Josh Belperio is a multidisciplinary musician, performer and human rights advocate who believes in the power of words and music to open pathways of empathy between people. His anthem for queer rights during the Australian Marriage Law Survey Dear Malcolm Turnbull received over 220,000 views on social media and raised over $3,000 for QLife – National counselling service for LGBTQIA+ Australians.
Josh's debut solo cabaret show, based on his personal struggles of overcoming health issues and anxiety, Scarred For Life, opened to a sold out season and unanimous five star reviews at the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe festival 2017. To develop the show, Josh received a Helpmann Academy grant to undergo a mentorship with Helpmann-winning cabaret artist Michael Griffiths, and Amelia Ryan, alongside singing lessons with Rosanne Hosking. The show was produced by emerging theatre company Under The Microscope. Josh has plans to stage a return season at the 2018 Adelaide Fringe (watch this space). To read more about Scarred For Life, click here.
Josh is currently composing a musical, which was awarded a $10,000 Carclew Project and Development Grant to undergo its first development in the Adelaide Festival Centre, in 2016. The project is produced by Release Creative, and features a collaboration with Ngarrindjeri Elder Major Sumner OAM.
In the classical world, Josh completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Composition from the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 2015, learning from local composers Graeme Koehne OA and Dr Anne Cawrse, and gaining High Distinctions in composition and conducting. Josh's choral compositions have been sung by ensembles such as the Elder Conservatorium Chorale, the Festival Statesmen Chorus, the Young Voices of Melbourne, and the Gondwana Chorale.
In 2014, Josh won Artology's Fanfare Competition, being selected to replace the cue bell in the Sydney Opera House with an original fanfare composition. His fanfare, Rising Sails, was recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Carter. The piece aired before every Opera House performance from July 9 to August 18 2015, receiving a collective audience of an estimated 175,000 theatre attendees.
Josh's endeavours in conducting, teaching, and facilitating the musical creativity of others have taken him to Tutti Arts, a world-leader amongst arts organisations for young people with intellectual disabilities, where he is currently leading a group developing a new musical. Prior to that, Josh was an Assistant Director of the Festival Statesmen Chorus, a nationally award-winning a cappella male vocal ensemble. His original arrangement for the group, Over the Misty Mountains Cold, won the category of best arrangement at Vocal Australia's SA State Final. Josh’s orchestral conducting credits include the Canberra Youth Orchestra, who performed an original composition of his The Book Thief as part of the Australian Society of Music Educators' 2013 National Convention. In 2014, Josh musically directed Adelaide Youth Theatre's production of The Wizard of Oz, conducting an orchestra of 20 and a cast of over 120 young performers.
As an accompanist, Josh worked in the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, musically directing and accompanying David Gauci in the sold-out, well-received show, It Was Worth the Weight. He has since gone on to accompany many artists across all major Adelaide festivals, including Lucy Gransbury in her critically acclaimed show Radelaide! for the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2017.
Josh is currently working as a commissionable composer, with particular interests in the areas of musical theatre, cabaret and choral music. He also musically directs, accompanies, gives lectures and is willing to collaborate on just about anything. If you are interested in working with him, or just want to say 'hi', he would love to hear from you. Click here to contact Josh.