After highly acclaimed performances all over the world, The Choir of Man, has arrived at the Sydney Opera House. Adoring fans, sell out shows and festival awards, put me in high spirits and ready to get raucous with the nine man vocal ensemble.
If you get in early the cast will shout you a beer as each show gets a 100 free litres to distribute amongst the revellers. It is a fun, novel and highly energetic way to start the show. When you have been poured a drink by the barman and been privy to his smile, it makes you instantly part of the performance.
The Choir of Man are exceptional singers. Their voices harmonise beautifully as they belt out ballads, roar rock anthems and serenade softly. Layered between song and dialogue were provoking social and political statements.
The Choir of Man takes a positive and refreshing look at masculinity in the twenty-first century. George, the main narrator talks about how at this bar, The Jungle, opening up and sharing thoughts is all part of the ethos. You can have a few brewskis and leave your troubles behind or your mates will sit with you while you lay them on the table. The Choir of Man is beautifully hospitable. Embracing music and moustaches, beer and broken hearts they redefine the idea of what a man in a pub is and what he gets up to.
Whether they meant it or not the most powerful moment was when they did their rendition of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice. After the horrific loss of lives in New Zealand this week this song resonated with the audience. The lyrics allowed a moment of sorrow to be shared and acknowledged. Singing out loud…
We're all someone's daughter,
We're all someone's son
How long can we look at each other
Down the barrel of a gun?
with a room full of strangers, a choir of nine men and a beer in the belly gave a sense of unity, which was uplifting.
Although The Choir of Man cannot be faulted for their voices, their song choices sometimes seemed to miss the mark. Some musical numbers didn’t quite fit into the storyline of the performance. But this is a small criticism. For when the Choir of Man got it right they nailed it. The best example of this was the performance of Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. Not only was the introduction by George done well but the faultless performance by the bartender made the moment truly memorable.
It was one of those shows where you wanted to go and watch it again and again. Not only because each performer had their own story to tell and you can’t watch all nine at once, I know I tried, but because audience participation is a huge part of the tone. Be aware if you are sitting in the front few rows there is a good chance you will get brought up on stage. But don’t worry you will get a free drink and if you go with the flow fun can be had. In fact one of our audience members nearly stole the show.
The Choir of Man is high energy fun, it will make you nostalgic for the pubs of England if you have ever been and if you haven’t then you will begin to understand why pubs are so loved. Get your vocal cords warmed, grab beer and enjoy the show.
Sydney Opera House presents
The Choir of Man
Venue: The Studio | Sydney Opera House, NSW
Dates: 20 March – 7 April 2019
Tickets: $49.00 + $8.00 booking fee