Opera Australia (Producer)
Opera Australia is Australia’s national opera company, presenting more than 700 performances and playing to more than half a million people each year.
Opera is a vital part of Australia’s cultural landscape. We perform the world’s best loved operas under the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House and at Arts Centre Melbourne, as well as in school halls and outback towns, on Sydney Harbour and the Gold Coast beach. Our performances are broadcast in cinemas, on national television and ABC radio. We also present lavish musicals and concerts around the country.
We bring exciting international talent to the Australian stage, and support the careers of hundreds of Australian singers, musicians and artisans.
John Frost AM (Producer)
John Frost is the Managing Director of the Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO). He began his career at age 16 as a dresser on the J.C. Williamson tour of Mame and worked his way through the ranks to become one of Australia’s most prominent musical theatre producers. He co-founded GFO with the late Ashley Gordon in 1983. After negotiating the lease for Sydney’s Footbridge Theatre, they produced a number of shows including Jerry’s Girls, Night Mother, The Venetian Twins and Women Behind Bars. The company then moved onto national tours of large-scale musicals such as Big River, The King And I, South Pacific, Hello Dolly!, The Secret Garden, Smokey’s Joe’s Café, Cabaret and Crazy For You. In 1996, the GFO production of The King And I won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical on Broadway. Two years later, John co-produced Grease – The Arena Spectacular! with Sports and Entertainment Ltd (SEL). Then came The Sound of Music starring Lisa McCune, Annie with Anthony Warlow, Man of La Mancha, The Wizard of Oz and Footloose. In 2003, he won his second Tony Award as a co-producer of Hairspray on Broadway. John subsequently co-produced The Producers around Australia and another arena production of Grease starring John Farnham. In partnership with The Really Useful Company Asia Pacific, he presented the Australian tour of The Phantom of the Opera starring Anthony Warlow and was one of the producers of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in London. In recent years, John produced Australasian tours of Chicago, Doctor Zhivago and Wicked, as well as Australian tours of Fame the Musical, Legally Blonde. In Melbourne, he produced A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring Geoffrey Rush and Once. In London, he coproduced the West End productions of The Bodyguard and Blithe Spirit, while in the US he coproduced Blithe Spirit, An Act of God and Fiddler on the Roof. In partnership with Opera Australia, John has co-produced South Pacific, The King and I and Anything Goes. In 2015, he also toured The Rocky Horror Show, Wicked, Dirty Dancing and The Sound of Music. His productions for 2016 include We Will Rock You, Dream Lover – a new Australian musical about Bobby Darin, and My Fair Lady with OA, to be directed by Julie Andrews. Over the years, John has presented many plays in Australia including, among others, the Tony Award-winning Art starring Tom Conti, the National Theatre of Great Britain’s celebrated production of An Inspector Calls and Driving Miss Daisy starring Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. He was awarded the prestigious JC Williamson Award for his outstanding contribution to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry at the 2014 Helpmann Awards. For his contribution to the Arts he was awarded an AM in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours and in 2016 received an honorary doctorate from Griffith University.
Steve Sauer (Executive Producer)
As founding partner and principal of MediaFour, Steve Sauer is a successful personal manager as well as packager and producer of motion pictures, television and live events. His management clients, comprised of actors, writers, directors and composers, are some of the biggest names in the entertainment business and include many winners of Academy Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys and Kennedy Center Honors. Among his numerous credits as an Executive Producer of television series and specials, he recently completed principal photography on a new series for Netflix entitled Julie’s Greenroom slated to debut in February 2017. Among his live entertainment exploits, Mr Sauer produced in recent years the international tours of Simeon’s Gift and An Evening With Julie Andrews, as well as packaging an international tour of The Boy Friend and the world premiere of The Great American Mousical.
Mr Sauer received his Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law.
Mr Sauer has always been active in community endeavors in Los Angeles and especially at UCLA. As a board member of the UCLA Alumni Association from 1999-2002, he chaired respectively; the career services, membership/benefits, and marketing committees, and in 1996 originated the highly successful Entertainment Night, which has allowed thousands of UCLA students to network and seek jobs in the entertainment industry. He is currently the co-founder and co-chair of the UCLA Bruin Woods advisory committee and just concluded a third term on the alumni association board. He is also an active member of the Chancellor’s Associates.
