Melissa Madden Gray

Melissa Madden Gray

From mainstage theatre and film to contemporary opera, “kamikaze cabaret” and solo multimedia performance, Melissa has performed at venues as diverse as Berlin’s Philharmonic, the Hebbel Theater Berlin, Paris Theatre de la Ville, New York Lincoln Centre, Joe’s Pub, La Mama NY, Sydney Opera House, The Glamour Room Shanghai, the Famous Spiegeltent, Zurich Theater Spektakel, Tokyo Saitama, and numerous international arts festivals. She has premiered various music and dance-theatre pieces worldwide, and worked with Opera Factory and David Freeman (London), Robyn Orlin Dance Theatre (Berlin/Johannesburg/Paris), Liza Lim, Elision Contemporary Music Ensemble (Australia/Europe), Michael Kantor, Rodney Fisher, Max Lyandvert, David Pledger, David Chesworth, Simon Phillips, Marion Potts and Andree Greenwell, (Australia), and The John Cage Trust, John Jesurun, and Mikel Rouse (NYC). Since 2008 she has been guest artist with Pina Bausch Tanztheater (Wuppertal).

Major performances include the Berlin, Moscow and Wuppertal seasons of Pina Bausch’s Brecht/Weill Sieben Todsünden/Seven Deadly Sins/Fürchtet Euch Nicht (Opernhaus Wuppertal, Checkov Festival Moscow, Haus der Berliner Festspiele Berlin), and a two-woman music-theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis for Bell Shakespeare Company, Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company (Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland Festival) (dir Marion Potts).

Major new work includes with the Olivier award-winning Robyn Orlin Dance Theatre: When I Take Off My Skin… (Paris Theatre de la Ville, Europe Tour/ Market Theatre S.Africa) and Babysitting Caspar (Alte National Galerie, Berlin), Mikel Rouse’s original talk-show opera Dennis Cleveland (New York Lincoln Centre), Jesurun’s cult ‘avant soap serial’ Change In A Void Moon series (New York La Mama) and Liza Lim’s Chinese ritual opera Moon Spirit Feasting/Yue Ling Jie (Australia, Europe, Japan Festival). Other theatre includes: Design For Living (Melbourne Theatre Company), the Australian tour of Terence McNally’s Master Class (Sophie da Palma, dir Rodney Fisher), the Production Company’s Camelot (Morgan le Fay), Hello, Dolly! (Minnie Faye) and How To Succeed In Business (Hedy la Rue) at the State Theatre, Melbourne. MTC’s production of the Tom Lehrer/Cameron Mackintosh Tomfoolery, (dir Simon Phillips,), David Chesworth’s opera Cosmonaut (dir David Pledger for Melbourne International Arts Festival), the Australian premiere of Richard Foreman’s My Head Was A Sledgehammer (Kitchen Sink/B# at Belvoir), and the world premiere of Max Lyandvert’s Close Your Little Eyes with string quartet Fourplay and the Sydney Children’s Choir for the Sydney Festival. Other credits include the entire first season of the Big Bite sketch comedy TV series for Network Seven, the feature films The Honourable Wally Norman (dir Ted Emery) and Risk (dir Alan White).

The graduate composers of Princeton University have written six “Not Opera’s” for Melissa’s voice, and she’s recorded for Wolfgang Schmidtke and Cologne’s WDR 3, and performed two seasons of the dance theatre piece Tango Westfalica – with Bernd Uwe Marszan (Pina Bausch) in Wuppertal, Germany. She has sung and danced tango with Paco Liana at the Berlin Philharmonic, and made solo multimedia works for the U.S Time Based Arts Festival, the Holland Festival, Melbourne Museum and the Adelaide Festival (including My Mouth Is A Wonder/ Mein Mund Ist Eine Offene Wunde(r), Sing Song Girl At The Ends Of The Earth, and Shanghai Song Palace (with composer Iain Grandage).

She has given masterclasses on extended vocal technique and performance for David Moss’s Institute of Living Voice (Berlin/Belgium/Melbourne International Arts Festival), and her solo voice work features on the recently released UK “Sonic Arts” label experimental music compilation cd: Blood, Muscle & Air: The Intimate Voice. She features in Mikel Rouse’s multimedia work Music For Minorities, and on various of his albums, and his new work The Demo (Stanford) and recorded in NY as the voice of Vocoder for the world premiere of The John Cage Trust’s An Alphabet (featuring Merce Cunningham).

Melissa holds an Honours degree in Law and Arts from the University of Melbourne (B.A(Hons)/LLB (Hons), (and the Freie University Berlin) with first class honours in German and Fine Arts, and is also a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts W.A.A.P.A (music theatre). She was soloist with the Young Dancer’s Theatre Vic for six years (dir Laurel Martyn), and has choreographed for Michael Kantor and Company B Belvoir (Ubu, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Ham Funeral), and Performing Lines ( Ur/Faust, dir Benedict Andrews (Adelaide, Weimar, Munich) She has received the Bruce Munro Scholarship at Trinity College, two DAAD fellowships for theatre in Berlin, The Australia Council Paris Residency, an Asialink residency to create a work with China’s most controversial dancer, and first acknowledged transsexual Jin Xing. She is the recipient of the New York Franklin Furnace Performance Art award (2005), Green Room Awards, Helpmann awards and the prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship 2014/15. She most recently performed in Germany with orchestra in a programme of Brecht /Weill for the forty years festival of the Pina Bausch company.

