Added on 06-Apr-2009
The music of Freddie Mercury and Queen will have a symphonic supplement.
If you go
What: The Fort Wayne Philharmonic presents “The Music of Queen”
Where: Embassy Theatre, 125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. today
Admission: Tickets, from $20 to $65, are available by calling 481-0777
Of all the rock vocalists in the history of bombast and clamorousness, Freddie Mercury must be the hardest to imitate.
Can there possibly be a tribute artist out there who’s willing or able to put as much into pretending to be Mercury as Mercury put into actually being himself?
Brody Dolyniuk may be up to the task.
Dolyniuk will assay the work of the late Mercury and his band, Queen, at a Fort Wayne Philharmonic concert tonight.
“The Music of Queen” is the latest orchestral extravaganza from Brent Havens, the man who has previously given the world symphonic treatments of the music of the Doors, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
Havens says Queen was the next most requested band on the list.
“It’s very distinctive sounding music,” he says. “It lends itself to orchestration.”
Queen never really made use of a full orchestra, Havens says, but many of the band’s studio recordings were so multilayered that they had a symphonic feel.
Mercury was fond of cloning himself sonically in the studio so that he sounded like a chorus of Freddies.
“The Music of Queen” won’t boast that force of vocalese, but it will have a four-man rock band that will harmonize with Dolyniuk plus – lest we forget – all those classical musicians.
“The orchestra plays a larger role in this show even to the point of supporting our background singers by playing the parts that a choir might sing, such as in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ” Havens says. “The whole middle section features the orchestra prominently, but not exclusively, and what sounds better than a full orchestra playing that material along with the singers? It should be a wonderful sonic mix, and the orchestra adds a whole new dimension to this music.”
As for Dolyniuk, Havens says he doesn’t try to copy Mercury’s performing style or gesticulations.
What he does have nailed down are Mercury’s vocal qualities.
“Brody certainly has the inflections and definitely the range that Freddie has, so he does sound very much like him,” he says. “But he’s not trying to do an imitation on stage of Freddie. He sounds amazing singing these songs.”
Shows of the sort that Havens specializes in often draw groans from classical music’s purists.
But Havens says a lot of the musicians he encounters grew up with rock music and are eager to perform it.
“Honestly, a lot of the orchestras have a great time,” he says. “Some places I go, the members of the orchestra are begging to be involved.”
Havens said he conducted a survey at shows from 2004 to 2006 and the results revealed that “well over 90 percent of the people who’d attended had never seen their local orchestra perform.”
“This is our way of introducing a whole different crowd to orchestral music,” he says. “It’s a way of saying, ‘Hey, these guys play classical music and they play your kind of music too. They’re really hip, not stuck in the mud.’ ”
The Journal Gazette