Speakers Profile - Peter Cousens

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Peter is the only Australian to play the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on London's West End which he did for eleven months in 1997/98. He has starred alongside Russell Crowe in Blood Brothers, the late Richard Harris in Camelot and has had an extensive career playing major roles in musicals throughout Australia and New Zealand. Peter also performs the role of Chris on the International Symphonic Recording of Miss Saigon.

His musical theatre roles include Tony in West Side Story; Eddie in Blood Brothers; Mordred in Camelot; Chris in Miss Saigon; Nanki Poo in The Mikado; Motel in Fiddler on the Roof; Eddie in Blood Brothers; Bill in The Sentimental Bloke; Raoul in the Australian production of The Phantom Of The Opera; The Phantom in London's West End production of The Phantom of the Opera; Alex in Aspects of Love; Marius in Les Miserables; Ravenal in Hal Prince's Show Boat; Marius in Fanny; The Celebrant in Bernstein's Mass; Anthony and Tobias in Sweeney Todd; Bobby in Company; Mr Makin in The Hatpin; Floyd in Floyd Collins; Bobby in Company; Vince in Strange Bedfellows

From 2006 to 2008 he was CEO and Artistic Director of Kookaburra The National Musical Theatre Company and produced two major concerts and fourteen cabaret events and seven musicals- Pippin, Company, Tell Me on a Sunday, I Love You Your Perfect Now Change, Songs for a New World, The Emperor's New Clothes and Little Women.

As an actor he has worked extensively with Australia's major performing arts companies-Sydney Theatre Company productions of Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Nicholas Nickleby, Chicago, Chinchilla and Convict's Opera a co production with Max Stafford Clarke's acclaimed Out of Joint Company with which he toured England for four months in 2009.

For John Bell and Griffin in The Falls;
For Philip Street Theatre in Whose Life is it Anyway?
The Queensland Theatre Company in Camille, Breaker Morant, You Never Can Tell and The Sentimental Bloke
For Marian Street London Assurance
Melbourne Theatre Company in Company
Sydney Dance Company in Tivoli
Out of Joint (London) The Convicts Opera

On Television he was last seen on McCloud's Daughters and previously starring roles in Return to Eden, The Sullivans, Carson's Law, The Young Doctors, Son and Daughters, The Timeless Land and Under Capricorn. He has recorded five albums- Corner Of The Sky, From A Distance, A Life on Earth, A Musical Christmas and a children's album, Are We Nearly There Yet Peter also performs the role of Chris on the International Symphonic Recording of Miss Saigon. Peter won the Variety Heart Award for Best Performer for Chris in Miss Saigon. He has been nominated for seven Mo Awards and in 2009 he won the Glug Award for Services to Theatre.

Peter was Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong where he devised and directed Migratory V and was Artist in Residence at Australian Institute of Music. (AIM) Peter co produced and co directed with Guy Noble, a series of short films for Ovation Television on the lives of his fellow music theatre performers called Break a Leg. Peter tours extensively around Australia with his own one man show -A life on Earth and works regularly in concert performing in Australia's major performing arts venues and Symphony Orchestras.

Peter teaches regularly and delivers Masterclasses on "Bringing a Song to Life" -details of which can be found at -http://www.petercousens.com/masterclass_peter_cousens.html As Director of Musical Theatre for Young People Peter directed Crusade and is conducting workshops re-conceiving a new musical based on the iconic Australian cartoon Ginger Meggs and in April 2011 completed directing the Musical How to Succeed in Business for The Central Queensland University Conservatorium of Music in Mackay. Peter is an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign- making violence against women a thing of the past.
Peter has a degree in Dramatic Art from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).