Issued 4 December, 2009
Antony and the Johnsons
31 January + 1 February 2010, Concert Hall
“Two words and he has broken your heart. When he sings it is the most exquisite thing you will hear in your life” - Laurie Anderson.
Light and song in sublime harmony - Metro (UK)
As part of Adventures 2010, Sydney Opera House presents Mercury prize winner, New York singer-songwriter, Antony and his band, The Johnsons performing their ethereal and visually spellbinding ‘symphony tour’ for two shows only, 31 January and 1 February, Concert Hall.
First seen during 2005 Sydney Festival as part of the Leonard Cohen tribute concert, Came so far for Beauty, where he set the stage alight with his heartbreaking rendition of If It Be Your Will, Antony will return for a special concert accompanied by a 41 piece orchestra.
Performing songs from all three of his albums plus new arrangements by New York composer, Nico Muhly, a Juilliard graduate and protégée of Philip Glass who has collaborated with Bjork and Rufus Wainwright amongst others, the concerts will be conducted by Rob Moose, concertmaster with Burt Bacharach.
One of the most distinctive vocalists in music today, Antony’s vocal tone sits somewhere between black jazz singer, Jimmy Scott and British crooner, Brian Ferry. Pitched in the region of a counter tenor yet containing a deep masculine quality, his voice is a delicate multi-octave instrument that can capture despair with soaring beauty.
Cutting an exotic figure with his alabaster skin and shambolic gait, Antony was discovered by rock impresario, Hal Willner who introduced him to rock icon, Lou Reed. Reed auditioned him and employed him as a back up singer on his 2003 tour. Since then, Antony formed his own band, released three albums, Antony and the Johnsons, I am a Bird Now – winner of the2005 Mercury Music prize and The Crying Light, a breathtaking record about love, loss and the environment.
Chichester born, but growing up in California, Antony moved to New York in 1990, where he found a world much more accepting of his sexually ambiguous nature. Revealing private worlds of tenderness and sorrow, his thoughtful and emotionally vulnerable lyrics ruminate on themes of gender, identity and the struggle to transcend barriers.
More than just a concert, the symphony tour sees sound and vision unite as the stage pulsates with a dazzling array of lighting by lighting designer, Emma Westerberg, perfectly reflecting Antony’s angelic melodies and vulnerability.
Conductor: ROBERT MOOSE:
Special Guests: William Basinski & Johanna Constantine
Date: 31 January + 1 February, 2010
Venue: Concert Hall
Tickets: from $79
Bookings: 02 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
Claire Vince, Senior Publicist
Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7825 / 0401 711 531