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Ali McGregor

Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
18 Jun 2020 - 20 Jun 2020

Are you ready to mambo?

In the 1950s when musical exotica was all the rage, Yma Sumac was a sensation – an Incan princess who astounded American audiences with her five-octave range and larger-than-life personality. She was a best-selling artist for Capitol Records, toured the world and appeared in a movie with Charlton Heston. Her songs have been sampled in lounge music, hip hop and movie soundtracks.

This one-woman show is a passion project for Helpmann Award-winning cabaret performer and soprano Ali McGregor, whose admiration for Sumac has led to her acquiring a collection of the singer’s jewellery and clothes in which she performs.

From the bird-like trills of ‘Chuncho’ to a mambo version of the ‘Queen of the Night’ aria, McGregor brings her astounding voice to Sumac’s music. Between vocal pyrotechnics, she tells Sumac’s story and her own journey discovering this fascinating artist.

Prepare to be enthralled by the lure of exoticism, mystery, heartbreak and above all – extraordinary singing.

Why you must experience Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird

  • Immerse yourself in the incredible true story of the legendary singer’s rise from Peruvian roots to worldwide superstar.
  • Behold the vocal powers and stage charisma of Helpmann Award-winning star Ali McGregor in her natural environment. 
  • Be swept away to 1950s Hollywood and enjoy an alluring cocktail of glamour, mystique, and intrigue.
  • Feel the rhythm and energy of Sumac’s unique hybrid of mambo, jazz and South American folk music.
  • Witness Sumac’s style as McGregor appears on stage in her hero’s real-life jewellery and fashion.

Dates & Times

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

Thursday 18 June 2020, 7.30pm
Friday 19 June 2020, 7.30pm
Saturday 20 June 2020, 1pm
Saturday 20 June 2020, 7.30pm

Running time is approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, no interval

Sung in English

Patrons' Pre-Show Drinks Friday 19 June, 6.30pm

Price reserve maps for this production can be found on our Venue Information page.

Cast & Creatives

Written by Ali McGregor
Director Cameron Menzies
Musical Direction Sam Keevers
Lighting Direction Paul Lim
Set Design Kathryn Sproul


Ali McGregor

Music Band Sam Keevers, Eugene Ball, Ben Gillespie, Hugh Harvey, Tamara Murphy, Phil Noy, Lily Paskas-Goodfellow

Book Tickets

Single ticket prices $39-$65

Price Type A-Reserve B-Reserve C-Reserve
Adult $65 $55 $39
Concession $60 $50 $39
Senior $60 $50 $39
30 Years & Under N/A $39 $35
Group (6+) $60 $50 $39
Arts Access N/A $30 $30
School Group (10+)* N/A $25 $25

For phone bookings (including school groups), please call Arts Centre Melbourne on 1300 182 183. If you have any issues or questions regarding a Season 2020 subscription, please phone the Victorian Opera Subscription line on 1300 822 849. Subscriptions closed on Monday 16 March 2020.

Ticket prices are correct at time of publishing and may vary. A booking fee may apply. Price reserve maps for this production can be found on our Venue Information page. Information on our Privacy and Ticketing Policies can be found here.

We strongly advise that tickets should only be purchased via authorised ticket sellers. For Yma Sumac: The Peruvian Songbird these may include Arts Centre Melbourne, Tix, Showbiz and What's On Live, Halftix and TodayTix. Tickets purchased through unauthorised sellers cannot be guaranteed.