Theatre: Leading duo will do Mario proud at the Clink

Published Wednesday 25 May 2016

Aficionados of 1950s tenor superstar Mario Lanza are in for a treat with a difference on Saturday night at The Clink Theatre when Blake Bowden and Phil Scott take centre stage in Mario; a highly acclaimed part-opera and part-music performance.

And in re-living the life of the American tenor, actor and Hollywood film star of the late 1940s and 1950s, who tragically died at the tender age of 38, the Port Douglas audience will be exposed to a duo who have enjoyed remarkable success in their respective careers.

And Bowden will no doubt bring the house down when he sings some of Lanza’s favourites such as Your Tiny Hand is Frozen, Nessun Dorma, Caro Mio Ben and The Loveliest Night of the year.

Mario has been performed in Sydney and Adelaide and it was in the South Australian capital where they received huge accolades.

“Blake Bowden, who plays Lanza, has one of the most amazing voices of this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival,” said Aussie Theatre; while Glam Adelaide lauded Scott’s skilful piano playing.

Besides his recent performance in Fiddler on the Roof, Bowden co-starred in Enda Markey's critically acclaimed production of Blood Brothers; in 2014 Blake led an all-star cast in the world premiere of Beyond Desire at The Hayes Theatre Co; in 2013 he played Lt. Joseph Cable in Opera Australia’s South Pacific which he played at the Sydney Opera House before joining the show on a national tour.

In 2013 he was a recipient of the Gertrude Johnson Fellowship at The Opera Studio Melbourne and performed with Gertrude Opera, as Prince Charming in their 2013 production of Massenet's Cinderella.

After winning the prestigious ANZ Trustees Rob Guest Endowment Award in 2011, Blake was thrilled to create the role of Pat Matthews in the world premiere of the Cat Stevens musical Moonshadow. And the list of top-quality shows continues.

Scott is an actor, singer, pianist, writer and comedian and has appeared on film as well as in sketch comedy television programs. His television appearances include The Dingo Principle and Three Men and a Baby Grand, satirical sketch television comedy programs for which he was a writer/performer with Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe.

Since 2000 he has co-written, composed and performed as an actor/musician in the Wharf Revue series of political satirical revues for the Sydney Theatre Company, including Free Petrol, Sunday in Iraq with George, Much Revue About Nothing, and Pennies from Kevin.

In 1994, outstanding tenor José Carreras paid tribute to Lanza during a worldwide concert tour, saying: “If I’m an opera singer, it’s thanks to Mario Lanza.” His equally outstanding colleague Plácido Domingo echoed these comments in a 2009 CBS interview: “Lanza's passion and the way his voice sounds are what made me sing opera. I actually owe my love for opera ... to a kid from Philadelphia.”

Even today “the magnitude of his contribution to popular music is still hotly debated,” and because he appeared on the operatic stage only twice, many critics feel that he needed to have had more “operatic quality time” in major theatres before he could be considered a star of that art form.

Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper said “there had never been anyone like Mario, and I doubt whether we shall ever see his like again.”

Tickets are still available. Visit