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Review – QSO Musical Theatre Gala: Everyone was superb

By Nahima Abraham

Musical Theatre Gala

Presented by the QSO

Conducted by Guy Noble The QPAC Concert Hall

South Bank

Run time: 1 hour 20 plus interval and encore.

Musical Theatre is something weird and special. It is revered, has the power to move with such conviction and deep emotion. At its essence, it’s a play with songs added, yet it’s usually much more than that. Spanning the 20th and now 21st centuries, musical theatre has brought even a seasoned theatre patron to tears, provoked thought, and even lead them to sing along and tap their feet to the music. Although at last night’s performance of Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Musical Theatre Gala, there was no singing or dancing in the aisles, and for good reason. : Everyone was superb. Guy Noble conducted this feast for the senses, and like a well-oiled ship, it glided with ease through the offering for the night. From Guys and Dolls to Les Mis’, there was a well matched and engaging set of songs to bring the audience through a journey, yet with distinct parts. The curators for this spectacle are to be congratulated. The Musical Theatre Gala was varied, interesting, and above all, iconic. Featuring songs from Guys and Dolls, Disney, Wicked, Into the Woods and Les Misérables, there was something for everyone. And who can forget the soloists for the night? Martha Berhane, Daniel Belle, Ashleigh Denning, and Jonathan Hickey all brought unique and wonderful talents to their individual and shared performances. Each one was gorgeous, decked out in beautiful finery and singing with heart and soul. At times there was not a dry eye in the house, and at others there was outright laughter and mirth.

What was most spectacular about this Gala, was it exuded the well-known charm and excellence of the QSO and yet it was paired with brilliant singers that elevated the spectacle to new heights. QSO should absolutely do more concerts like this. The QSO Spotify playlists also seem like a recent implementation; however they add another element of accessibility to have celebrated recordings of the music to listen to after the concert too, and to relive the moments that were greatest.

After the encore, it’s always the mark of a good show to feel like you’ve been on a rollercoaster, screaming your lungs out in the wind with free abandon. Despite the fact this concert was only organised for one day, hopefully there’s more like it to come.


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