Love Il Divo?
The Ten Tenors?
Then you will LOVE Formidable!
Formidable has been dubbed Australia's Latest Premier Vocal Sensation. From their humble beginings, born in the Hills of Farleigh just outside of Mackay City in Queensland, Formidable startled the lorikeets and scrub turkeys with their heroic and heart-warming renditions of the legendary, Nessun Dorma!, O Sole Mio, Better Be Home Soon and even The Devil Went Down to Georgia, I Still Call Australia Home and just to name a few.
The group only sometimes looks back (usually to rehearse their next show). Formidable are nationally renowned for presenting classy singing with twists and turns into music theatre, pop music and opera.
The difference is, FORMIDABLE is uniquely Australian in every way. The family-friendly shows are always full of comedy and dancing (often the dancing does provide the comedy).
Although members of Formidable live in quite a few different places, all members return frequently to arrange and perform at national and internationally renowned events. Formidable have performed at various events all over Australia including The Dunlop 400 Supercars, various Australia Day Celebrations, the Australian Italian Festival and the renowned Australian Q150 Shed as well as performing a very successful 2009 "Man Up Tour" which toured nationally.
Kim Kirkman was the original Music Director and Co-Manager of the internationally renowned "The Ten Tenors", Kim created Formidable, and is currently performing and musically directing the group. Members of Formidable have all trained extensively in Music Theatre, and have a fantastic reputation as practicing, Australian Music Theatre/Opera and Funk Vocalists.
Kim Kirkman - Tenor
Kim arrived in Mackay mid 2004 from London to teach voice at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQUniversity). After originally training as a violist (B Mus), Kim moved to voice (Post Grad Dip) and became musical director and member of The Ten Tenors.
Having a very varied career, he has conducted many choirs, orchestras and mixed ensembles in Australia and overseas; as well as working as a script-writer, administrator, composer and teacher.
Kim has sung with Opera Queensland, the Victorian State Opera and many smaller companies overseas.
Paul Tabone - Tenor
Paul began performing at the age of 9 and has obtained high level grades in piano, voice, music theory and speech and drama. He was given the prestigious “Most Promising Voice for Music Theatre” award both in 2007 AND 2009 at CQCM. Paul has participated in productions of Return to the Forbidden Planet (Cookie), The Keyhole Club (Louie) and South Pacific (Emile DeBeck). Paul has also been involved in CQCM productions of Cinderella, Little Shop of Horrors, High School Musical and The Pajama Game, and was the title role in The Wiz. In 2007, he starred as ‘Baron Scarpia’ in Kim Kirkman’s, Tosca: The Technopera. Paul was also a lead vocalist in the Queensland Premier of Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds” as thunder child and forever autumn.
In 2005, Paul also performed as a soloist at the Carols in The City Event (nee Golden Casket Lord Mayors Christmas Carols) which was broadcast on national television. Paul has shared the stage with artists such as Rhonda Burchmore, Kate Cebrano, Guy Sebastian, Mercury Five, James Morrison and David Campbell. He has also worked in productions directed by Chloe Dallimore, Drew Anthony, Trevor Green and John Wregg, just to name a few.
In 2009 Paul was accepted into Opera Queensland’s World Premiere Production of “The Dirty Apple”. Paul is also a part of The Ten Tenors “Tenorissimo”, and is also a founding member of Formidable- Australia’s Latest Premier Vocal Ensemble.
Brett O'Neil - Baritone
Brett is a graduate of the Bachelor of Music Theatre degree, and is a very big fan of musical theatre and has always loved the Stage.
Brett has appeared in several productions and performances including the role of ‘Kirk’ in Back to the 80’s’ with Ashfield Musical Society, ‘The Beast’ in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast at Nirimba TAFE Contemporary Music College. He has also played the role of ‘Guidarius’ in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Sydney’s Shakespeare Globe’s national production at the Bondi Pavilion.
Brett’s CQCM credits include: ‘Troy Bolton’ in Disney’s High School Musical, ‘Sid Sorokin’ in The Pajama Game, ‘Jimmy Smith’ in Thoroughly Modern Millie, ‘Albert Peterson’ in Bye Bye Birdie and ‘The baker’ from Into The Woods.
Neil Young - Baritone
Neil is a slight exception from the norm of the group. Whilst still a graduate from CQUniversity, he majored in mathematics and computing and graduated with an applied science degree. Crazily enough he didn't stop there and also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
While studying for his first degree he was bitten by the amateur musical theatre bug, and has since not stopped. Some of Neil's roles have included: 'Javert' in Les Miserables, 'The Beast' in Beauty and the Beast, 'Curly' in Oklahoma and many others. Neil has also assisted in direction and stage managed from time to time.
Neil has also competed very successfully in various singing competitions including winning the Operatic Aria competition in the NQ Eisteddfod in 2008.
Neil enjoys making the tenors work for their money by surprising them up on the occasional B-Flat from time to time.
Samuel Hanson - Bass/Baritone
Samuel Hanson (Handsome) is a graduate of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Degree at CQCM.
Samuel’s CQCM performances Include: High School Musical, The Wiz, The Pajama Game, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bye Bye Birdie and Into The Woods.
While living in the town of Grafton he had the opportunity to play main and supporting cast roles in school-based and local community theatre productions. Some of the musicals in which Samuel has been involved include: HMS Pinafore, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and Grease, in which he played a leading role.
Kris Brennan - Bass/Baritone
Growing up in the cane fields of the Burdekin in North Queensland, Kris moved to Mackay to study Music Theatre at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
During his time, he performed in Chess, Kiss me Kate, Aspects of Love, with lead roles in Footloose, The Three-penny Opera, Chicago and Copacabana.
Kris has worked alongside Australia’s leading professionals including Jack Webster, Keith Hawley and the legend, Nancye Hayes. More recently, he has taken a step back from the stage to peruse a career in the Hospitality industry but has since returned with enthusiasm and became involved in local production groups in Mackay most recently as Enjolras in Les Miserables, and as Ethan in The Full Monty as well as regular appearances with Opera North Inc.’s Voices of Note.
When he happens to venture to his home town, he regularly appears as a guest artist for local community events and concerts.
Judith Brown - Resident Accompanist
Judith Brown is a Senior Lecturer of the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Mackay where she lectures in music theory, musicianship, theatre history, music history and piano. She is well known for her concert series Judith,Stuart and Friends, which showcases the magnificent Stuart and Sons piano housed at the Conservatorium and many of the talented musicians in Mackay.
Judith loves to perform and regularly plays the piano for music theatre productions, concerts and workshops. She has had the pleasure of performing as an associate artist with some of Australia’s leading musicians including Nancye Hayes, Gerald English, Geoffrey Collins, Mark Gasser, Garrick Jones, Kim Kirkman to name a few. She also had a performance role in the acclaimed Australian film Breaker Morant where she accompanied the English actor Edward Woodward in a song during the film.
Judith is at home playing many genres of music including music theatre, contemporary popular and classical and her passion for performance has lead to some interesting research into the way performers approach their craft and how various learning strategies can help performers strive towards excellence in their craft. This research has taken her to numerous conferences around the world where she has presented her research findings and published internationally and nationally on these issues.
She is currently a member of the Queensland Advisory Committee of the AMEB and a consultant on the piano syllabus committee for the Federal Board of the AMEB. She also serves on the executive of NACTMUS (National Council of Tertiary Music Schools).