This year, the 15th Adelaide Cabaret Festival kicks off from June 5th until the 20th and it’s set to be a celebration of some great names and talent.

Also celebrated, as part of this festival, is some of our up and coming South Aussie musicians in Class of Cabaret.

On 14th June, the best and brightest performing arts students from secondary schools across South Australia will take to the stage to share their personal stories and songs.

They attend master classes and train for months in the lead up to the performance, and are supported by mentors who are prominent members of the cabaret scene.

Alex Deporteous 1Alex De Porteous is one such young musician who has been accepted into this prestigious event.

Currently studying year 11 at St Peters’ Girls’ School, she’s been working hard to establish herself as a performer in Adelaide.

“I’ve been singing for about eight years now and performing for about five of those, and it really began at school. I did singing lessons at school, which was just a bit of fun – half an hour a week with an opera singer. We used to sing pop songs, which is what I was into when I was younger,” she says.

“About three years ago, I moved to Revolution Vocal Studio. Then my understanding of music, live music and performing really developed. That’s brought me to where I am at the moment.”

Also producing talent like Alex Hosking, St Peters’ Girls appear to be very supportive of their budding stars, which Alex De Porteous confirms.

“St Peter’s have a really good music program. I’m more into performing arts and drama at school, and most of my music is outside of school, but the program is really great; and so supportive, especially with the Class of Cabaret,” she says.

Through Revolution Vocal Studio, though, Alex has been able to play gigs at some of Adelaide’s premier music venues.

“My vocal studio run about five or six shows a year at places like The Jade Monkey, The Gov, Nexus and The Soul Box. It’s been really cool to play at well-known venues across Adelaide. Cabaret came into my life through Brett from The Soul Box,” she says.

Having conquered live performance, Alex is setting her sights on recording a demo, and producing her own show.

“I’ve only done recordings from live gigs I’ve done at places like the Jade Monkey and The Gov, and a few from my vocal studio, but that’s something I’d be really interested in – recording a demo. I think that would be really cool, and something I haven’t done,” she says

“My main goal, which I’m heading towards is to produce my own show and put it in the Adelaide Fringe or the Cabaret Fringe; not this year but next year when I’m in year 12. Just for some extra pressure!” she laughs.

But until that, Alex is enjoying the whole process of Class of Cabaret from start to when that curtain falls.

“Class of Cabaret has been absolutely wonderful. They opened auditions last year at the end of the year. It’s open to any students studying in South Australia, so I sent in an application form with the help of my school,” she says.

“We waited about three months and I got a letter saying I’d been accepted. That was amazing. We’re halfway through rehearsals at the moment and we’re about to go on a bootcamp with the mentors.”

“We are heading to Woodhouse at Piccadilly for four days for intense workshopping, where we’ll be working with the mentors on song choice, the key elements of cabaret and everything we need for our show,” she says.

The 27 participants are mentored by director Matthew Carey, along with Michael Griffiths, Kim Spargo, Amelia Ryan and Stacy McCandless.

The students are given expert advice, industry tips and support from some of the best names in the business.

Alex says the group are really benefitting from the program, and she’s loving working with such a diverse range of participants.

“The group is really incredible. There’s a really broad range of musical interest. A lot are into musical theatre, jazz, and even kids into pop music. It’s been really good working with kids who have similar interests in many ways, but are different. That’s been really cool,” she says.

Citing her main musical influences as cabaret stars, Ali McGregor, Amelia Ryan and Rhonda Burchmore, Alex is excited about being in this year’s Cabaret Festival and meeting some of her idols.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to meet all the performers that I’ve admired for so long. I think it’s going to be a great experience, and building the connections is great too,” she says.

Class of Cabaret is on at 6pm and 8:30pm on 14th June at Space Theatre.

Tickets are available through Adelaide Festival Centre.

By Libby Parker