The inimitable music legend Barbra Streisand turns 80 this April and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will celebrate this monumental occasion with four stunning performances at Hamer Hall.
Under the baton of Vanessa Scammell, Australia’s own musical theatre royalty Caroline O’Connor will be joined by multi-talented, genre-hopping vocalist Katie Noonan and two of Australia’s hottest musical theatre artists Elise McCann (Merrily We Roll Along, Matilda The Musical, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door) and Ryan Gonzalez (they/them) (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jersey Boys), in an extraordinary tribute to one of the greatest musical talents in modern history.
With an illustrious career spanning six decades, Barbra Streisand is a multi-award-winning performer, director and producer of stage and screen, and one of only a few elite artists to hold the rare EGOT (Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar and Tony).
One of the best-selling female music artists of all time, Streisand’s record-breaking 52 gold and 31 platinum albums feature some of the world’s most loved songs from The Way We Were and Evergreen to Send in the Clowns, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers and Guilty.
Streisand has worked with legendary composers including Alan and Marilyn Bergman and the late great Stephen Sondheim. Their combined catalogues of memorable compositions are timeless treasures of the canon.
Australia’s own star of Broadway and West End, Caroline O’Connor (Chicago, West Side Story, Anything Goes), said Streisand has had an enormous influence on musical theatre. “As a young aspiring singer, I would sing along to Barbara Streisand recordings hoping to figure out the secret to her magnificent voice,” said Caroline.
“It’s unfathomable. A unique, magnificent instrument that can stir all your emotions. A superstar singer, actress and film director whose legacy of work will never be matched.”
Acclaimed Aussie songstress Katie Noonan, whose remarkable musicality has produced stunning reinterpretations of timeless classics, also paid tribute to Streisand and her living legacy.
“Barbra Streisand is one of the greatest musical interpreters of all time. I believe her ability to bring a song to life is unparalleled,” said Katie. “Her phrasing, her pitch, her tone, her dynamics, her sense of storytelling and her overall artistry is awe inspiring.”
“I am deeply honoured to join the magnificent Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to celebrate her extraordinary artistry and contribution to culture.”
The musical program will be arranged by conductor, composer and avid film-buff Nicholas Buc and directed by one of Australia’s most versatile choreographers and exciting new directors, Cameron Mitchell.
To Barbra, With Love – An 80th Birthday Celebration
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performances: 21 – 23 April 2022
Information and Bookings: www.mso.com.au
Image: To Barbra, With Love (supplied)