"A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul"

This powerful memoir that celebrates the life and music of one of the greatest voices in history, ARETHA will have its world premiere in the Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall on 17 and 18 June.

Through soulful storytelling, this will prove to be an unforgettable night of music and memories that honour the legacy of global superstar Aretha Franklin, who broke down barriers and paved the way for generations to come. In a showcase of 32 songs (32!) and spoken narration, the show charts her music as well as tears and triumphs of the Queen of Soul’s extraordinary career – from her early gospel roots and rise to fame, to her legendary hits and lasting impact on music.

Narrated and directed by multi-talented First Nations actor Jada Alberts (Wentworth, Cleverman), with musical direction by Joe Accaria (Velvet Rewired), ARETHA features a line-up of outstanding Australian vocalists, who include:

Emma Donovan – legendary ARIA-nominated, award-winning, Gumbaynggirr and Yamatji singer/songwriter.

Montaigne – celebrated singer/songwriter and unique art pop musician, who has evolved from a young indie leader to one of Australia’s most individual and dynamic voices.

Thandi Phoenix – a vocal powerhouse with a unique tone, magnetic energy and commanding stage presence, Thandi has both a deep love of electronic music and artistic beginnings rooted in soul and R&B.

THNDO – actor and singer/songwriter with a range so rich and delivery so buttery and soulful she’s considered Australia’s ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’, and

Ursula Yovich – multi-award-winning actor, singer and writer who starred in Belvoir’s Barbara and the Camp Dogs and is a recipient of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award.

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott told this blog: “The spirit and fire behind Aretha Franklin’s voice earned her many accolades over the years, from 18 Grammy awards to more than 75 million records sold and even taking the crown as number one on the Rolling Stone’s recent ‘Greatest Singers of All Time’. Her music connects so genuinely with audiences – we’ve all experienced heartbreak, longing, and love through her voice and lyrics. ARETHA promises to bring this together in an incredible evening of entertainment that pays homage to the icon, her extraordinary catalogue of songs and gets audiences on their feet.”


Tickets:         ARETHA, A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul
When:           17 and 18 June 2023
Where:          Concert Hall
Price:             From $95 + booking fee
On-sale:        Insiders pre-sale – 9am, Tuesday 7 March, 2023
                      What’s On pre-sale – 9am, Wednesday 8 March, 2023
                      General public – 9am, Friday 10 March, 2023


17 and 18 June - Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
20 and 21 June - Concert Hall, QPAC
2 July - Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne

(image: supplied)