Jazz and opera meet in the middle

He is an operatic baritone. She is a soul diva. Together they will make the lions roar in an example of the genre-crossing that is reshaping our musical landscape.

The once precious classical/contemporary divide has been thoroughly trampled by symphony orchestras keen to cash in on the popularity of big name acts. Eschewing concert halls for picnic settings and formal attire for comfort cool, orchestras have co-opted popular musicians from Meat Loaf to The Wiggles in the service of offering a new generation a bridge to orchestral music.

The MSO kicked off the trend back in 1986 when it teamed with Elton John, culminating in the album Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.  Another high profile example was the MSO’s 2003 concert with KISS, involving the ‘Kiss Symphony’ Alive IV.

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Leah Blankendaal
About the Author
Leah Blankendaal is a Perth writer.