It was a night filled with skilful sync as Datuk Sheila Majid met the MPO.
THE one thing I love when it comes to attending the performances of Datuk Sheila Majid is how truly 1Malaysia her audience is.
Where else can you spot a tudung-clad makcik rhythmically swaying her head next to a batik-wearing Chinese uncle, while a spikyhaired Eurasian lass cheers from behind?
At The MPO Celebrates 25 Years Of Sheila Majid, a two-night performance at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP), KLCC, last week, her diehard fans came out in full force; tickets reportedly sold out within two days of the launch in late August. (At one juncture, Sheila expressed her gratitude to the “crazy fans who queued up as early as 6.30am”.)
For the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and renowned songstress Sheila, the concert was a match made in symphonic music heaven. The MPO’s reputed excellence in orchestral music, together with Sheila’s endearing stage persona and star power, exude an artistic synergy that is best measured as it is experienced.
Sheila, 45, has always maintained a trademark contemporary pop music sound tastefully blended with jazz and R&B. Backed by a full orchestra, Sheila was in her element on the second night on Oct 2 which I attended. Despite her petite stature – which seemed even smaller when standing in the centre of an orchestra – her vocals, as usual, managed to strike a balance between power and pleasantness.
Many months in planning, Sheila’s shows billed under the DFP Showcase banner coin- cided with her 25th anniversary celebration in the local music scene. It marked her first collaboration with the MPO but it was her second performance at DFP; in 2000, she held sold-out showcases under the Jazz & World Music series.
From beginning to end, I enjoyed every minute of the showcase, which kicked off with Sheila’s energetic rendering of Aduh Sayang. Radiant in a one-shouldered blue dress with tiered skirt, Sheila seemed intent on having fun, promising the audience that they would see the MPO “groove”.
An evening to remember: Datuk Sheila Majid in a sequinned dress after the interval; (pic right) Sheila acknowledging the audience along with conductor Kevin Field while performing Embun.