Swapping one stage for another, Eurovision star Yohanna will be performing in a limited run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita next month in Reykjavík.
Screen star to stage star
Yohanna took to screens across the world as her ballad Is It True? finished second at Eurovision 2009, becoming the joint most successful Icelandic entry in the process.
Now she is swapping the screen for the stage, as she prepares to play the titular character in a production of Evita next month. Yohanna will portray Eva Perón, the iconic singer and beloved first lady of Argentina.
In a month-long limited run, Yohanna will be performing at Reykjavík’s Harpa Music Hall in Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical.
Initially released as an album in 1976, the songs spawned a hit London West End production soon after – winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical. It became the first British musical to receive the Tony Award for Best Musical after it’s Broadway run.
When Yohanna takes to the stage to portray Eva, she will follow in the footsteps of Charlotte Perelli and of course Madonna, who portrayed the character in the 1996 film adaption.
The musical follows the story of Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón – retracing her early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.
Born in poverty as Maria Eva Duarte in 1919, Eva became a popular singer in her own right. But it was only after a move to Buenos Aires that she adopted the stage name Evita.
Eva met Colonel Juan Perón and married him in 1945 and when he was elected president the following year, herself becoming the first lady in the process.
A influential political figure and activist who championed labour and women’s rights, Eva was an immensely popular character. At her death at the age of 33 in 1952 due to cancer, the singer turned political figure became an icon in Argentina – remaining so to this day.
The production of Evita throws up some interesting Eurovision connections, on top of Yohanna playing Eva Perón.
The staging director for the show is Lee Proud, who was in charge of Hatari’s staging for their performance in Tel Aviv.
Even though this marks the first time Yohanna will work with Lloyd Webber or his work, the two both performed at Eurovision 2009 in Moscow respectively.
While Yohanna placed second with Is It True?, Lloyd Webber penned the United Kingdom’s entry It’s My Time, performed by Jade Ewen. Lloyd Webber even joined Ewen on stage for the Grand Final performance, playing the grand piano as she sang.
Once competitors in 2009, the two are now collaborators ten years later.
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