The Musical Express

Saturday the fourteenth saw the World Heritage Project sponsored ‘Musical Express’ performance featuring the ‘Fiddlers on the hoof’ from the UK. According to the World Heritage Project’s site, “The World Heritage Project (WHP) is a not-for-profit media organization passionate about preserving the beauty of our planet’s natural and cultural diversity. Through the dynamic media of photography, film, music and other artistic expressions, we are creating the greatest celebration of our planet. The Hindu, Air India, MRF and Kingfisher Airlines are among the sponsors of the project. Read more about it here. The Musical Express is a new show devised especially for the company “Fiddlers on the Hoof” for its tour of India. Highlighting the very best musical theatre repertoire from London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, it was performed by an ensemble handpicked from the finest young singers and musicians in the UK. The music was played by an ensemble composed of highly regarded professional musicians. The instrumentalists are drawn from the Ulster Orchestra, a full-time professional orchestra based in Belfast which is regularly featured on the BBC. The singers are all active on the operatic and concert platform in Belfast and the UK.

They presented songs from many of the famous musicals that remain forever in the memories of people all over the world: ‘Summer loving’, ‘Beauty school drop out’, ‘There are worse things’ and ‘Greased lightning’ from the musical ‘Grease’; ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘Sabbath Prayer’ from ‘Fiddler on the roof’; ‘Close every door’ and ‘I close my eyes’ from ‘Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat’; ‘At the end of the day’, ‘On my own’, ‘Empty tables’, ‘I dreamed a dream’, ‘Bring him home’ and ‘Do you hear the people sing’ from ‘Les Miserables’; ‘America’, ‘I feel pretty’, ‘A boy like that’, ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’ from “West side story’; ‘I could have danced all night’ and ‘On the street where you live’ from ‘My fair lady’; ‘Over the rainbow’ from ‘The wizard of Oz’; ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music’, ‘Doe a deer’, ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘Climb every mountain’ from ‘The sound of music’; ‘A whole new wolrd’ from ‘Aladdin’; ‘Memory’ from ‘Cats’ and ‘Can you feel the love tonight?’ from ‘The lion king’ along with a few others.

The singing was superb, but the songs could have been choreographed in keeping with the stage performances. A few were done nicely, but the majority saw the singers delivering their lines while standing mostly still, which did not lend itself to how the song was to be depicted. For example, an absolutely exuberant song like ‘I could have danced all night’ was sung without the choreography, and was there froe delivered in a static manner. Songs such as ‘Summer loving’, ‘On the street where you live’ and ‘America’ were choreographed well and added to the luster of the performance. The sound system was also not up to scratch with the sound of the male singers dropping before the interval after which it was set right. It isn’t often that a performance of this quality comes to the city, and more care should be taken to maximize its enjoyment. The performance in Chennai was hosted by the Madras Musical Association, founded in 1893, and perhaps the oldest association of its kind East of the Suez! The MMA is a non profit organization, whose sole purpose is to perform and propagate western music of all genres.

2 Comments so far

  1. roshan s (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

    fantastic show.singing was awesome.wish i could have a few friends along

  2. roshan s (unregistered) on July 25th, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

    fantastic show.singing was awesome.wish i could have a few friends along

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