Roberta FlackThe heat wave has affected us all in one shape or form this last week. Indeed, on Friday night, as the power outage first struck the Arts Centre, and then Hamer Hall, ‘the show must go on’ was, disappointingly, not the theme of the evening for reasons beyond anyone’s control. However, all was redeemed and temperaments cooled when a make-up show was announced.

Supported by our own Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the legendary Ms Roberta Flack proved that although she and her vocal chords may be a little more fragile at almost 72 years of age, this graduate of the School of Music at Howard University, chart-topping and Grammy award winning artist, is still a stunning diva. Ms Flack, dressed in black save for a shiny silver sequinned jacket was not afraid to tell a story, engage the audience in sing-a-longs and hitch her skirt up so she could get more comfortable in front of the grand piano.

In a celebration of the best of her musical career, accompanied by The Real Artists Symposium, including the stunning voices of Derick Hughes and Tony Terry as well as the staggering Arturo Tappin on saxophones and flute, the audience journeyed through many of her hits: Killing Me Softly with His Song, Jesse, First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, Tonight I Celebrate My Love, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow plus one of her many duets with the late Donny Hathaway, Where Is the Love.

With her first album First Take released in 1969, retirement does not appear to be an option. Roberta’s next project is a Beatles’ album, and she has recently opened her own music school which allows the less privileged children of Hunts Point in the Bronx the opportunity to study music, at no cost.

Ms Flack deserves to have been placed in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. She is timeless.

Roberta Flack
with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Venue: the Arts Centre Hamer Hall
Date/Time: Sunday 1 February at 9pm
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 136 166

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