Ramin Karimloo is an Iranian-Canadian singer, known predominantly for his incredible work on Broadway and the West End. Playing Hamer Hall for one night with Anna O’Byrne, his vocals filled the large Hamer space effortlessly, drawing from the audience more than one standing ovation throughout the evening.
Anna made for a beautiful inclusion alongside Ramin. A sensational voice in her own right, Anna’s operatic style made for a fascinating combination with Ramin’s more traditional musical theatre stylings. Their run through songs from Love Never Dies (the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera) were a nice contrast to some of Ramin’s big band numbers elsewhere during the evening.
The familiar, the expected, and an occasional surprise all found their way into the set list, made up of songs from musical theatre as well as Ramin’s own. Certainly, you’d be hard pressed to conjure a stronger opening that the once presented.
After warming up with Neverland (Finding Neverland), High Flying, Adored (Evita) and his own song, Constant Angel, he thrilled the audience with stunning renditions of Anthem (Chess) and Bring Him Home (Les Miserables).
While his band were excellent, Ramin was at his most compelling when he put the microphone stand aside and with acoustic guitar slung, stepped forward for a beautiful duet with Anna in Edelweiss (The Sound of Music), as well as an unexpected solo effort, Murder in the City.
After the quaint country feel and reflection of Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ (Oklahoma!) and Ol’ Man River (Show Boat), electricity shot through the audience as those first words from his final song, Music of the Night (The Phantom of the Opera), were heard. It was a tremendous and generous performance, infusing a cold winter evening with warmth and heart.
Ramin Karimloo In Concert with Special Guest Anna O’Byrne
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Wednesday 20 June 2018 – 8.00pm
Image: Anna O’Byrne and Ramin Karimloo (sourced)
Review: David Collins