Saturday, December 13, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Idle 2009 For Busy Anthony

looking forward to 2009

Sounds like 2009 will be a big year for Anthony Callea.

After his six-month stint with stage show Wicked ends in Janury he won't be idle, thanks to plans for a new album.

However, Anthony is undecided whether he will record original songs or concentrate on covers like every other Aussie act of late - think Guy Sebasian, Human Nature, David Campbell...

One thing is for sure, Anthony is looking forward to joining the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's 2009 Santos Symphony Under the Stars on January 31st.

Even though his partner, actor Tim Campbell, won't be in the audience."He has a gig on somewhere else that weekend," Anthony says, adding he understands why their relationship makes headlines...well, sort of.

"I can see how to some people it can be interesting."We're together and that's it really... We're happy and there's nothing more to be said."

Review - 'Anthony Callea, with Tim Campbell'

Anthony Callea And Tim Campbell Perform At Crown Casino
Review by Tim Hunter
DNA Magazine
Date: 7-Dec-2008

2008 has been a big year for pocket rocket Anthony Callea. Not only has he starred in Wicked, but his relationship with hottie Tim Campbell was made official in February. And now he’s done a One Night Only show at the Palms at Crown in Melbourne – with Campbell.

Seeing the two on stage together is a wet dream for many a guy – and girl too, if the audience was anything to go by. It was the girls who were down in the front row. It seems coming out has not damaged their careers – or their fanbases one bit.

And neither should it, because these guys are great and professional performers. Campbell started with an energetic set of camp covers like My Sharona, Footloose (with bootscooting backing dancers), and Shake Your Groove Thing. He was fun, relaxed, and the kind of guy you just want to take home to meet Mum!

Callea’s stage presence was just as impressive; confident and assured as he pumped out the crowd-pleasing hits such as Rain, Hurts So Bad, and a few surprises, such as You’ll Never Walk Alone, and his Wicked song As Long As Your Mine. But it was The Prayer that had everyone wrapt and silent waving a sea of mobile phone and digital cameras.

But the big gay moment was Callea and Campbel’s duet, Get Here. Seeing two men in love, on stage, expressing that in song in front of a mostly straight audience, brought a lump to the throat, a tear to the eye, and a swell of pride to the chest.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Never An Idol Moment

Never an Idol moment
Andrew Murfett
December 3, 2008

IT'S a topic that will not go away. There are few interviews Anthony Callea has completed in the past two years in which it has not been mentioned. It is, of course, the 25-year-old's decision to attempt to launch a career in the music business through Australian Idol.

Callea was the star of the show's second season. His performance of Andrea Bocelli's The Prayer ranks as arguably Idol's all-time musical highpoint. The performance stunned the judges and the television audience, and proved both groups had underestimated him through the competition. And yet he didn't win.

In the four years since finishing as runner-up on the program, Callea has forged an interesting and varied career, releasing two albums for Sony Music, touring sporadically and, this year, taking on a role in the local production of the Broadway musical Wicked.

As he begins to think about recording a third album early next year, Callea will play his first and only pop gig of 2008, on Saturday at Crown.

Behind the scenes, the performer has dealt with a bitter and costly change in management. And then there was his most courageous career move yet, the decision finally to come clean about those persistent rumours about his sexuality.

Gossip alleging he was gay dogged Callea's time on Idol and the period immediately after, even as he became the favourite of young girls and grannies across the country. Finally, and with little fanfare, he wrote a statement confirming he was gay and posted it on his website last year. His partner, former Home and Away actor Tim Campbell, will perform with him at Crown this week.
"You really have to be comfortable with yourself before you make that step," Callea says, explaining the delay in confirming what so many people had long suspected. "Everybody has an opinion. People say, 'You should have been up front about it', but you need to be comfortable.

"You don't want to get to 30 or 40 and be dealing with your sexuality. I wanted to do it my way. I didn't want my label or management to be a part of it, I wanted to write my own statement and express what I've gone through and dealt with."

There was a view that for anyone to come out while a contestant on Idol would be career suicide, but Callea says the impact on his career has been minimal.

"If you make it an issue, it becomes one," he says. "Being gay is a part of me, not who I am. I want to be known as a singer."

But when asked if you have to be straight to win Australian Idol, he laughs nervously.
"I don't think so. There will always be a minority of people who have an issue with homosexuality," he says.

"You have to have a thick skin sometimes. If you display an attitude that you're not affected by it, it shows people dealing with their sexuality that you can deal with it and still do what you love."

Callea began writing and recording music at 16. Through his later teens he regularly submitted demos and recordings to scouts from all the major labels without much luck.

"I used to make CDs and send them in," he says. "It's tough out there. Idol was an opportunity and a platform. What's the difference between something like that and Missy Higgins, who entered a radio competition?" (Higgins won JJJ's Unearthed competition in 2001, while still at high school.)

After finishing Idol, Callea released his version of The Prayer as a single. It sold about 300,000 copies, and his self-titled debut album, also rush-released, topped the charts. But the follow-up album, A New Chapter, could not match the sales of its predecessor. The signs were ominous.

At the same time, Callea was being sued by former manager Wendy Richards, who claimed breach of contract after he left her company in 2006. Although she was seeking more than $750,000, a confidential out-of-court settlement was reached after mediation.

When asked if the turmoil was distracting, he is succinct: "That's in the past. I'm happy with my management now."

Taking a part as the munchkin Boq in Wicked, at any rate, looks a lot like a shrewd career move. In the show, currently playing eight times a week at the Regent, Callea is impressive.

But he admits that, not being a trained actor or dancer, he has found staying in character difficult at times. "It's one of the biggest musicals to hit Australia and it's taught me a lot in a different discipline," he says. "It's a team effort, there are rules and protocols. Whereas in the pop world, you can get away with murder.

"This has challenged me. I've had to step out of my comfort zone each night. I didn't think I would be part of such a big production to start off with.
"But I want to be able to look back on my career in 15 or 20 years' time and have some great experiences."

Callea, who shared a dressing room with Rob Guest, says the veteran performer's sudden death in October drew the company closer together.

"We did a performance knowing he'd had a stroke, which was surreal. The next performance he was gone. He was at my house Monday night and had the stroke on the Tuesday. We had a glass of wine, he showed me his new car, and was really happy in a production he loved."

As for this Friday's show, Callea says fans can expect material from his first two albums as well as a sprinkling of new songs.

"I didn't want to get through the whole year without doing a live show," he says

Monday, December 1, 2008

Callea's One Night Stand

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