After more than a year without performing for a live audience, Des Flanagan's homecoming performance will be all the sweeter.
Sunday's 'A Concert to Remember' in Wangaratta will be the first time Mr Flanagan has taken the stage for a live audience since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Mr Flanagan, the lead in 'Moulin Rouge! The Musical Australia', grew up at Beechworth and went to high school in Wanagaratta, before leaving to study at the Victorian College of the Arts.
He is excited to be performing at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre.
"My first performance back, is somewhere I feel very close to," he said.
"It means so much, because there's so many friends still there.
"There's a connection and it's going to be nice not just keeping up with the town via social media, but actually being there and seeing it again."
Mr Flanagan will be performing two songs at the concert, one from 'West Side Story' and another, a duet, with Josh Piterman.
Mr Piterman is the star of 'Phantom Of The Opera', which opens in September, at the Sydney Opera House.
He is also an ambassador for the Victorian Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, the charity where all funds raised from the concert will go.
"This is an amazing organisation that not just honours fallen police men and women, but gives so much back to communities," Mr Piterman said.
"The money raised from this concert on Mother's Day is going to hospitals in the North East."
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Mr Piterman said before last week, he too had not sung for a live audience for quite a while.
"It's been a challenge for everyone around the world," he said.
"But I must say, the arts, especially the performing arts, were the first industry to close down and the last industry to come back.
"The arts are not something we just want in life, the arts are something we need.
"The arts are integral to what it means to be human and I think we've all really, really missed that."
Mr Flanagan said his parents would be at the concert, which was exciting because they hadn't seen him perform for two years.
"My Mum's been such a massive advocate for me following this path," he said.
"So much so, that at the start of my Moulin Rouge audition process my mum was my reader.
"It's a nice little way to say thank you.
"I really hope the local crowd gets out there to support what is an amazing cause."
Aussie music royalty Lisa Edwards and musical director John Foreman OAM will also be performing in the one off show.
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