We caught up with Josh Piterman, star of the forthcoming Phantom Of The Opera Australian Tour as he announces his exciting new music release ‘Loving You’.
Recorded between London and Melbourne, the 4-track EP is a musical collaboration with UK friend, producer & songwriter, Steve Anderson who he began working with throughout the first lockdown of 2020. Anderson has had a highly successful career and a rich history of working with some of the world’s most applauded pop artists and bands including Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson, Sting, David Bowie, Take That, Westlife, Steps, Delta Goodrem and Paul McCartney.
Theatre People – How does it feel to have new music out in the world after lockdown?
Josh Piterman – “It’s wonderfully exciting and a long time coming. My previous album landed in 2018. But this EP is well worth the wait and thankfully lockdown played a big part in it. The stopping, so to speak, allowed me to take the time to explore this music. There are always silver linings.”
‘Loving You’ features 4 covers expertly reinterpreted by Josh and his unique vocal style. Operatic classic Caruso originally written and performed by Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla. Contemporary classic, Fix You by Coldplay. Cinema Paradiso by legendary film composer Ennio Morricone, written as the love theme for the film of the same name. I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You, a duet with West End star Aimee Atkinson, originally recorded by Tina Arena & Marc Anthony for the film The Mask Of Zorro.
TP – What was the inspiration for your song choices in your upcoming EP?
JP – “The world of cinematic music really. The likes of Hans Zimmer (Gladiator) and James Horner (Braveheart). I find cinematic music to sit so beautifully in the crossover world. It’s lush and orchestral and evokes so much emotion. So, with the help of my producer, Steve Anderson we added the element of cinema to these 4 songs. Secondly, the EP explores 4 unique love stories. Heartbreak, self-discovery, magic vs reality and the notion of soul connection where we are destined to find someone in any place, space or generation…we all connect to love.”
Since lockdown has ended in Australia, Piterman has had a busy live performance schedule including: Performance Of A Lifetime with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Myer Music Bowl, New Year’s Eve & The Night Before with John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra, Australia Day Live outside the Sydney Opera House for the ABC, The Australian Open Men’s Semi Final, as well as embarking on tours across Australia both as a solo artist and with well-known opera star, Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
TP- Can you tell us a bit about what your creative process is like?
JP – “It starts with a long list of songs. Hundreds. And then they are cut down to 40,30,20 I start to sing through things and see what I vocally connect to. Then Steve and I go back and forth before coming to a conclusion. I probably played around with recording about 8 or so songs before these 4 were chosen. Once they are chosen there’s plenty more back and forth on the nuances of the arrangements, instrumentation and orchestration. I like to have a big say in all of it. I want to feel intrinsically connected to the music and the project rather than just sing on it.”
Josh is an established musical theatre performer and classical crossover artist who has been working consistently on Australian and UK stages over the past 15 years, however, the performing arts was not always his first choice as a career growing up.
JP – “Haha! This is true. In year 11 I think I was going to pursue sports Physiotherapy. I love my sport but wasn’t good enough to play professionally. But then I did my first school musical which was FAME in 2002 and I realised what I was missing out on all these years. I’m so grateful it found me.”
He recently scored a huge personal triumph with an impressive West End debut as he took on the most coveted role of The Phantom in the London production in 2019. In August Josh will reprise his star turn West End debut as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera in Australia.
TP – As you are preparing for rehearsals for the Australian run as The Phantom, how does it feel to be reprising this famous role back in Australia?
JP – “It’s the most wonderful humbling honour. I adore this role and this show with every part of me so to perform it at home and in my hometown (Melbourne) just means the world to me. I had the best time of my life performing the role in London in 2019/20. It was actually magical. I can’t wait to share the show with this company and with Aussie audiences, with my friends and my family who all have such a love for it.”
TP – What are some significant moments in your career playing the Phantom on the West End?
JP – “Well, my pants split once and I did the whole final scene as a sort of half Phantom half Magic Mike! That was pretty significant!! But in all seriousness, it was all significant, the whole journey. From flying across the world for the auditions, to landing the role, to the cast, the crew, the company welcoming me so lovingly and making me feel so comfortable and appreciated in the role, to the packed audiences each night. It was truly special and I’m so looking forward to Australia.”
Josh is having a successful year releasing his EP ‘LOVING YOU’ available at https://ffm.to/joshpitermanlovingyou and later this year will be reprising this role as The Phantom for the very first time at Sydney Opera House from August 19th and then Arts Centre Melbourne from October 30th with tickets currently on sale through PHANTOMOFTHEOPERA.COM.AU
TP – What is next for you on your musical journey?
JP – “My eyes are firmly focused on Phantom now. But hopefully, another album isn’t too far away… Stay tuned!”
Written by Jody Miller
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE FROM AUGUST 19TH
ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE FROM OCTOBER 30TH
TICKETS ON SALE NOW PHANTOMOFTHEOPERA.COM.AU
STREAM CARUSO HERE https://linktr.ee/joshpiterman1
EP LOVING YOU AVAILABLE ON JUNE 24
PRE-SAVE HERE https://ffm.to/joshpitermanlovingyou
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