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2015年2月6日 星期五

From Bayerischen Staatoper to Broadway(由德國巴伐利亞國家歌劇院至百老)

Wagner was a perfectionist: he wanted a theatre specially built to his specifications : the Bayerischen Staatoper. Broadway theatres, however, are much more flexible because Broadway musicals are supposed to be pure "entertainment". Their style is much freer and much less stilted. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Broadway productions are any less enjoyable. Last Saturday, we had a Filipino brother and sister team from America who gave us a taste of their own version of Broadway classics: Lea Salonga, singer and Gerard Salonga, conductor.

We had quite a collection of different numbers from various composers in the first half of the concert:  Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)'s Overture ( Symphonic Broadway), Something Coming (West Side Story). Ennio Morricone (b 1928)'s Remember (Cinema Paradiso), Richard Rodger and Lorenz Hart's My Romance (Jumbo) Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez's Let it Go (Frozen) Sara Bareille (b. 1979) 's Brave, Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly (b. 1960)'s True Colors; Rodger and Hammerstein's I Enjoy Being a Girl (Flower Drum Song), Claude-Michel Schönberg (b 1944) and Alain Boublil's  I'd Give my Life for you and Too Much for One Heart (Miss Saigon).

In the second half of the concert, we continued with slightly more recent numbers like Bernstein's Three Dance Episodes (On the Town), Stephen Sondheim's Another Hundred People (Company), Send in the Clowns (A Little Night Music), Andrew Lloyd Webber's Don't Cry for Me Argentina (Evita). Jule Styne (1905-1994)'s Who are you Now? (Funny Girl), Matthew Wilder (b 1953) and David Zippel's Reflection (Mulan) and Schönberg & Boublil's I Dreamed a Dream and On My Own (Les Miserables) and finally a medley arranged by the conductor comprising What Are you Doing the Rest of your Life, Windmills of your Mind and A Piece of Sky

Lea Salonga is an excellent Broadway artist, suave, sensitive to audience reaction and knows all the tricks to get the audience interested in what's she's about to do, telling short stories about the origin of the various songs, bits of her life as a singer, jokes etc and when the concert was about to end, she was most generous with "encores" and got the audience to sing along with her a number from the popular Broadway musical "Mama Mia". Her brother by contrast is much more reserved but he really knows his stuff and made moving music often with the help of his own drummer and two jazz electric guitarists and the very responsive HKPO, giving us two hours of uninterrupted "entertainment".