Isnin, 2 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Divine show from National Choir


There's nothing like a choir spectacle to stir the soul.

IT was like stepping into a different time zone last Saturday at Matic's Tunku Abdul Rahman Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur as it was filled with the sound of popular songs taken from movies and plays. The show aptly titled A Musical Journey Of Theatre And Film Concert was true to its title.

With Christmas around the corner and this beautiful choral concert on stage, one could not help but be totally mesmerised by such beautiful voices.

Performed by the National Choir of Malaysia (Koir Kebangsaan Malaysia), the night started off on a high note as the 40-piece choir together with guest singer Syafinaz Selamat and Mak Yong performer Rosnan Rahman (aka Pak Yong) delivered a beautiful and mesmerising Nuance Of Rebab Fantasy.

The song was specially composed by Fairuz Zamani (who is also the pianist for the ensemble) for the concert. It featured a delightful choral piece with a new musical arrangement based on the famous traditional Mak Yong tune Mengadap Rebab.

The hall was positively glowing with Syafinaz's classically-trained vocals interwoven with Rosnan's earthy and dramatic Mak Yong delivery.

To think that Syafinaz and the conductor Mohd Amri Mohd Zin had been planning and working for the longest time just to get a Mak Yong song in the choir.

Though one couldn't really understand the lyrics (it was in Kelantanese dialect), but the tune's melody, and the vocal prowess of both Syafinaz and Rosnan were more than enough to get you under its spell.

From a Mak Yong song, the audience was then taken on a ride via musical West Side Story with Tonight, I Feel Pretty, Maria and America.

Enchanting vocal performances.. Vox Aurora members (from left)  Rabi'atul Raba'ah Baharuddin,Lilis Syafuza Mohd Yatim and Nurul Fazlina Ariff Abdullah performed Mandarin Song Chiu Kan Tang Bue Bo at A Musical Journey Of Theatre And Film Concert held at Matic last Saturday.

Vox Aurora members (from left) Rabi'atul Raba'ah Baharuddin, Nur Hidayah Jamaluddin and Nurul Fazlina Ariff Abdullah performed Mandarin song Chiu Kan Tang Bue Bo.

It was soon followed by The Impossible Dream taken from Man Of La Mancha.

If those tunes were not enough to swoon the audience over, Don't Cry for Me Argentina and On This Night Of A Thousand Stars from Evita definitely did the job. The night was just getting better when the ensemble performed the late Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman, taken from the movie of the same title. Seeing a young woman strutting stageside in thigh-high boots reminded us so much of Julia Roberts' antics in the movie. Delicious!

And who could forget Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which came next?

For a choir concert newbie like myself, it was definitely a musical feast for the ears. It was exciting to catch the rich harmonies on tunes like Do Re Mi and Climb Every Mountain (Sound Of Music), Listen (Dreamgirls), Consider Yourself (Oliver!), Pantom of the Opera (Phantom Of The Opera).

Syafinaz Selamat, who was also the concert¿s aristic and vocal director, performed the highly-popular Anuar Zain¿s Sedetik Lebih (Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa). And the beautiful performances showcased Syafinaz classical style which drew smiles on Anuar who was among the audience that night at the A Musical Journey Of Theatre And Film Concert.

Artistic and vocal director Syafinaz Selamat.

Much to everyone's delight, Syafinaz, who was also the concert's artistic and vocal director, kept the local flavour in the spotlight.

She performed the highly-popular Anuar Zain's Sedetik Lebih (Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa), which drew smiles from Anuar who was in the audience that night.

Other Malay songs performed were the infectious Ombak Rindu (Ombak Rindu), Sandarkan Pada Kenangan (Azura) and a medley of Puncak Tertinggi and Asmaradana (from Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical).

The haunting Pulangkan (Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam 2), popularised by Misha Omar, was performed by all-girl group Vox Aurora (Rabi'atul Raba'ah Baharuddin, Nur Hidayah Jamaluddin and Nurul Fazlina Ariff Abdullah). The girls just blew the audience away with their superb vocals and theatrical stunts (yes, white dresses amidst thick fog on stage).

Led by Vox Aurora, the choir made quite an impression when it performed the famous Mandarin song Chiu Kan Tang Bue Bo (Papa, Can You Hear Me Sing).

It was a wonderful way to end the night when Tamil song Balleilakka (taken from movie Sivaji The Boss) got the hall clapping along. Surely a spot of dancing would have made it all the more merry. A party-flavoured choir outing next? Over to you, Syafinaz.


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