Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: My Life is A Symphony – Kate Ceberano with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Breathtaking and stunning — Ceberano continues to captivate audiences

Breathtaking and stunning — Ceberano continues to captivate audiences

Presented by: Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed: 10 June, 2023

For forty years Kate Ceberano has been recording and performing in Australia and around the world. With an impressive thirty albums behind her, including eleven platinum albums, ten Top 10 singles, four ARIA Awards and over 8,000 live performances, Ceberano is celebrating her success with a series of performances around Australia on the back of her new album launch, My Life Is A Symphony.

My Life Is A Symphony, put together in collaboration with her good friend Roscoe James Irwin (known for his work with The Cat Empire and The Bamboos), is a breathtaking celebration of Kate Ceberano’s songwriting from across her 40-year recording career. 

As part of the opening weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Ceberano joined forces with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for a one-night-only celebration of her career. Ceberano, the ASO, her band and her four backing singers produced a magical sound that filled the packed Adelaide Festival Theatre.

Ceberano’s music was at the forefront of this show, though she did pause between a few numbers to share insight to key moments in her life that lead to the composition of some of her biggest hits. Her conversations with the audiences were warm and sincere. You could easily forget you were sitting in the Festival Theatre; you’d be forgiven for thinking you were actually in Ceberano’s lounge room having a conversation with her. Her voice, which could only be described as liquid and velvet, filled the theatre with warmth. Ceberano’s vocals are effortless and she has a exquisite vocal tone that has the ability to connect with her lyric in such a way it draws you in. It was clear that Ceberano finds immense joy in performing, especially with a world-class symphony orchestra backing her. There were moments where Ceberano couldn’t contain her excitement as she exploded into dance at the quality of musicianship that the ASO provided.

Under the spellbinding direction of conductor Vanessa Scammell, the ASO provided the perfect accompaniment to Ceberano’s mesmerising vocals. Roscoe Jame Irwin’s arrangements are an absolute aural feast. When Ceberano and Irwin first talked about how she wanted her music to be re-imagined, the briefing was simple: Golden Age Movie Musicals. The ASO transfixed the audience, and at times Ceberano, with these stunning arrangements. With soaring string lines, warm and expanding brass, topped with colourful flavour from the woodwinds, Irwin’s arrangements captured Ceberano’s brief to a tee.

It is truly a wonderful experience as an audience to see an artist like Ceberano still get excited and moved by their music. Her infectious smile captured the Festival Centre and her stunning voice certainly filled everyone’s soul with warmth on a cold winter’s night.

Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff

Photo credit: Claudio Raschella

Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre
Season: Ended
Duration: 2 hours

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