Tel Aviv 2019

Australia: Kate Miller-Heidke reveals more staging plans and funding project

Performing arts troupe Strange Fruit to continue collaboration in Tel Aviv

With rehearsals set to begin tomorrow and Kate Miller-Heidke being the first arrival in Tel Aviv today, artists are keen to reveal more details of their staging. In a personal blog Kate has revealed her plans and a fundraising scheme in place to back the project. On Sunday afternoon Australia will have their first rehearsal.

Kate decides her Tel Aviv stage team

As revealed by Kate Miller-Heidke in a personal message posted on the Australian Cultural Fund (ACF) website, it has been decided that Strange Fruit will continue to work with Kate for the live stage performance in Tel Aviv. This is the same performing arts collective that created the impressive Australia Decides staging back in February that saw an acrobatic flying ‘dementor’ lady orbiting around Kate in ‘Zero Gravity’.

Although early reports suggested drastic changes would be implemented for the Eurovision performances, this latest update implies that rather, it’s an upgrade and enhancement to the staging we’re familiar with. As yet there is still no update surrounding the secrets of ‘the dress’ or whether that has a change in the works for the dimensions of the Expo Tel Aviv venue.

We are building on the staging I had in Australia Decides, working once again with the Melbourne-based and internationally renowned performing arts troupe Strange Fruit. The vision we have for those precious three minutes requires sophisticated mechanical apparatus, professional rigging, and experienced performers who are staggering physical virtuosos.

Kate Miller-Heidk

Meanwhile Kate will be joined by a team of Israeli backing singers to elevate the performance craft of the song further. Going for the home crowd support and backing local talent. This was revealed in a Q&A interview conducted with Aussievision

Funding Kate’s launch into ‘Zero Gravity’

Further to this Kate offered some light teasing on what the audience can expect to see and the ambition the team has. However this ambition comes with a price. Therefore a crowdfunding project has been initiated to provide funding. This funding will go towards supporting the costs for freight, transport, personnel and the apparatus required.

I am confident there has never been a performance like this on the Eurovision stage, but the catch for me is, the artist must fund it! Turns out this Eurovision adventure will be quite an expensive one (somewhere north of 5 figures and south of 7).

The Department of Communications and the Arts and Creative Partnerships Australia have very generously agreed to help out with $60,000. This money comes with a caveat similar to the one my Mum gave me at age 11 when I wanted her to buy me a piano – every dollar I raise will be matched with a dollar by the DCA and CPA, and it needs to be raised from the public (or in the case of my piano, delivering the Westside News around the suburbs of Brisbane).

Kate Miller-Heidke

Roughly $120,000 (AUD) is required in order to match the agreed settlement. This means the public will have a hand in making sure Australia’s vision for Eurovision 2019 comes to life. Those that would like to help Kate with funding can do so at the following link.

It’s costlier than us…

Of course self-funded projects by artists are not a new concept in Eurovision. Svetlana Loboda sold her flat to ensure the ‘wheels of hell’ made it to Moscow. Furthermore broadcasters such as Bulgaria’s BNT, Moldova’s TRM and San Marino’s SMRTV have all used arrangements with artists to part fund their participation. As well as this, the drama surrounding Elina Nechayeva’s dress last year, required private sponsorship to support the costs.

Who is Kate Miller-Heidke?

Hailing from Brisbane, multi-talented 37-year-old, Kate Miller-Heidke is a classically trained singer-songwriter. During her career Kate has won numerous plaudits and awards for her operatic performances and roles in musicals such as Jerry Springer: The Opera. Since then Kate has turned her hand to acting, starring in the ABC comedy The Divorce, as well as writing music and lyrics for productions at both the Sydney and Melbourne Theatre Company’s.

After a break from the spotlight, she emerged triumphant in Australia’s first national final. Performing the electro-opera fusion banger ‘Zero Gravity’, co-written with her husband Keir Nuttall. She topped both the jury vote and the televote in Australia Decides, winning the ticket to represent Australia in Tel Aviv. She will be hoping to continue Australia’s 100% qualification streak when she performs 12th in semi-final 1 on May 14.

Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Australia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest four times since their debut at the 2015 contest in Vienna. Although an honourable mention must go to Jessica Mauboy and her ‘Sea of Flags’ showcasing the best of Australia during the Copenhagen interval in 2014. The best result came in 2016 with a second-place finish for Dami Im and ‘Sound of Silence’. They also finished in the top ten in two of its other appearances in the contest. With Guy Sebastian finishing fifth in 2015, and Isaiah Firebrace finishing ninth in 2017. Last year in Lisbon Australia had to settle for their lowest finishing position thus far. With Jessica’s ‘We Got Love’ anthem only managing 20th place.

Are you looking forward to Kate’s staging in Tel Aviv? Will you be following the rehearsals? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA. Be sure to follow our YouTube channel for live coverage. As well as our Instagram and Facebook feeds as Tel Aviv takes over!

Lisa Bird

My first Eurovision memory was watching 1994 as a hatchling. I've been tapping my talons to the bops and bangers from Europe and beyond ever since! I finally spread my wings to attending the contest in Lisbon 2018 and am now a regular at many events and national finals - especially my regular nest at Eesti Laul.
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