Dates: Thursday 6 July 8pm and Friday 7 July 8pm
Venue: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Prices: Tickets from $69
Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will perform a George Michael tribute concert to celebrate and honour one of the greatest pop icons of a generation at Sydney Opera House on 6 and 7 July.
"George Michael redefined what it is to be a solo artist, a musician's musician with chameleon qualities. It's time to celebrate." - Diesel
'George Michael was my pop idol growing up. A video star who could really sing and a songwriting ability which made him like a one man Beatles. He grew old with us. He was fearless." - David Campbell
"I am thrilled to be a part of anything that brings George's incredible legacy to the forefront and I am especially excited to perform with the prestigious Sydney Symphony Orchestra at one of the worlds most iconic venues." – Sam Sparro
Originally planned by the SSO as an anniversary concert marking 30 years since the release of Michael's seminal debut album Faith, the SSO will now pay tribute to a star gone too soon with a 30-song bill of his greatest hits.
The singer/songwriter has sold over 100 million records worldwide with a remarkable catalogue of music spanning pop, soul and disco. As the world continues to pay tribute to the man and his legacy, Diesel, David Campbell, Sam Sparro, Brendan Maclean, Jade MacRae, Gary Pinto, Carmen Smith and Natasha Stuart will lead SSO in Australia's own special tribute.
In full symphonic sound, the concert will feature Michael's greatest hits includingCareless Whisper, Faith, Father Figure, Praying for Time and more.
A black leather jacket, aviator sunglasses, and a classic guitar pose catapulted George Michael to the Top of the Charts across the world, where he stayed for four decades. Having achieved stardom as part of duo band Wham! Michael went on to release five studio albums, two compilation albums and 44 singles.
His 1987 debut solo album Faith sold over 25 million units worldwide, hitting number 1 in both the US and UK. His next album Listen Without Prejudice went on to win Album of the Year in 1991 at The Brit Awards. Older, Songs from the Last Centuryand Patience followed, all achieving worldwide acclaim amounting in a lifetime of awards including three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.
And Its' hard to love,
There's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
Where there is no hope to speak of,
And the wounded skies above
Say its' much, much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time
- 'Praying For Time" – 1990
George Michael was a voice of his generation. A musical poet whose messages still resonate clearly with the social and political realities we continue to face. As James Cordon pronounced in the Grammy Awards tribute to George Michael this year, 'his honesty and openness in his songs excluded no-one".
While the world waits for the release of the documentary Michael was working on at the time of his death, Freedom: George Michael, audiences can celebrate a genius in this special tribute concert George Michael: Praying for Time at the Sydney Opera House in July.
'After the huge excitement generated by the "David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed' season with the SSO, we turned our minds to another marvelous catalogue of music to be explored. In August 2016 we started discussing George Michael, largely due to the impending 30th anniversary of Faith. Delving through over one hundred tunes in the Christmas break, I was mortified at the breaking news on Boxing Day. How could it be that such a gifted artist was gone at only 53. Our discussions and the tone of the show altered but certainly not the resolve to present over 30 of those songs in collaboration with our Artists.' – Amanda Pelman.
Conductor: Nicholas Buc
Executive Producer: Mark Sutcliffe
Creative Director: Amanda Pelman
Musical Director: Paul Gray