A performance with his father in a local production of Oliver was the beginning of career in musical theatre for David Hobson. As a boy David was inspired and encouraged by his father, Phil Hobson, who fostered his son's musical talent.
“My earliest memory of being with my father musically was I had the fortune of singing with him on 3BA radio when I was seven or eight. We also did the local Carols by Candlelight and when I was 10 or 11, the musical Oliver with the local musical society. He was Fagin and I was the Artful Dodger,” David said.
Growing up there was a love of music in the Hobson household with his sisters also big singers. While his interest in music started with a passion for rock and jazz, David's’ talent as a classical singer was uncovered by the Victoria State Opera in the 1980s.
By the early 90’s he had cemented this reputation, playing Rodolfo in La Boheme, directed by Baz Luhrmann. These days he is a highly regarded classical performer, major recording artist and a music theatre leading man. Younger audiences know him by his appearances on Dancing With the Stars, It Takes Two, Carols By Candlelight and Spicks and Specks.
“When I’m home I’m very much hands on and like to be involved in the children’s sport and music.”David Hobson
It wasn't just music David excelled at. Like his father he was a natural sportsman.
“My father was always doing and like him I loved to play sport and be active. I used to row, play cricket, basketball, football, table tennis any sport really. I inherited that from him because he was so involved and so committed, and interested in so many different things.”
Although David lost his father many years ago he remembers him being a man devoted to family and community.
“He was a very decent man, full of integrity, who had a great deal of respect for other people. I hope these are traits I have inherited from him,” he said.
As a hard working performer with roles in Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Saville, The Pirates of Penzance and most recently as Caractacus Potts in the Australian premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, David’s commitments take him away from his family for weeks, even months at a time.
“Whilst touring can take me away from home for extended periods of time I try not to let it go more than three or four weeks before seeing my wife and children. My wife, Amber, is an amazing support. She is supportive of my work, the nature of it - she makes it work.”
This support includes organising family get togethers around the country when David is touring.
“If it is a tour like I did last year with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang of eight shows a week for 18 months I will try and make time for them to come to me.”
David admits the separation can be difficult but says this just makes him more determined to be involved when he is home.
“When I’m home I’m very much hands on and like to be involved in the children’s sport and music.”
Time spent with his children, daughter Madi, 16, and son Sam, 13, takes priority when he is either not working or has a role close to home.
“I recently went with Madi to a performance of Rolling Thunder Vietnam at Hamer Hall. She is studying history so this was a great way to connect with her and what is going on in her life.”
Sam and his father, like David’s father before him, connect via involvement in the local football club.
David believes that while he has no desire to be a "helicopter parent" there is an expectation these days that parents will be very involved in their children's lives.
“Fathers are more involved than ever in their children’s lives, but that’s got to be a win win for the parents and the kids.”