By Luke Voogt
Belting out the music of Burt Bacharach has been one of Andrew Hondromatidis’ most challenging gigs.
The Melbourne theatre performer joined a group of singers and musicians in March to take the iconic songwriter’s music to regional Victoria .
“A lot of Burt’s music is easy listening but it’s not easy singing,” he said.
“He’ll push you as a vocalist to the high and lowest point of your range all in the one song – it’s a musical workout.”
Hondromatidis said audiences often recognised Bacharach’s iconic songs, if not the man behind them.
He was surprised to learn that What the World Needs Now and Say a Little Prayer for You were Burt Bacharach songs when he took on the gig.
“I think a lot of people will know most of his songs without knowing they were written by Burt.”
While Bacharach was a “terrible singer … he always had a knack for getting really great performers to sing his song,” Hondromatidis said.
His favourite song in the show is a Tom Jones classic.
“I love performing What’s New Pussy Cat,” he said.
Hondromatidis will perform in Magic Moments – The Music of Burt Bacharach at Geelong Performing Arts Centre next Wednesday and Thursday morning.
He will sing alongside prolific musicians John Lidgerwood, Linda O’Brien, Barrie Boyes and Ron Sandilands, and fellow music theatre performer Madison Green.
“She provides a lovely contrast to my voice when we’re on stage together,” he said.
Hondromatidis studied musical theatre a Ballarat University and has performed in local adaptations Avenue Q and South Pacific.
He also acted in TV series Underbelly and for HBO’s The Left Overs alongside actor and Jennifer Aniston’s husband Justin Theroux.
But touring “the beautiful towns of Australia” was a welcome change, he said.
“And to sing the music of someone who’s had such an influence on the progression of music is fantastic.”