It was obvious that, every person in the audience was buzzing with excitement. So, when the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra walked onto the stage, the lights dimmed and the video of the infamous Walt Disney Pictures opening was projected onto the screen above, I'm sure that, every adult was sent back down the road of their childhood, and every child’s heart leapt in awe at the possibility of magic. The Pixie dust had been set and we were all ready to go down the rabbit hole to a place of magic and excitement.
Once the beautiful Disney songs medley opening was finished and the audience had clapped their hands quickly and gleefully, the conductor introduced four American singers who would sing songs we all knew so well, as the the orchestra played the score to go along with the vocals. Now, I had wondered about the singing, would they play the audio tracks from the movies? Or would there be no singing and just the orchestra? Keeping an open mind I cheered for the two men and women who had animatedly introduced themselves and began narrating about the concepts of Disney movies.
Their short speeches about, the characters' dreams and side kicks, were cute and entertaining, especially for the pint-sized audience members, however, when it came to them singing along with the orchestra, I felt that the singers majorly overshadowed the MSO musicians. The spotlight was on the brightly coloured clad singers and their small dance skits and funny faces whilst a dark, “mood setting” light was cast on the orchestra, making the audience focus primarily on the performers.
The singers were great at mimicking the Disney princess voices and the comical side kicks' solos, and did a very good job at entertaining the kids, even making the adults chuckle. I just feel that, they "stole the show," and I would have enjoyed hearing the MSO alone, a little more.
Another thing that I felt dampened the show a bit, was that many classic Disney scores from the older films were omitted. We had a small peek in the beginning during the opening song medley, but that's it. I feel that, the mature audience members – some younger ones as well – would have appreciated hearing the classics. Having said that, despite these two small faults, I found that the show was very entertaining and definitely did bring magic and laughter to my day, and I'm sure for the other members of the audience as well.
I was sitting next to two older women, who had a visible sparkle of wonderment in their eyes during the entire performance, as if they were still the age when they were first introduced to Disney films, the same look in the eyes of the young children in presence at this performance. It just goes to show, how much Disney can bring people together and spread love across so many hearts regardless of age. There is nothing that a little faith, trust, and Pixie dust can’t do.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra presents
DISNEY IN CONCERT
Conductor Benjamin Northey
Venue: Plenary, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: 26 September 2015