Arts

Published: Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday October 18, 2013 MYT 8:04:51 AM

MPO meets MJ

Michael Jackson is dubbed the King Of Pop for many reasons, and one of those is the worldwide phenomenon his music created during his 40-year music career.

Hence, it is delightful to still be able to discover new depths to the late singer’s works, such as when they were recently presented by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).

The Music Of Michael Jackson at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) was an opportunity for both Jackson fans and classical music aficionados to experience how these two seemingly-disparate genres can, in fact, complement each other to create something rather special.

From the moment the show kicked off with a medley of Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, the audience was smitten.

Frontlining was James Delisco, who kept the crowd going with his vocals and dancing, not to mention his infectious personality, while the MPO was conducted by the enthusiastic Brent Havens.

The show did its best to cover the entire breadth of Jackson’s career, from the Jackson 5 days – with favourites like I’ll Be There – to his later chart-toppers like Earth Song.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the show was how Jackson’s music allowed the MPO to show off their skill at genres we wouldn’t usually associate with them.

Numbers like The Way You Make Me Feel, Bad and Beat It had them in top form, and the appreciative audience was on their feet with them all the way.

Conversely, being performed by a full orchestra also added new dimensions to familiar hits. The intense backing of the string section, for instance, heightened the inherent darkness and drama of numbers like Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal.

And while there can be no replacing the man himself, Delisco provided fitting tribute – some of his best performances of the night included a moving rendition of Man In The Mirror and a lovely duet of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You with singer and former American Idol contestant Felicia Barton.

As the night ended with the entire audience dancing to Thriller – many in fedoras and white gloves, reenacting the iconic dance moves – that four years may have passed since the King Of Pop’s death, but his music continues to find new ways to live on. — Sharmilla Ganesan

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Entertainment, MPO, Michael Jackson, Thriller, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, James Delisco

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