live’n’loud: Tina Arena’s or­ches­tral ma­noeu­vre

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

OR the first time in a decade, Tina Arena spent sev­eral months in Mel­bourne ear­lier this year, in­tro­duc­ing her son Gabriel, 6, to the joys of her home town.

‘‘He’s at a fun age. He’s de­vel­op­ing his per­son­al­ity and it’s hi­lar­i­ous most of the time. Most of the time . . , ’’ she says.

Arena tem­po­rar­ily re­lo­cated from Paris this year to ac­com­mo­date her re­turn as a judge to Young Ta­lent Time, the feel-good TV pro­gram that launched her ca­reer in 1974.

‘‘I knew when I de­cided to join the show it was go­ing to be lifechang­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘I’ve been in­spired by a bunch of gor­geous kids. No­body wipes the smile off their face in the stu­dio. I’ve not been in a sit­u­a­tion like that . . . ’’

Arena’s son is also a YTT fan, vis­it­ing the set with his mum dur­ing the Syd­ney record­ing ses­sions.

‘‘Will he fol­low in my foot­steps? I’m happy for him to do what makes him happy,’’ she says.

‘‘He’s got a good lit­tle voice, but I want him to fol­low his own des­tiny. It’s his call, not mine.’’

YTT fol­lows Arena judg­ing on the French ver­sion of US a cap­pella re­al­ity show The Sing Off. She’s con­fi­dent YTT will re­turn next year and, sched­ule-de­pen­dent, would be up for a sec­ond bout.

‘‘TV is a solid medium. It’s the medium where I started my ca­reer,’’ she says.

With the YTT sea­son over, Arena has em­barked on an­other or­ches­tral tour, mix­ing in her own hits with choice cov­ers such as Don’t Cry for Me Ar­gentina and Cry Me a River.

‘‘For me to ex­plore those songs that al­ready have a life is amaz­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘To be able to tell them in the con­text of a sym­phonic orches­tra is like be­ing in the best car you could pos­si­bly drive, or a Boe­ing. And hav­ing it all to your­self.’’

This year will also see Arena fin­ish her first al­bum of orig­i­nal ma­te­rial in more than a decade. ‘‘It’s eclec­tic,’’ she says. ‘‘It’s a bunch of sto­ries I’ve lived the last seven or eight years. It’s like a travel diary of dif­fer­ent places, ob­ser­va­tions and jour­neys.

‘‘It’s like a lit­tle book. Very lyri­cal, very vis­ual, it’s in­ter­est­ing. I’ve loved writ­ing it.

‘‘The mu­sic has con­ti­nen­tal el­e­ments to it. You might hear a pi­ano ac­cor­dion. It’s not some­thing hit FM sta­tions will play, but I’ve been very happy with the evo­lu­tion of my ca­reer tak­ing its nat­u­ral pace. I’ve not forced anything.’’

Tina Arena and the Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra play the Lyric The­atre, at QPAC, in Bris­bane, tonight and to­mor­row at 8pm. Tickets are $99 to $147, on sale via Qtix.

Tina Arena per­forms her hits and a se­lec­tion of cov­ers in two shows with the Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra

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