What are Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Cheryl Barker and Simon Tedeschi all doing on a cruise ship?

I’m sitting in a theatre listening to Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Cheryl Barker, but the repertoire is anything but operatic – they’re doing Wunderbar from Kiss Me Kate. The stage is pitching from side to side, and I feel slightly nauseous. No, I’m not drunk on pre-concert champagne again… I’m in the Cascade Theatre aboard a Bravo Cruise, a seafaring tour dedicated to the performing arts. With me on the ship are some of the leading lights of classical music in Australia: not only Teddy and Cheryl, but also Simon Tedeschi, David Hobson, Guy Noble, the Seven Sopranos and the entire Metropolitan Orchestra.

This is the maiden voyage of Bravo, one of a growing number of cruises where the focus is on performance, rather than bingo and mini-golf (although they do still have bingo and mini-golf). If you’re wondering why the ship, Radiance of the Seas, has a 1000-seat theatre, it’s because this vessel is bloody enormous. Imagine setting afloat one of the larger Westfield malls, and you’re halfway there. The central point of the...

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now or log in to continue reading.