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Max Riebl - The Great Pretender

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by Helen Thorogood (subscribe)
I'm a Melbourne based freelance writer. I love getting out and exploring the city and beyond. If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe and you won't miss my future reviews!
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Classical music can be fun too
Winner of the 2017 Herald Sun Aria, Max Riebl, is performing in The Great Pretender at The Butterfly Club in Melbourne's CBD from Wed 8th – Sunday 12th November.

A world class countertenor who has performed with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, La Cetra, Orchestra Victoria and the London Handel Orchestra as well as several baroque ensembles in Australia and Europe, Max Riebl enchants audiences with the purity of his voice and his impressive vocal range.

Max Riebl, the great pretender, butterfly club, classical singer
Max Riebl


Riebl is now wowing audiences at The Butterfly Club with a stunning show which merges pop songs such as The Great Pretender popularised by The Platters and later Freddy Mercury, with classical baroque music from the likes of Bach, Handel and Purcell – in a style he dubs Alternative Baroque.

Being used to performing in venues such as the Forum, Sydney Recital Centre, Melbourne Recital Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Hamer Hall and Vienna's Musikverein, Riebl's voice easily fills the intimate Butterfly Club.

The Butterfly Club, quirky, eclectic
The quirky bar area at The Butterfly Club - enjoy a cocktail before the show!


Reibl says that he "Loves music but hates authority." The show is an attempt to demonstrate that the rules of classical music and voice can be adapted to bring just as much emotion and vocal skill to pop music, a genre seen by the purists as less worthy than classical music. It could be seen as being a battle of purity versus sin.

Riebl's personality and cheeky sense of humour are on display as he appears to thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to sing pop songs. Equally, those who are more familiar with pop than baroque will enjoy hearing the songs as they would never have heard them before.

As well as combining an eclectic range of songs which allow Riebl to showcase his talents, it also makes for an accessible show as it will appeal to audiences who perhaps would not necessarily attend a formal baroque music performance.

It will come as no surprise to those lucky enough to attend the show, to hear that in addition to being the recent winner of the Herald Sun Aria, Max Riebl has received top prizes in competitions such as the Royal Philharmonic Arias, The London Handel Competition and the IFAC Australian Singing Competition.

Accompanied by Ziggy Johnston on guitar, playing difficult and unusual arrangements this show will not disappoint lovers of great music of all genres.

It might be called The Great Pretender but Max Riebl certainly isn't a pretender – he's all class.

Max Riebl, the great pretender, butterfly club, classical singer
The show and performer are mesmerising!

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*Helen Thorogood was invited as a guest
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Why? To hear a world class vocalist.
When: 8th - 12th November 2017
Phone: 03 9663 8107
Where: The Butterfly Club
Cost: $32 full price, $28 concession, $26 members and $25 groups of 6 (booking fees apply to all transactions)
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