What the World Needs Now: A Celebration of Burt Bacharach

MSO Burt Bacharach

In celebration of one of the greatest songwriters of all time, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Benjamin Northey will perform What the World Needs Now: A Celebration of Burt Bacharach for two shows only at Hamer Hall.

Burt Bacharach (1928-2023), along with long-time collaborator Hal David, provided the soundtrack to generations with more than 1000 artists having recorded his songs.

From 1961-1972 most of the duo’s songs were written for the inimitable Dionne Warwick, with artists including Perry Como, Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones also recording hits written by Bacharach and David.

What the World Needs Now: A Celebration of Burt Bacharach unites the MSO with a stellar cast of Australian voices. Musical theatre stars David Campbell and Caroline O’Connor, award-winning jazz vocalist Emma Pask and Zimbabwean-born First Lady of Soul and R&B Thndo celebrate the unparalleled legacy of a music icon.

Multi-talented crooner David Campbell says he is looking forward to celebrating such a musical icon. “Burt Bacharach is one of the great songwriters of the past hundred years – I grew up on his music, listening to great artists across decades sing his many, many hits. What the world needs now is more music and song and I cannot wait to sing some of my favourites from this legendary musician,” he said.

During his illustrious and prolific career, the composer, songwriter, record producer and pianist received six Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards and one Emmy. Bacharach’s chart success included 73 US and 52 UK top 40 hits over four decades.

What the World Needs Now: A Celebration of Burt Bacharach will feature some of his most memorable songs including What the World Needs NowAlfieWalk on ByI Say a Little PrayerClose to YouOne Less Bell to AnswerAny Day NowThat’s What Friends Are For and more.

David Campbellis one of Australia’s most popular and versatile entertainers. A proven television and radio host, he also headlines theatre, cabaret and concert performances, as well as being an ARIA winning, multi-platinum recording artist and author.

David is the popular co-host of the national Today Extra show for the Nine Network. He is also one of our leading musical theatre stars and has achieved similar success on the international stage, most notably captivating New York with his award-winning cabaret show. His production credits include North By NorthwestDream Lover – The Bobby Darin MusicalLes MisérablesCompanyShout!Assassins and more.

Caroline O’Connor has the kind of career most performers dream of. From Australia to the fabled marquees of New York’s Broadway and London’s West End, to the world’s preeminent concert stages and silver screens, Caroline’s international renown shines light not only on her immense creative skills and talent, but also her passion, her dedication, her boundless energy and sheer hard work. She remains one of the most respected and admired singer, dancer and actresses in show business.

In Australia, her powerhouse performances and multi award winning credits are firmly stamped in theatrical history. In 2020 she was awarded an AM Order of Australia for her extraordinary service to Theatre. With a 40-year career, spanning three continents, her broad and spectacularly versatile body of work firmly cements her standing as one of Australia’s most treasured gems.

Award winning vocalist Emma Pask has firmly established herself as one of Australia’s favourite voices in Jazz. Her effortless honest stage presence combined with her powerful vocal ability, leaves audiences spellbound and inspired whenever she takes to the stage.

While Emma’s voice and style are unique, and individually her own, her performances are reminiscent of the classic era of jazz, when swing was top of the charts. Her talent was first spotted by internationally renowned Jazz great James Morrison when she was just 16 years old. Emma joined his band as the lead vocalist at 16 and spent a solid 20 years touring the world with Morrison.

The widely loved Zimbabwean-born ‘First Lady of Soul and R&B’, Thndo (fka Thando) has commanded massive crowds at festivals such as Bluesfest, WOMAdelaide, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Groovin the Moo, BigSound, Jungle Love, Woodford Folk Festival and more.

Her sold out shows at Chapel Off Chapel have stunned audiences to a point of standing ovation; rave reviews following in their wake. Every performance is a statement – a triumph of powerful lyricism, rich-ranged vocals and smooth backing instrumentation – turning onward the wheel of live music, show by show.

What the World Needs Now: A Celebration of Burt Bacharach
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne, St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performances: Saturday 22 June 2024 – 1.00pm & 7.30pm
Information and Bookings: www.mso.com.au

Image: Burt Bacharach (supplied)