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