Dewan Filharmonik Petronas sizes up a new season of opera specials, pop-centred shows and classical treats.
The upcoming 2014/15 season at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) in Kuala Lumpur which opens this August, underlines the venue’s diverse programming.
Some of the highlights to watch out for include celebrating Malaysia Day in a special concert, themed Malaysia Tanah Airku where the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will present the DFP Seni Festival that shines a light on the nation’s rich musical heritage, featuring renowned local artistes.
The MPO also welcomes Brazilian-born Fabio Machetti as principal conductor for a line-up of timeless masterpieces through the new season.
Opening in August is the opera gala concert show series (Aug 30-31) featuring two New York Metropolitan Opera stalwarts (conductor Fabio Luisi and soprano Deborah Voight in an exciting programme of Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz).
The season’s finale in June 2015 will end with Grammy-award winning South Korean soprano Sumi Jo and the Transylvanian State Philharmonic Choir (June 11, June 13-14).
Machetti will be conducting the Carmen Festival in January next year, the centrepiece of the 2014/15 season.
Commemorating the 140th anniversary of the premier of French composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen, the festival at DFP kicks off with a ballet Carmen In Dance (Jan 16-18) derived from Bizet’s music choreographed by Malaysian Wan Chin Choong and ends with a semi-staged opera Bizet’s Carmen (Jan 28, Jan 30, Feb 1) performance series directed by Brazilian André Heller-Lopes, marking the first time that a complete opera has been staged at DFP.
Also expect classical specials by Mechetti who will conduct concerts in January and work with pianist Arnaldo Cohen on the Liszt & Mahler shows on May 8-9.
Fans of Broadway can look forward to the Wicked Divas shows (Sept 5-6), which is the Pops Series showcase series. Music from Wizard Of Oz and Phantom Of The Opera are the highlights of these September shows. The Pops Series will take place throughout the season and will also include live musical soundtracks from movies such as Home Alone (Dec 18-19) and Casablanca (Feb 13-14).
Expect some darkly-themed music with a celebration of Tim Burton’s films. This Pops Series showcase (March 6-7) will feature Danny Elfman’s famous film scores followed by visuals on the big screen of clips, sketches and storyboards from Burton’s best films (Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Alice In Wonderland and The Nightmare Before Christmas).
Jazz fans can unite this season with Mardi Gras In New Orleans (April 3-4), featuring the best of New Orleans jazz led by conductor Jeff Tyzik. More in jazz as American jazz fusion act Spyro Gyra takes to the stage on Oct 7. Founded in New York in 1974, the band boasts a 40-year career and Grammy-nominations for four consecutive albums.
Also debuting this season with the MPO are several classical music luminaries, including American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, British conductor Christopher Hogwood and American conductor/pianist Robert Spano, and Venezuelan-American pianist Gabriela Montero. Conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Eiji Oue, Benjamin Zander, pianist Alain Lefevre and trumpeter Byron Stripling are also set to make a return to the DFP stage to enthral audiences with their sheer craftsmanship.
There will be two MPO spectaculars this August: Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy, directed by Grammy-winning composer Arnie Roth with the Dithyrambic Singers, complete with expanded repertoire and an HD video presentation from Aug 15-17, while the Music of Led Zeppelin, conducted by Brent Havens, is the MPO’s orchestral tribute to the legendary British rock band on Aug 22-23. The MPO celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of two significant composers: Richard Strauss this October (with Sensational Strauss concerts conducted by acclaimed Dutch musician Edo de Waart), and Jean Sibelius in Feb 2015 (with concerts led by renowned Finnish conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Hannu Lintu).
On Oct 14, dance fans can get their flamenco freak on with Spanish choreographer/dancer Isabel Bayón’s show, which is set to raise the roof at DFP.
Following that on Nov 3, R&B star Dayang Nurfaizah will perform in a concert to celebrate her 15th anniversary in the music industry. Another homegrown treat for this new season is the MPO’s collaboration with Malay pop icon Jamal Abdillah, scheduled for March 28-29, which promises to revisit the singer’s career bests from the past 30 years.
On Feb 28 and March 1, don’t miss American classical violinist Sarah Chang who will once again charm listeners with Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s concerto. Dutch superstar violinist Janine Jansen adds more treats with a Felix Mendelssohn concerto on April 18-19.
If anything, the diverse delights for this upcoming DFP season will keep your monthly concert calendar really busy.