At this year’s Christmas Proms at the Festival Theatre, Tim Sexton conducted the Adelaide Art Orchestra and the Mellowtone Five Singers, as they channeled the “Rat Pack” in a Yuletide swing-a-long.
Presented as a brightly wrapped Christmas gift that was compiled with love and thought, and which brought beautifully to life the spirit and comfort and joy of the time of year.
Sexton offered all the virtues we expect from his proms. It was effervescent, surprising, benign, stylish, musically rewarding and packed to the rafters with impressive artistes performing at the top of their game.
Old chestnuts such as; ‘Let it Snow’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, pop while there was plenty of jazz and swing in most of the musical pieces including a wonderfully arranged version of Ravel’s spellbinding ‘Bolero’ infused with ‘O Tannenbaum’.
There were harking angels, sleigh bells, a red-nosed reindeer, Santa on a scooter, oriental kings, dancing girls and a partridge in a pear tree.
However, the stars of the show are world-class vocalists Rachael Beck and Michael Falzon. Beck’s solos included ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Silent Night’ and her voice was magnificent, emotive and she was a pure pleasure to behold.
Equally as striking was Flazon’s raunchy rendition of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and his duet with Beck draws on Crosby and Bowie as they deliver ‘Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth’, with elegance, equanimity and assurance.
Frivolous without being inconsequential and heartening without stooping to soppiness, the Christmas Proms is a festive crowd-pleaser that genuinely succeeds.
Christmas Proms 2015 will be held at the Adelaide Festival Theatre on December 18 and 19, 2015.
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