Premium Content:

Mama Alto set to deliver rare performance at Perth International Cabaret Festival

Beguiling singer Mama Alto is set to deliver a rare performance on the west coast as part of the Perth International Cabaret Festival.

While the performer has delivered her captivating show around the globe, she’s rarely made the journey to Western Australia. Cabaret fans won’t want to miss her when she takes to the stage for Transcendent on June 22.

- Advertisement -

The last time Mama Alto trod the boards in Perth was just over a decade ago, but she’s bubbling with excitement to be returning with her acclaimed new show.

“It’s a thrill to be coming back to Perth. It’s very exciting.” she told OUTinPerth over a video call.

Mama Alto shared that she’s always had an eclectic love of music.

“Right from when I was a very small child, I was listening to the music that my dad played. He loved music and he had a lot of records and cassettes, and he loved all kinds of music.

“He loved opera, and he loved Elvis, and he loved symphonies, but the music that was really resonated with me from when I was even two or three years old, was the great divas, jazz singers and torch singers. Some of his favourites were women like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Cleo Lane and Roberta Flack. I always loved that kind of music.” Mama Alto said.

Early in her performance career Mama Alto was drawn to the world of cabaret telling us that she was drawn to its storytelling potential alongside the ability to traverse many different genres of music.

Getting her start at Melbourne’s tiny The Butterfly Club she discovered a world that embraced people who were different, interesting and on the outside of society.

“It was the kind of cabaret realm where people who are usually on the outside, and who were discriminated against or marginalised, or just weird, were celebrated.”

Mama Alto is a torch singer, but she’s also transgender, and a person of colour, and a person with a disability. Her performances centre about the intersectionality of those identities. She describes how she brings all those elements to the stage.

“Sometimes just by being who I am and stepping onto the stage, it’s there.” she says before sharing her theory on representation and visibility.

“Some sociologists and music historians talk about this kind of thing, but my favourite name for it is ‘The Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show‘ effect. Maybe I’ll look into getting a trademark on the name of this theorem.

“The Supremes were these wonderful, beautiful Black American young women. One of the Supremes, Mary Wilson has said that they were like the Cinderella story of Black America.

“Suddenly they were on The Ed Sullivan Show, this nightly television show, broadcast directly into the living rooms of people, all kinds of people across the world. Some of whom would not consider them human beings, just because of who they were. Whether that’s because they’re women or because they’re black, or any other kind of reason.

“Suddenly, they’re in the living rooms of people who would cross the street to avoid them, of people who would consider them not human beings, or people who wouldn’t want them to have equal rights. They saw them, glamorous and beautiful, and with this enticing incredible music and undeniable artistic excellence, and that slowly, or sometimes rapidly, can change people’s hearts and minds.

Mama Alto argues that performance can be a great destroyer of prejudices.

“There’s nothing new in being trans, or being queer, and being proud, and being LGBT. That’s as old as humankind. The organisms, the first living things on this planet, were asexual amoeba. The A in LGBTIQA+ was here before any heterosexuals.” the singer says noting that cabaret can be a gateway to new life experiences as much as it is a gateway to discovering music.

While Mama Alto has rarely performed in Perth, fans will be rewarded for waiting. We’ll be the first Australian audiences to see Transcend the show she premiered in New York in February. The singer fulfilled a long -held dream of performing a season at Joe’s Pub, the revered cabaret venue where Adele and Amy Winehouse made their US debuts.

The show is a combination of different elements from performances Mama Alto has created over the last decade, a greatest hits package of her best work that she’s excited to finally bringing to Perth.

‘We’re calling it my long-awaited return” Mama Alto says with a laugh.

See Mama Alto – Transcendent at the Perth International Cabaret Festival on June 22. Tickets are on sale now.

Latest

Perth International Cabaret Festival begins with the sensational Glynis Traill-Nash

The fabulous show wove together juicy tales of the fashion industry with a mix of intriguing song choices.

Club Camp! Emerald City Kickball to host tizzy fundraising party

Emerald City Kickball are going all out for their fundraising party with a celebration of all things camp.

Pope Francis accused of using a gay slur again!

He apologised for using the same slur last month.

French music star Francoise Hardy dies aged 80

Hardy emerged as a leading figure in the 1960s yé-yé movement.

Newsletter

Don't miss

Perth International Cabaret Festival begins with the sensational Glynis Traill-Nash

The fabulous show wove together juicy tales of the fashion industry with a mix of intriguing song choices.

Club Camp! Emerald City Kickball to host tizzy fundraising party

Emerald City Kickball are going all out for their fundraising party with a celebration of all things camp.

Pope Francis accused of using a gay slur again!

He apologised for using the same slur last month.

French music star Francoise Hardy dies aged 80

Hardy emerged as a leading figure in the 1960s yé-yé movement.

Bibliophile | ‘Safe Space’ is a call for Australians to wake up to racism

“This is a book for anyone who believes that racism has no place in Australia's future and is ready to take action.”

Perth International Cabaret Festival begins with the sensational Glynis Traill-Nash

The fabulous show wove together juicy tales of the fashion industry with a mix of intriguing song choices.

Club Camp! Emerald City Kickball to host tizzy fundraising party

Emerald City Kickball are going all out for their fundraising party with a celebration of all things camp.

Pope Francis accused of using a gay slur again!

He apologised for using the same slur last month.