Gala concerts in Germany.

Donald is also equally at home in smaller, more intimate cabaret venues where he performs the works of his most loved modern composers, Stephen Sondheim and Jacques Brel.

His career has also focussed on Opera and Lieder, having performed with a number of Opera companies in Canada and Australia. His lead roles have included "William" in the Phillip Glass Opera "The Fall of The House of Usher" (his portrayal earning him a prestigious "Green Room" Best Actor award nomination), "Guilliamo" in "Cosi Fan Tute", and "Eisenstein" and "Orlofsky" in "Die Fledermaus". Donald's career began in Canada, while completing 6 years of opera studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, but the majority of his professional career has been in Australia.

He also performs regularly on television in Australia, and has sung before the Queen, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince Edward, and the Pope, and at many other significant cultural and State ceremonial occasions in Australia, including the Prime Minister's Official Gala Dinner for the 2000 Olympics.

Between music theatre and concert engagements, Donald also enjoys performing as guest entertainer aboard the very luxurious Silversea and Crystal cruise lines. The highlight of these cruises recently was as guest performer on the spectacular "Millennium Cruise" aboard the "Silver Wind", alongside Engelbert Humperdink, Joel Grey and Rita Moreno.

To hear samples of some of Donald's recordings, please visit the Sound Studio page.


SELECTED RECENT REVIEWS (January 2004)

"Best of British", Australian Pops Orchestra, Melbourne Concert Hall
(11 November 2003)

"Cant is probably one of Australia's finest baritones and never ceases to amaze. It is a voice of clarity, perfect intonation, and a sense of musicality rarely encountered. Nor does he seem to age." (Herald Sun 11/11/03)

 

Judge Turpin in "Sweeney Todd", Opera Queensland, Lyric Theatre Brisbane
(11-25 October 2003)

"Physically imposing and musically excellent is Donald Cant as the tormented Judge Turpin" (M/C Reviews 17/10/03)

"Cant brings great authority and complexity to the sleazy Judge" (Brisbane News, 23/10/03)

"Played by Donald Cant, Turpin is all sexually depraved glory." (Brisbane Scene, 14/10/'03)

"The hypocrite Turpin, presented in all his twisted humanity by fine singer Donald Cant" (Time Off, Brisbane, 15/10/03)

 

"Kiss Me Kate", Vancouver, Canada
(August 2002)

"Donald Cant is fabulously well cast as Fred/Petruchio; he's Douglas Fairbanks Jr, handsome and swaggeringly charming......Ballads reveal his booming baritone....but Cant is hilarious in his patter songs."

"Cant is a tall, swashbuckler of a guy"

"Cant's operatic background made him perfect for the role of Fred/Petrucchio"

 

Cabaret
(various venues 2000-2001)

"Cant is a consummate performer equipped with a lustrous voice backed by intelligent musical phrasing, so that sense of the verbal phrase is always preserved through judgment in breathing. This single aspect sets Cant apart from the very many singers treading the boards in today's entertainment world who take the arrogant view that mere vocal attractiveness is all that matters, and to hell with the lyrics."

"Donald Cant won over his audience with charm and presence and easy personal rapport."

"Cant made every post a winner. This was most certainly a memorable occasion."

 

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