Nine Sydney musical companies join together for a tribute in memory of James

Tribute: Performer James Jonathan. His sister, Koren said he landed the role of Caiaphus in Jesus Christ Superstar three times because of his beautifully rare bass voice that would boom and radiate throughout the theatre.

Tribute: Performer James Jonathan. His sister, Koren said he landed the role of Caiaphus in Jesus Christ Superstar three times because of his beautifully rare bass voice that would boom and radiate throughout the theatre.

Sydney’s musical theatre companies are joining together to stage a concert in memory of one of its youngest and brightest talents, James Jonathan Kouspakidis of Sylvania who committed suicide aged 27 earlier this year.

James was an extremely well-known performer with many companies across Sydney including Miranda Musical Society, Rockdale Musical Society and Rockdale Regals.

He appeared happy and adjusted and his death came as a shock to his close family and all you knew him.

Singers, performers and musicians who worked with James over the years will be taking part in the concert, called A Conversation Worth Having, to be held at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre on Friday, August 26.

The aim of the concert is to raise awareness and de-stigmatise depression with proceeds going equally to beyondblue and The Black Dog Institute.

Marc Levinston from beyondblue and James’ sister, Koren will address the audience briefly during the concert.

Koren said that losing her brother was a sudden and devastating shock to her family.

“We had no idea he was suffering,” Koren said.

“James was the life of the party. Over 600 people attended his funeral so that says a lot.

“We had no idea he was capable of this. If there had been a warning we would have dropped everything to be with him and look after him, 24/7.”

Koren said her younger brother was a born performer, winning a scholarship to Wesley Institute, now Excelsia College, receiving Bachelor of Dramatic Arts majoring in performance.

“By age 25, James was considered a veteran of the stage, having performed in over 50 musical productions, plays, dance ensembles and concerts. James has appeared with the Regals Musical society in Urinetown and Suessical The Musical, and with the Miranda Musical Society in Grease, Anything Goes, Pippin, Shout, Phantom of the Opera and Oklahoma where he was honored to play the role of Jud Fry as it was always on his bucket list,” she said.

“He also performed with the Willoughby  Theatre Company, and the Rockdale, Engadine and Strathfield Musical Societies.

“James landed the role of Caiaphus in Jesus Christ Superstar three times because of his beautifully rare bass voice that would boom and radiate throughout the theatre.

“The outpouring of tributes and tribute events we have received from the Sydney musical theatre community was so unexpected.

“He was so loved by so many. He never had any enemies.

“He was described by his peers as a gentleman among gentlemen. We just miss him so much.”

The concert will be held at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre on Friday, August 26 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are $20 and TICKETS $20 and available at: http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Community/Entertainment-Centre/Whats- On/A-Conversation- Worth-Having

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