In what is probably a Perth first, The Diments – A Rock Opera brings full theatrical production, band and dancers and a wicked tale of falling from grace into chaos. One of the four lead singers in the production, Sal Abate, fills us in on the story.
“The show was created by Ron ‘Kesh’ Keshet, and the songs written by him and his writing partner Gabriel Lefelman,” Abate, well known as singer of rock bands Emerald City and Guns n’ Roses tribute act Gunners, as well as bassist of cover band Kickstart, explains. “The show is about a twisted family, called the Diments, led by my character Eddie. Eddie has it all but goes on a huge downward spiral, and finds himself facing his greatest demons, ultimately leading to his demise.”
Full of love, betrayal and murder, The Diments is a world class extravaganza akin to classic works by Alice Cooper, Kiss and Meat Loaf.
“All of the above are surely huge inspirations,” elaborates Abate, “but throw in Jesus Christ Superstar and Tommy by The Who, and now we’re talking. That’s what the audience should expect – they’re in for a treat.”
Abate says he was introduced to Keshet by a mutual friend, went for an audition and got the gig.
“We were all were cast in different ways. My friend told me that they were looking for a male lead in an upcoming rock opera. I was in from the word go, but then I heard the music, and I was full steam ahead. From that I’ve found an amazing friendship and writing partner in Kesh.”
In addition to Abate, vocalists playing the seven lead characters include Vin Trikeriotis of Tempest Rising, Jordan Pietersen of Madam Montage and solo artist, Marcio Mendes. A full rock band includes Keshet himself on guitar, drummer Fabio Macarrao of Broken Tides and bassist Simon Hallett of Psychonaut and Maverick, so audiences can expect nothing but authentic rock’n’roll.
“I wouldn't call it a stretch to go from singing out front of a band to something this theatrical,” admits Abate, “but there is a lot more work involved. The singing, although a challenging role, was the easy bit. Singing whilst in character, portraying certain feelings and remembering cues etc - now that is a huge challenge. There is no room for error as it affects everyone else in the cast, from the dancers, to the performers, so you just have to be on top of it all.
“I can only remember one other time where I was nervous, and that was my first show with a band, around 17 years ago. It's just been so much work, and so much to remember, but I know those butterflies will leave the moment we start. We are all as ready as we can be, and I think Perth is gonna be blown away.
“We have so much talent in one room, it's absurd. Everyone just has so much respect toward each other, and we have become a family - a dimented one at that! Everyone has just given so much to make this amazing, and I myself just feel so privileged to be amongst such a multi-talented group of people. They are all superstars.”
In addition to the leads and band, The Diments features a professional dance troupe, stunning costumes and magnificent stage production. The audience are also encouraged to listen to the songs on the production’s website, and dress up for the shows.
“We want the crowd to feel and be involved,” Abate enthuses, “We want them to chant, play air guitar, dress up. We want them to be part of our rock and roll party and to go away saying they had a blast. There are going to be opportunities for crowd involvement, and we want that - we want a big rock show, and everyone to be very much involved.
“If you love rock, you should go,” Abate insists, “if you love stage theatrics, you should go - if you love dancing, you should go - if you love costumes, props, makeup, lights, smoke, and killer music, you should go! You don't want to be the one to miss this amazing Perth first! I'll see you there, and it comes with the promise of hugs!”
The Diments is playing at the Nexus Theatre, Murdoch University, for four shows only, Wednesday-Saturday, October 4-7. Tickets are $40 each and are available to purchase at www.therockopera.com.au