Mr Sauer lives in Westwood, California with his beagle (Wiley) and is the proud father of Jonathan, an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles, and Molly, a real estate executive in San Francisco. As a result of his daughter attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, Sauer has taken up leadership roles within the university. He is currently serving as an active board member of the Chancellor’s Parent Leadership Society and on the advisory board for the Guardian Scholars Program. He appreciates the opportunity of serving two world-class and renowned universities and feels very fortunate to professionally engage with the world class actors, writers and directors he represents and the gift of playing in the magical sandbox of the arts.
Alex Budd (Executive Producer)
Alex Budd commenced his arts career in the lighting department at the Canberra Theatre Centre. He was a founding member of the Canberra based Chamber Opera Company Stopera. He later worked as Head Electrician and Touring Lighting Designer for Sydney Dance Company, realising lighting designs for Graeme Murphy's ballets across Australia, Europe and the Americas. Alex joined Opera Australia as Tour Manager, Oz Opera in 2000, and has held several roles in Oz Opera and the wider company. After a year at Royal Opera House Covent Garden project managing the Paul Hamlyn Performances, Alex returned to Opera Australia as Manager, Oz Opera, before setting up the Company’s Enterprises division. In 2004 Alex was appointed to the Federal Government's Playing Australia Committee, and sat on the Committee for seven years. In 2008 he became General Manager, Melbourne and Enterprises: the Melbourne based member of the Company’s Executive, with Executive Producer responsibility for the music theatre and commercial projects of the Opera Australia business. Alex has produced 11 New Year's Eve Galas at the Sydney Opera House, as well as the musical tours of South Pacific, The King & I, and Anything Goes. He has recently been appointed Executive Producer, Commercial and Community, bringing together management of the Enterprises and Touring & Outreach arms of the company.
Pella Gregory (Associate Producer)
Since graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (Technical Production), Pella has worked in theatre, musical theatre, event management and festivals in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to theatre, she worked in film & television, graduating from Griffith University’s QLD College of Arts (Screen Production).
Pella’s most recent theatrical credit is Clusters of Light (Multiple International), a production entirely in Arabic staged in a military stadium in Cairo, Egypt. Other credits include King Kong, Strictly Ballroom (Global Creatures); Beauty And The Beast (BEG and NETworks), Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar and Faustus (Bell Shakespeare); Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Nullarbor Productions); The Age I’m In (Force Majeure); Tap Dogs, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (Backrow Productions); Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing (Jigsaw Theatre Company); Weather (Q Theatre); Outback Thunder (Showstopper Events) and Chorus North (NorthWest). Her favourite stories are from Hulkamania – Let the Battle Begin (CSEG), in which she toured the country wrangling the likes of Hulk Hogan, Brutus Beefcake and Vampire Warrior.
Pella is proud of having spent time working with disadvantaged youth in South America as part of a project aimed at ensuring communities have access to clean drinking water.
Richard Martin (Technical Director)
For over 37 years Richard has worked as Technical Director and Technical Producer on many world class operas, musicals, events and outdoor ceremonies and has been honoured to work with international production companies including Cameron Mackintosh Pty Ltd, The Really Useful Group, Disney Theatrical, David Atkins Enterprises, Gordon Frost Organization and Opera Australia.
Touring throughout the world theatre productions include:
Cats; Les Misérables; The Phantom of the Opera; Five Guys Named Moe; Miss Saigon; Rent; Aspects of Love; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Singin’ In The Rain; Saturday Night Fever; Cabaret; Oliver! Pippin; Company; Spamalot; High School Musical Live Onstage; Mary Poppins; Hairspray; Wicked; Love Never Dies; The Lion King; Dirty Dancing; King Kong Live Onstage; Strictly Ballroom; We Will Rock You; My Fair Lady; The Beast.
Arena productions include: The Boy From Oz Arena Tour; Walking With Dinosaurs; The Phantom of the Opera; The Lion King.
Outdoor Events include: 50th Anniversary of the Snowy Mountains Scheme; Opening and Closing Ceremonies Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Tourism Australia’s; Sands Casino Launch Macau. Shanghai World Expo 2010 Opening Ceremony; 2016 Tourism Australia’s USA campaign launch, Bryant Park New York.
Richard continues to consult on new entertainment venues and develop new productions. Current projects include a 4D Immersive Theatre Experience, White Night 2017 and Muriel’s Wedding.