Ben van Tienen

Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.
— Roald Dahl
 

I grew up in Cygnet, Tasmania (population 839). I studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. I graduated in 2007, earning first class honours and the university medal, convinced I was going to be a highly serious classical pianist. Thankfully, the universe had other plans - and I now find myself celebrating my tenth year in musical theatre!

And so it is that I’ve created this life and this career for myself, and I absolutely marvel at how I managed to get here…  Conducting UK tours of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, West Side Story, and The Rocky Horror ShowChicago (Hong Kong), and Ordinary Days (Australia)! Assisting amazing conductors on Wicked (Singapore), Doctor Zhivago (Australia, Seoul), West Side Story (Australia, Europe) and Chicago (Australia, Singapore). Conducting performances of West Side Story all over the world, in places like Sadlers Wells, the Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Dresden Semperoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Theatre du Châtelet (Paris), and the Grimaldi Forum (Monaco). I mean, what?!

And I just can’t quite believe that I’m here. I’ve dreamed of this day since I knew how to dream. And now I get to share music with you that I made with Zach, my dear friend, incredible colleague and much valued co-creator. 

I can’t believe that the kid who used to ride his bicycle around the bush in Tasmania, talking to his imaginary friends (all composers, naturally) is here, on the other side of the world, living the life that he barely dared to imagine living.

Except, of course, I can believe it, because it’s here. It’s now. And I couldn’t be more grateful.