Verity and Mike Productions
Music has always been an important part of Michael’s persona. At the age of 7 he began classical piano, reaching A. Mus. A. (Australia) level in his late teens. A few years later he was awarded a Bachelor of Applied Physics Degree from the University of Southern Queensland.
Both music and science streams continued throughout his life, performing in stage productions (the first was as Schroeder in a Christine Dunstan production of the musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown in 1973 at the Playhouse in Canberra) and professional cabaret and backing bands as well as managing the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance service at the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University.
Michael studied voice under both William Herbert and David Parker at the Canberra School of Music and was an inaugural JO’K award winner. He later learnt the craft of acting with adult Stagecoach (playing the King in Shakespeare's King Lear in 1993) and was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Electronics from Canberra University. He published a CD recording Out of the Whirlwind of his original gospel songs while playing with the Christian group Raise the Dust and wrote a scientific best-seller Flexible Radio Spectrum Access, the book now resides in London, Paris and Washington libraries.
Michael became the chief architect of Australia’s world leading method of spectrum licensing while working at the Australian Communications and Media Authority. As a later Director of Futurepace Solutions he was asked to speak at radiocommunications conferences in both Europe and the USA as well as in smaller countries such as Singapore and recently Mauritius see www.futurepace.com.au (or Google “ ‘space-centric management' whittaker”).
Early retirement from his science career in 2008 saw him devote his creative energy to the presentation of the music of artists he has long admired and whose recordings of the 50’s and 60’s are still considered precious in the memories of Baby Boomers. Michael sensitively recreates the music of each artist with the shows being in the style of reviews rather than ‘tributes’ and with a content about 40/60 script and song respectively.
Michael narrates the story of each song, recreating the magic of the period, chronicling and evaluating the work in a manner that is both informative and entertaining. Fittingly, one of the first solo act shows he developed was a stage and screen presentation of the Matt Monro Songbook A Portrait of Matt Monro having purchased a Matt Monro sheet music album at the age of 15 at Palings in Ruthven Street, Toowoomba and still in his possession. Matt visited Australia sixteen times and included many regional centres (Matt’s biography contains a letter written by his wife from the Telford Hotel, Toowoomba when he performed at Rumours in 1981).
Other shows followed, including reviews of the Jim Reeves Songbook Welcome to the World of Jim Reeves and Perry Como Magic Moments of Perry Como. Most Australian retirees have lived through the heyday of these artists, instantly relate to the songs and are captivated by their stories.
Michael is fully professional, warm and engaging with a polished presentation. He uses state of the art sound and lighting equipment and has privately commissioned high quality backing tracks for his shows. He has enjoyed being a part of the professional entertainment industry for more that forty years.
The very happy couple have decided it’s time to put the show back on the road. And back on the road it has been with 2012 seeing the launch of Verity and Mike now standing together. With a new style and a new life, where are these two going this time? Who knows, but what we do know for sure is it will be professional, it will be versatile and it will impress.