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COMING TO MELBOURNE – six powerful, proud voices to deliver 32 songs in ‘Aretha – A Love Letter to The Queen Of Soul’

Aretha - A Love Letter to The Queen of Soul 4 mins read
The cast of Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul - bringing unmatched vocal power to MELBOURNE on July 2

MELBOURNE BOUND: six powerful, proud voices to deliver 32 songs in ‘Aretha - A Love Letter to The Queen Of Soul’



With an impressive list of accolades across the stage and screen, the cast of Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul is bringing unmatched vocal power to MELBOURNE on July 2 in this unique and culturally iconic production, led by local artist THNDO.


Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul invites you to be immersed in the culture within the sound through a melting pot of storytelling and song, exploring the unrivalled impact of Aretha Franklin on the musical landscape, and bringing to the forefront her drive to push boundaries while exploring what it is to be a person of colour. The startling dichotomy between public success and personal struggle is explored by this powerful group of talented performers, who all personally identify with aspects of the Queen of Souls own journey.


Says Jada Alberts, narrator/director of Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin was arguably the most accomplished and sublime soul vocalist in the history of pop music.  I am thrilled to direct this astonishing line up of Australian vocalists as they interpret some of the most iconic songs of the 20th century in their own unique way, paying respect to a woman who has influenced all of us.


Alberts will deliver the storytelling narrative that weaves the colourful tapestry of production, drawing from a mix of Ms Franklin's personal truths and that of her community during the expanse of her career. From her roots in gospel and how this informed both her spirituality and art, to her place as a modern icon impressing upon people the power of authenticity and unapologetic personal strength.


Ethereal modern muse, Montaigne (currently the lead image at the Archibald Prize in Sydney), speaks to their respect for the Queen of Soul who is an example of  ‘what I want to be as a performer, which is someone that works really hard to be really good’, while highly celebrated, ARIA-nominated, award-winning Indigenous singer and songwriter Emma Donovan reflects that ‘(Aretha) inspired me to be unapologetic about anything that I write.’


Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul is a true moment in time for the Australian theatrical season and one that will resonate with you long after the last high note has been hit.


About Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin is one of the most influential voices in the history of pop music. Through storytelling and soul, discover more about the woman behind the voice. Travel through time from her early gospel roots and rise to fame, to her legendary hits and lasting impact on music.

From ‘Respect’ to ‘Natural Woman’, Aretha Franklin's timeless classics have become an essential part of musical history. Triumphantly sitting at the pinnacle of the musical pantheon, her life was also shrouded in pain, depression, struggles and hardship. Celebrate the life of a woman who broke down barriers and paved the way for generations to come. The spirit and fire behind her voice earned her many accolades, including 18 Grammy awards, over 75 million records sold, and the number one place on Rolling Stone’s ‘Greatest Singers of All Time’. Her expressive voice connected with audiences – and together they shared heartbreak, longing, and love. An incredible evening of entertainment, this production will chart not only the music but the ups and downs of an extraordinary career. It’s time to dance, celebrate and show a little respect.


About the featured artists

  • Montaigne: Celebrated singer/songwriter and unique art pop musician, who has evolved from young indie leader to one of Australia’s most individual and dynamic voices. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


  • Thandi Phoenix: A vocal powerhouse with a unique tone, magnetic energy and commanding stage presence, Thandi has both a deep love of electronic music and artistic beginnings rooted in soul and R&B. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


  • Emma Donovan: Legendary ARIA-nominated, award-winning, Gumbaynggirr and Yamatji singer/songwriter. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


  • THNDO: Actor and singer/songwriter with range so rich and delivery so buttery and soulful she’s considered Australia’s ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


  • Ursula Yovich: Multi award-winning actor, singer and writer who starred in Belvoir’s Barbara and the Camp Dogs and is a recipient of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


  • Jada Alberts: A Larrakia, Bardi, Wardaman and Yanyuwa performer, director, and playwright from the Top End of Australia. LINK TO ARTIST IMAGE


Show Details



Sydney Opera House

17 & 18 June 2023





20 & 21 June 2023




Hamer Hall

2 July 2023



Creative Assets

Group Images: Portrait Landscape

Show Image: DIgital Portrait

All images credited to Cybele Malinowski

ALSO take a look at the videos in the dropbox where talent talk about their favourite ARETHA song -


Contact details:

Kath Rose

0416 291 493


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