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HomeminewsOptometrist Sophie Koh Sparkles as Shanghai Mimi in Sydney Festival

Optometrist Sophie Koh Sparkles as Shanghai Mimi in Sydney Festival

Sophie Koh, optometrist and Optometry Australia national professional services adviser, has performed the lead role in the world premier of Shanghai Mimi at the 2019 January Sydney Festival.

Aptly described by the Sydney Festival as “a sumptuous cabaret of delights” Shanghai Mimi features Qinghai acrobats from beyond the Gobi desert, who perform mind-blowing routines on stage and overhead.

Meanwhile, a live band plays long-lost vintage Chinese jazz and blues discovered in a condemned Mumbai warehouse and Ms Koh, whose background is New Zealand, Australian, Chinese and Singaporean, performs vocals in both Mandarin and English.

Ms Koh, who trained as a classical pianist, is exceptional as the mythical Shanghai Mimi. While this was her first experience singing vintage Chinese blues and jazz in character, she said guidance from artistic director Moira Finucane, stunning costumes and props including dramatic eyelash extensions, helped her slip into the role with dazzling style.

Ms Koh has managed to juggle an impressive career in optometry and the music profession. She has recorded four albums, toured extensively including in China, and been recognised for her musical talents multiple times. She won Triple J UnEarthed in 2003 while living in Darwin, with her song Easily Broken, Best Contemporary Song at Independent Music Awards for her song I Understand, co-written with Ben Lee and Brad Wood, and Best Female Artist at The Age Music Awards 2008. Ms Koh has made numerous TV appearances, including Rockwiz, Spicks&Specks and Neighbours.

mivision attended a performance of Shanghai Mimi at the Riverside Theatre Parramatta. We congratulate Ms Koh, the cast and crew of Shanghai Mimi on an exceptional performance.

Shanghai Mimi runs through until 20 January 2019. Visit sydneyfestival.org.au