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Arena’s flame still burns brightly


Kristie Broadhead

Tina Arena.

Tina Arena.

As someone who is Australian pop royalty, Tina Arena’s ability to single-handedly draw in an audience is unquestioned. Despite her striking individual talents, however, it is the collaboration of herself, her band and her string quartet that has her most excited about performing at Canberra Theatre on Friday, March 1.

“These shows are something I have always dreamed of doing,” she enthuses.

“The sheer fact that you share the stage with like-minded people is thrilling. As a collective, we work to serve the music. The stage setting, song selection and orchestrations are all designed to transport people.”

Indeed Canberra audiences can be expected to be transported into a world of musical brilliance when Arena graces the stage in the nation’s capital for the first time in more than eight years. The diminutive performer has an incredible  entertainment resume, with the titles of singer, songwriter, talent show judge and record producer next to her name. Her powerful voice has been responsible for the sale of more than eight million records and she has taken home six ARIA awards.

With a list of achievements spanning decades, Arena’s career has been packed with adoration and accolades, punctuated by a seemingly never-ending flow of peaks.

“Goodness, there have been so many highlights,” she says.

“The Olympics, the French music territory (Arena recorded a French album, Un Autre Univers that went platinum in France) winning ARIAS, being played on the radio – of course my son (Gabriel was born in 2005) is probably my best project to date, I would have to say.”

After coming to prominence on Young Talent Time in 1977, Arena wound back the clock and made a return to the show in 2012 – this time as a judge and mentor. It was an experience she describes as “amazing” as she revelled in giving back to the show that gave her a start in the industry that has provided her such fame and fortune.

“It was amazing going full circle,” she says.

“I enjoyed observing those kids who were kind, sincere and just had the time of their lives. That in itself was a treat, perhaps seeing a little bit of me when I was their age, too - it was a humbling experience for all involved. For whatever the outcome of that is, Young Talent Time still stands as a reputable and honourable trademark. I’m so proud to have been a part of that musical institution.”

Future plans for Arena involve working on a new solo record and an autobiography. However, with an imminent trip to Canberra looming, she is looking forward to enjoying some fine dining in the city, while squeezing in a visit to the National Gallery. She promises an enthralling mixture of both all-time hits and theatre-derived songs in her upcoming concert.

“I will be visiting the obvious hits, which are always fun to sing, but the addition of songs that have come from musical theatre are beautiful moments,” she says.

“I sincerely hope that they (audiences) will have a great time and I think the music will allow them to do so.”

Tina Arena will perform at Canberra Theatre on Friday, March 1. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

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