Meet Melburnian Katy Perry and the Backstreet Boys on stage

While the show is demanding, he gets off a little easier than most. “My character dances a little, but not as much as 90 percent of the cast, who are at full force on the dance floor. But the physical demands are definitely real, so it’s all about making sure you’re having good self-care practices and getting into a good routine.”

A classic triple threat – he can sing, dance and act – Fernando is studying for a Bachelor of Music degree from the Victorian College of the Arts. After appearing in wild river, aired on ABC TV last year, he received a call about auditioning & Juliathanks to the same casting agent used for the stage show.

With his heart set on a career in the performing arts, he started Googling as a teenager. He had no contacts and no idea how to break into such a competitive industry. “My parents had English as a second language, we weren’t really in that world,” he says.

Online, he found the aptly named organization Starbound, which runs intensive summer camps for people who want to work in musical theater. He completed the course several times, honing his dancing and singing skills.

His parents emigrated to Melbourne from Sri Lanka, before that they lived in Dubai, where his sister was born. Encouraged to play music from an early age, he plays several instruments including violin, saxophone and piano. In secondary school he appeared in several productions including Stephen Sondheim’s In the forest And The Addams familyin which he played the love interest of Wednesday Addams.


After high school he studied music and teaching at Monash University. His mother’s work in early childhood education had inspired him to try his hand at teaching.

One of the criticisms of musical theater in this country is its traditional lack of variety. Fernando argues & Julia breaks this shape. “We are different in age, experience, culture and background and also gender [we’re in] a killer amazing show. It’s definitely changing and I’m really excited to be a part of the change.”

He already feels the show is making an impact and loves the idea of ​​”little kids out there, [like] I see Nikki Webster”.

As opening night approaches, Fernando is excited and slightly intimidated. “Definitely there’s a lot of nerves, but I try not to give that any headspace, or at any point,” he says. “The whole team and cast are absolutely so supportive, I really feel cared for and held and safe, there’s no worries.”

“My whole family was amazing – I can’t wait for them to see this massive spectacle of a show. Of course I’m doing this for myself, but I’m also doing it for her. They’re super, super supportive, it took them a while to get used to the scale of the show,” he says. “I saved them for opening night, they’ll come and probably scream and lose their minds.”

& Julia is at the Regent Theater from March 9th.

A cultural guide to going out and making love in the city. Sign up for our Culture Fix newsletter Here. Meet Melburnian Katy Perry and the Backstreet Boys on stage

Jaclyn Diaz

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