Melissa Madden Gray

Theatre

CURTAINS
Role: Performer. Dir: Sapida Kian, Full Tilt 2011
VENUS & ADONIS
Role: Performer. Dir: Marion Potts, Bell Shakespeare Company, Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Auckland NZ 2008-2009
TOMFOOLERY
Role: Woman. Dir: Simon Phillips, Melbourne Theatre Company 2006
CAMELOT
Role: Morgan Le Fey. Dir: George Ogilvie, The Production Company 2006
SHANGHAI SONG PALACE
Role: Soloist. Dir: Iain Grandage / Adelaide Festival 2006
WHEN I TAKE OFF MY SKIN
Role: Soloist. Dir: Robyn Orlin, Theatre De La Ville (Paris, & Madrid Dance Festival (Johannesburg) 2005
OPERATOR
Dir: Sandra Bates, Ensemble Theatre 2005
COSMONAUT
Role: Angela. Dir: David Pledger, Melbourne International Arts Festival 2004
CLOSE YOUR LITTLE EYES
Role: Performer. Dir: Max Lyandvert, Sydney Festival 2003
DENNIS CLEVELAND TALK SHOW OPERA
Role: The Angel. Dir: Mikel Rouse, Lincoln Centre NYC, Perth Festival 2001-2002
HELLO, DOLLY!
Role: Minnie Fay. Dir: Rodney Fisher, The Production Company 2002
MASTER CLASS
Role: Sophie De Palma. Dir: Rodney Fisher, Royal Queensland Theatre Company 2001-2002
DESIGN FOR LIVING
Role: Helen Carver. Dir: Rodney Fisher, Melbourne Theatre Company 2001
MY HEAD WAS A SLEDGEHAMMER
Role: Female Student. Dir: Max Lyandvert, Kitchen Sink & Belvoir St Theatre 2001
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Role: Hedy La Rue. Dir: Kris Stewart, The Production Company 2001
UBU
Role: Choreographer. Dir: Michael Kantor, Company B Belvoir 2001
BABYSITTING CASPAR
Alte National Galerie, Berlin 2001
YUE LING JIE (MOON SPRING FEASTING)
Role: Demon Queen. Dir: Michael Kantor, Adelaide Festival, Melbourne Festival, Berlin Habbel Theatre, Zurich Theatre Spektakel, Saitama Tokyo 2000-2002
AND THE SNAKE SHEDS ITS SKIN
Role: Ishtar. Dir: David Freeman, Opera Factory London & UK Tours 1998

 

Opera

BARBER OF SEVILLE
Dir: John Milson, Opera Australia 2007

 

Cabaret

MEOW ROYALE
Role: Performer. The Festival Of Voices 2016
MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MERMAID
Role: Performer. Dir: Michael Kantor, Sydney Festival, Malthouse Theatre, Perth International Arts Festival & Auckland Festival 2016
LITTLE MATCH GIRL
Role: Performer. Dir: Marion Potts, Sydney Festival & Malthouse Theatre 2011-2012
MEOW MEOW: FELINE INTIMATE
Role: Performer. Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth Fringeworld, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre & Darwin Festival 2009-2012
MEOW MEOW LATE NIGHT LOUNGE               
Role: Performer. Sydney Opera House 2009
INSERT THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU LOVE
Role: Performer. Dir: Rodney Fisher, Sydney Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Beethoven Festival, Germany Bar Leder Vernuft Berlin 2008
VAMP
Role: Performer. Dir: Michael Kantor, Malthouse Theatre 2008
TALES OF LOVE MOST MONSTROUS
Role: Performer. Melbourne International Arts Festival 2007
BEYOND BEYOND GLAMOUR: THE REMIX
Role: Performer. Melbourne International Arts Festival 2007
BEYOND GLAMOUR: THE ABSINTHE TOUR
Role: Performer. Dir: Nick Phillipor, John Jesurun, Melissa Madden Gray, Portland OR, Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Auckland NZ, Soho Theatre London, Spigeltent New York, Brighton, Melbourne, Dublin & NYC High Line Festival curated by David Bowie 2007-2010

 

Television

THE DIVORCE
Role: Ellen. Dir: Dean Murphy, The Divorce Productions Pty Ltd 2015
MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MATCH GIRL (Telemovie)
Role: Meow Meow. Dir: Marion Potts, 2012
LOWDOWN
Role: Receptionist. Dir: Amanda Brotchie, ABC 2010
THE SIDESHOW
Role: Meow Meow. Dir: Ted Robinson, GNW TV 2007
BIG BITE
Role: Various Characters. Dir: Various, Seven Network 2003-2004
MURDER CALL
Role: Rowena Brewster. Dir: Richard Jasek, French & Saunders Productions 1998

 

Film

THE HONOURABLE WALLY NORMAN
Role: Rebecca-Jane Thompson. Dir: Ted Emery, Ocean Pictures Pty Ltd 2003
RISK
Role: Colleen. Dir: Alan White, Macgowan & Beneficiary Films 2000

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