Sunday, 8 October 2006

"Musical Highlights!"

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drum
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Okay, the above was to inform you all that today Les Misérables celebrates its 21st birthday in West End - in case anybody didn't already know ...
Thumbs Up

The rest of this blog entry will function as a review on the "Musical Highlights" concert I attended today, hopefully it will satisfy your curiosity! Also, the concert was sung almost entirely in Swedish, and I'm not sure of some titles etc in English, so a bit of an apology to all those of you who don't understand Swedish.
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The Tonica Orchestra was playing (wonderful!!!), conductor was Mats Janhagen (quite famous in Sweden, he was involved in the Phantom of the Opera production in Stockholm around 1994) and solists were Christer and Cecile Nerfont, two rather famous Swedish musical performers, who also happens to be married! Raining Hearts
And the theme, of course : Musicals!!

The concert started out with an instrumental medley from Phantom of the Opera, very powerfully conducted and a terrific start of the concert. All the famous songs were in it of course: "Phantom of the Opera", "All I Ask Of You", "Music of the Night" and many more! Amazing!

The show continued with three songs from the musical Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in which Cecile and Christer played the leads for the Värmlands-opera this season. Cecile sang "Bring On The Men" (she did a marvellous job, really amazing!), Christer sang "This Is The Moment" (also wonderful) and together they finished with "Dangerous Game" (Christer was totally amazing as Mr Hyde, he did something with his voice and sounded totally scary!!)!

Then Christer and Cecile had a bit of a break, and the orchestra played an instrumental medley from West Side Story - once again with all the famous songs ... I loved it!

Christer and Cecile returned for Kristina Från Duvemåla, one of my very favourites!! First Cecile sang "Hemma" and they even had six or seven kids there to do the chorus ... they were even dressed up like Karl-Oskar and Kristina's children, in old and worn-out clothes! Really cool! Cecile did a wonderful job, I'm surprised she wasn't considered as understudy for Helen Sjöholm when the musical ran here. The Orchestra played the Battery Park song and than Christer sang "Guldet blev till Sand" ... what can I say ... Oh my God!! Shock 2 He was TOTALLY amazing ... and I have to admit I prefer his verson of the song over Peter Jöback's ... ! He also told sort of a funny thing - although I guess it's not funny if you really think about it. Christer was Peter's understudy in Kristina and when Peter left for London, Christer took over the part (Robert). Christer told us that he was repeatedly asked: "Wasn't he the guy that played Peter Jöback?!" At first we all laughed, but it must have been pretty horrible to hear something like that ... like Christer couldn't play the part, he had to play the guy that had previously played the part ... pretty horrible if you look at it that way!

Okay, the first part of the concert finished off with Christer and Cecile doing "There's No Business like Show Business" ... a wonderful finish with a lot of smiles and a lot of energy!!

After the break, the orchestra did an instrumental medley from My Fair Lady, with songs like "Wouldn't It Be Lovely?", "I Could Have Danced All Night", "On The Street Where You Live" and many more!!

Then time for my favourite part: Les Misérables!! The conductor spoke a bit about it being a French musical and whatnot, but he didn't mention that it is in fact Les Misérables' birthday today ... which I felt was a bit rude ... Still, I guess I'll have to forgive them for not being as obsessed about Les Misérables as I am ... right?!
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They did play a lot from Les Misérables though ... to my liking of course. The instrumental songs played only by the orchestra were "At The End of The Day", "Master of the House" and"On My Own". It was SO funny to see the conductor during "Master of the House", he was really involved with the music and pretty much danced around on his little podium waving the conductor's stick around! *lol* Rolly 3 In between these songs, Cecile sang "I Dreamed A Dream" (she did a great job, but unfortunately she didn't quite reach the high notes ...) and Christer sang "Bring Him Home" and "Do You Hear the People Sing?" (a short version). Christer was at his best here, I think. He actually did "Bring Him Home" better than ANYONE I've heard before, it just blew me away! The final notes, I just stared at him in awe!!! I think I want to see him as Valjean some day soon! *lol* Unfortunately, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" wasn't great. I've heard it in Sweden on a concert once before, and they arrange it in a VERY strange way!! They speed it up soooo much, I can't for the life of me understand how Christer managed to articulate the words, becuasue it was so quick ... and it sort of looses some of its power when you do that ... so that was a little disapointing actually ....

Okay, moving on from my favourite subject ;) - the orchestra played a medley from the Roger's & Hammerstein musical The King and I, which I'm not familiar with, and then Cecile came out and did "Where Ever He Ain't" ... didn't qutie catch which musical that's from ... Mack & Mable or something like that?? Anybody who can help out???

Christer and Cecile finished off with a lovely little speach on how they celebrated 10 years as professional performers and 10 years as a couple ... so cute! Raining Hearts And than they sang the duet "Something Stupid" ... and it was just adorable and wonderful and totally fantastic!!

The orchestra finished off with the powerful "76 Trombones" from Music Man (**thanks for the info, Annika!**) - fantastic!!

Christer and Cecile were called in, I think five or six times actually, and the orchestra had to repeat "76 Trombones" before we all were satisfied and left!

All in all - this was a WONDERFUL evening, I had the best time, and I really hope I come across Christer and Cecile Nerfont again, they are wonderful performers and seem very at-ease and friendly!!

Hope you enjoyed my review ... now it's "Back to Studies" time!


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Dakota said...

sounds like a great concert! :)
thanks for sharing your review! :)

Jessica said...

Yeah, it was a really wonderful concert, I'm sooo happy to have been there!!
Even though I know this is a single concert, I find myself wanting to go back a second time! *lol*