Saturday, 4 November 2017
Danny Boy/Galway Bay/I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen/Charmaine
With decades of performing experience internationally on radio, television and live performances, plus 27 top selling recordings, RON LEES is one of the great tenors of our time. His large Lyric Spinto Voice has been heard on every major television and radio station in Australia and overseas. He has also sung lead roles in no less than seven major operas.
His career started at 20 with a show called "New Faces of 1960" with the English performer DAVID WHITFIELD at the famous TIVOLI THEATRE in Melbourne, this went for 6 months after which he worked as a truck driver for another 6 months until he went into the studios of Channel 7 Melbourne where he met the producer of the television show "Sunnyside Up", Mr Alf Spargo, who hired him immediatly and he became the feature tenor for ten years. During this time he was invited to do 3 command performances, one with KATHRYN GRAYSON ( the American soprano & co-star of the renowned tenor MARIO LANZA), who then chose him to tour around Australia as her duetist. She remarked back stage "Hey! You sing better than Mario!" It was about then he was given his own television show called "Free and Easy" which was highly successful.
For a further fve years he performed in Sydney clubs, concerts and on television. He toured in South Australia with the June Bronhill show which went for 3 months. The tours entrepreneur had trouble paying the acts and they all had to take extra work. Ron got a spot singing in The Blue Cave nightclub in Adelaide where he met his friend actor/comedian Tony Barry. Ron was then contacted by David McIlwraith a well known entrepeneur who ran the famous LIDO nightclub. He sang there for 4 years and during that time he worked with international stars such as KATHRYN GRAYSON, JOSE FERRER, JOHNNY RAY, HOWARD KEEL, FRANCIS FAYE, EARTHA KITT, JUNE BRONHILL, JOHN RAITT and many others. In 1974 he won a Scholarship into the Opera, but as fate would have it, a Brisbane television show, "Studio 9", offered him a contract and he became the featured singer on that show for another three years.
1977 saw him in his first leading role in the opera "The Gypsy Baron", after that season concluded, Ron sang the lead role in "Tosca" for the A.B.C. on a conert tour of Australia, called "The Longest Land Based Tour in the World". It was at this time he was recognised as one of the great singers of our day, getting rave reviews from newspapers and critics alike. Four operas and four leads later, he was invited to sing at the famous "Genting Highlands Casino", the second largest in the world, where to this day, his life size portrait hangs above Andy Williams and Tom Jones. After being voted as the best and most popular singer ever to visit South East Asia, the success of this initial two-week engagement was extended to three months! Ron then returned to Melbourne for "Madam Butterfly", once again as the leading man, for a very successful season with "Victorian Opera Company".
Up until 1994 Ron toured Australia singing on television, clubs and concert halls. Ron's next engagement was at the famous "Mietta's" restaurant for a 14 day season, in the Australian version of "The Mario Lanza Show", whilst Jose Carreras of the "Three Tenors " fame, did the version in the U.S.A. The show was so successful it toured all over Australia. He has received rave reviews for his ability to recall the Great Tenor back to life. During all this he appeared on BERT NEWTON'S 'GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA' on Channel 10 for 6 years and was voted the show's most popular artist. All though Ron Lees is Australian and has sung leads in 7 major operas there are many worldwide aficionados who regard him as one of the greatest "Italian Tenors" of our century. He has an extensive repertoire of arias & popular standard music which he performs in his exciting cabaret act that includes show songs and some Elvis Presley materiaL. Thanks to Mustang.