Dr. Zachary Dunbar, Senior Lecturer in Theatre (VCA-Theatre), will discuss with Professor Barry Conyngham (Dean of VCA-MCM) his journey from being a concert pianist to theatre practitioner and academic. Zachary reflects on the pros and cons of an interdisciplinary career, and particularly how music provides unique insights into actors, training, and the challenges of rehearsing and performing.
The dialogue will be interspersed with a piano performance of works by the nineteenth century romantic composer, Franz Liszt, music that dramatizes love’s conflicted interests – or possibly the soundings of an interdisciplinary career.
Liszt - Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Liszt - Sonetto 104 del Petrarca
Wagner-Liszt - ‘Liebestod’ (from Tristan und Isolde)
This is a free event, however bookings are essential.
Please register via EventBrite.
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Zachary’s musical training began in the Philippines. He continued as an undergraduate student at Rollins College (Florida) where he won state and regional piano competitions, and completed an Honours thesis in the philosophy of science and religion. Following a brief gap year interlude, he continued studies at Yale University School of Music with Claude Frank and Peter Frankl. In his first year, he won the most outstanding piano recital prize, and upon graduating received a Fulbright scholarship to the Royal College of Music to study with Kendall Taylor.
For many years, he pursued a music career but gradually developed a parallel one in theatre spanning several genres: radio drama (BBC 4), Greek tragedy, musical theatre, Beijing opera, soundscape and dance theatre. In the UK, he joined theatre workshops with Complicité theatre, Voicemotions (Guy Dartnell), and playwriting (John Burgess, National Theatre). His original works have been produced at the Pleasance Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre, Brighton Underbelly, Embassy Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, several Edinburgh-fringe productions (Fringe-First nominated), and the prestigious Jungehunde festival (Denmark).
His academic career started with the completion of a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, an interdisciplinary study tracing ideas in the history of science, music and theatre space through historical performances of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus. In 2008 he joined the staff at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and in 2014 moved to VCA-MCM. He has scholarly publications in theatre, and continues to balance creative practice and research across the performing arts.