Bill Murray and Jan Vogler were both in a relaxed, jovial mood at their media call this morning ahead of their performance tonight and tomorrow night at the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.
Bill Murray is, of-course, a well known entity. A little bit about Jan Vogler. Vogler’s distinguished career has pushed the boundaries of classical music. He has performed with many of America’s greatest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and was the youngest player in history to hold the position of principal cello in the history of the Staatskapelle Dresden.
The show owe its existence to a chance meeting in an airport security line. Murray and Vogler bonded over the unwieldy size of Vogler’s cello and a mutual love of the American greats. The ensemble also features Vogler’s wife, renowned Chinese-American violinist Mira Wang, and Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez accompanying Murray, as singer and narrator, and Vogler on cello.
The troupe are in the midst of an Australian and New Zealand tour with the show. The show, New Worlds, follows Murray and Vogler’s 2017 Decca release of the same name, which blends classical music (Ravel, Schubert, Saint-Saëns and Bach) with spoken word excerpts from American writers (Twain, Hemingway and Whitman) and classics from the American songbook, including Gershwin, Bernstein and Foster.
Bill Murray describes the collaboration as ‘the collision of America and Europe,’ in part reflected in the backgrounds of each of the four members. ‘We are from four different continents,’ he said. ‘And when the continents come together, the music moves right across the peninsulas from one to the other. It’s just a short journey from one continent to the other.”
Murray promises that the show will feature a few encores, the pieces of which the group will decide on the night. ‘In the end they will have to get us to leave the stage. We just love performing.’
Vogler spoke of how he is a big fan of Murray’s singing voice, he loved his singing work in the movie Jungle Book, and that audiences are in for a treat.
Murray was asked what was his favourite part of the concert was. ‘It’s when the audience has settled into the show and one can feel a real communion taking place between us and the audience.’
The performance runs for 110 minutes without interval.
Looks like it will be a great night. There are still tickets available for the performances. Visit http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com for more details.
All pics by Ben Apfelbaum.