It was an evening of rousing, rhapsodic and scintillating western classic music, with India's very own world famous maestro Zubin Mehta at the helm, conducting the Australian World Orchestra for the first time in national capital New Delhi.
It was an evening of rousing, rhapsodic and scintillating western classic music, with India’s very own world famous maestro Zubin Mehta at the helm, conducting the Australian World Orchestra for the first time in national capital New Delhi.
The highlight of Friday evening of course was the powerful voice of soprano Greta Bradman, granddaughter of Australian cricket legend Sir Don Bradman.
Seventy-nine-year-old Mumbai-born Mehta was given a standing ovation throughout over three-hour-long performance, swishing his baton with the theatrical flourish that aficionados of western classical music have come to know over the decades past.
The evening commenced with the ‘Overture’ from Wolfgang Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” as the first composition before a jam-packed audience at Jawaharlal Nehru Weightlifting Indoor Stadium. The music was set to a soaring crescendo of violins trumpets and drums from a strong musical team comprising musicians drawn from some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including Berlin, Vienna and Israel Philharmonic, the Chicago, London, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
It was followed by Greta Bradman’s superb and brilliant voice-modulated performance. Dressed in a stunning flaming red off shoulder gown paired with chandelier earrings, Greta delivered powerful vocals while performing ‘Damor sullali rosee (Il Trovatore) one of her favourite pieces by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.
She also indulged in a bit of fun by twirling around playfully around Mehta, a gesture which left the audience in splits.
After her performance, Greta said, “This is my first visit to this beautiful country. Thank you for all the love you have shown me. I would love to come back and perform.”
Interacting with the media before the concert on Friday evening, Greta said, “For my grandfather (Don Bradman) maestro Mehta was the greatest hero and I have grown up listening to him. I wish that my grandfather could see me now. This is an most humbling and truly wonderful experience.”
The other pieces that she sang under Mehta’s direction were Mozart’s ‘Der Holle Rache (The Magic Flute)’ and a very emotional third piece that left many in the audience misty eyed. A visibly emotional Greta had to exit the stage in a hurry after that final performance, showing how deeply involved and lost she was with and in it.
Apart from Mozart and Verdi, the works of famed composers Rossini, Schubert and Brahms were also performed by the orchestra.
For the Mozart masterpiece, Sinfonia Concertante, Maestro Mehta introduced two young violinists –Daniel Dodds and Tobias Lea.
The soulful piece with the perfect milieu of high and low notes lasted about 20 minutes and received a thunderous applause.
The concert veered towards its conclusion with a four-part symphony, with each part eliciting applause and standing ovation.
Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling rounded off the memorable event with a thank you speech in Hindi, in which he said that the performance by Maestro Mehta was another step forward in Australia-India bilateral ties, a mission that was given a major push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Australia in 2014.
The charismatic Mehta had invited the AWO for a series of concerts in India in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai after he led them in concert series two years ago.