In 1972, four Swedes performing under the name ABBA wrote and released their first English song “People Need Love”. It was the start of a phenomenon that bought us “Dancing Queen”, “Mamma Mia”, “I do I do I do”, ‘Fernando”, “Waterloo”, “Winner Takes it All” and many more of the greatest pop songs in history. And their music spawned the phenomenally successful movie, “Mamma Mia!”
50 years later that musical milestone is celebrated in a fabulous night that will surely be one to remember.
Audiences at “People Need Love, 50 Years of ABBA” to play at Her Majesty’s Theatre on 2nd July will dance, sing and delight in the joy that will emanate throughout the venue from the magnificent sounds of ABBA’s greatest hits backed with the lush sounds of the Adelaide Concert Orchestra, 5 vocalists (yes 5 and there’s a story to that), a hot band and a special guest appearance by the Woodville High choir.
Is there anything more uplifting than ABBA? The songs we grew up with, that we discovered all over again in “Mamma Mia”, the songs that are timeless and are sung by grandparents with their grandkids. ABBA is pure happiness shared in music.
For Adelaide vocalist, ABBA fan and now concert producer Nat Ermer, this ABBA celebratory event is driven by a personal story of love and dedication. Nat’s mother Olga was a singer and introduced her to ABBA’s music as a child. As a vocalist in numerous bands over many years, ABBA’s music has always been a part of Nat’s life. “Something changes in me when I sing ABBA. I’m transported back to playing in the yard with my family, simple picnics, beach days, dancing wildly, singing together – that’s something my family has always done – singing together” she said.
Nat’s mother, who despite suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, was the undisputed life of the party, always singing and beloved by all those who knew her. Sadly, she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in September 2021 – just 3 ½ weeks later she was gone. Nat, as a musician, and in an effort to create work during the pandemic conceived the “People Need Love” concept and discussed it with Olga before her passing. Spurred on by the memories of her childhood and those fun times singing ABBA with her mum, she’s worked tirelessly in her honour to bring this show to life. Adding further emotion to Nat’s journey is that Olga was Ukrainian.
Fortunately for Nat, she has a group of extremely enthusiastic, experienced, talented and supportive friends who have encouraged, assisted and helped bring her dream to fruition. Dave Polain (a noted musical director with nearly three decades’ experience), Warwick Cheatle (who put together the sold out ‘Pink Floyd Orchestrated’ show) plus others including five well known Adelaide vocalists Diane Panopoulos (née Dixon), Emily Kelly, Jodie Dry, Aaron Collis and Nat herself plus the Woodville High choir, will see up to 50 performers on stage at any one time.
ABBA’s songs sound so simple, fun and catchy but when putting together harmonies, the complexities and genius of Bjorn and Benny becomes apparent, hence the five vocalists. The magnificence of the orchestra’s strings, wind and brass instruments, a band with local, national and international experience and those layers of vocal harmonies will fill Her Majesty’s with all the fun and pop that is pure ABBA for a fantastic night out.
Tickets are from Ticketek. Nat will be donating part proceeds from this concert to the Cancer Council in honour of her mother and hopes to also be able to donate to Ukrainian refugees in Adelaide.
Saturday, July 2
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, SA