With more than 40 years involvement in music and theatre as musical director, composer, orchestrator/arranger and pianist in a broad range of musicals, it is no wonder David Sidwell has become one of the country's most highly acclaimed directors of musical productions.
As an accomplished pianist, David has worked with numerous New Zealand recording artists and featured as the pianist for the New Zealand Film Archive touring road shows. His work as arranger and orchestrator has taken him throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.
As a composer, David's composition, Recuerde el Pasado, had its world premiere in Kazan, Russia at the "Muz-Tranzit" festival, 2007. His work Conversation Between Theremin & Soprano premiered in August 2011, featuring Lydia Kavina (Theremin) and Pamela Wallace (Soprano) and more recently in Kazan at the International conference "Galeyev Readings", Kazan Tupolev National Reseach Technical University.
Having recently completed the soundtrack for Yaniv Saves the World, a documentary film, David is currently composing a musical based on the short stories of the Russian author Nikolai Gogol. A concert workshop performance of this was performed early 2016 with a fully staged performance in the near future.
In his early career as Musical Director, some of David's many productions included Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, Evita, Annie, Hello Dolly!, Nunsense I & II, Juke Box, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, Gypsy and Caught in the Act (with Tina Cross).
With the support of musical theatre giants Bobbie Alderton and Robert Young, David made the ambitious move to Director. His many successful productions include; My Fair Lady, Hair, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Mack and Mabel, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Chess - the musical, Big - the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, 70, Girls, 70, Les Misérables, Tell Me On A Sunday, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Fame, Seussical, Blood Brothers, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, Crazy For You, Forbidden Broadway, AIDA, Hairspray, the 'audience participation' version of The Sound of Music, a 'new experience' Grease and the sensational Hamilton seasons of The Rocky Horror Show, CATS!, OLIVER starring Richard O'Brien as Fagin, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Evita, Pippin and Into The Woods.
Working professionally with theatre groups throughout Australasia, David has had rewarding seasons as Director for Andrew Lloyd Webber & Friends (Gold Coast & New Zealand), Westend to Broadway with Wellington Musical Theatre and Orchestra Wellington, Tell Me On A Sunday (Circa Theatre), the critically acclaimed Wellington productions of West Side Story and Phantasmic and the New Zealand premiers of The Secret Garden, Big - the musical, The Full Monty and High School Musical.
David manages the Postgraduate and Music Department in the School of Media Arts at Wintec. David's 2017 production schedule will see him direct The Sound of their Music for the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Les Miserables, Starlight Express, (for St Peter's School), and Mary Poppins. Alongside these full-scale productions David will direct the entertainment for numerous community events.
Research at the School of Media Arts
The School of Media Arts operates across a rich range of applied media practice and theory; graphic design, digital design, contemporary art, photography, moving image, creative writing, interior design, fashion design, music, journalism, public relations and advertising. The breadth of the school’s applied and academic knowledge, combined with a growing postgraduate programme and industry/community engagement offers a unique platform for a productive research culture.