Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

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Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

Post by Laura »

I consider myself a kinda shy quiet newbie to the forum. But now that I have met some of you Burt Bacharach fans in person, and with Vincent Cole’s and Mark’s encouragement, I have started to post more often. So I hope y’all don’t mind if I post my memories of Sydney, Australia, from July 2007, even though it is almost a year later. So here goes:

In July 2007 I flew from Baltimore to Sydney, Australia (21 hours of flying plus 2 lay-overs) to attend 4 of the 5 Burt Bacharach concerts at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony. I would have to say it was the most incredible experience of my life. It was “winter” in Australia although the temperatures were around 56 degrees F. So I wore a spring jacket. It was humorous to me to see people wearing winter coats and scarves in the morning. But in the afternoon you might see someone jogging in the park in shorts and a tank top. I stayed at a hotel near the harbor within walking distance to the Opera House. The hotel assured me that it would be safe to walk back to the hotel alone after the show, because everyone else would be getting out of the show at the same time and would be out walking. I had a view of the Opera House from my hotel room window. During the day I rode the “hop-on hop-off” tour buses around the city or took a ferry tour around the harbor. One afternoon I took a “behind the scenes” tour of the Opera House. I was in a group of about 10 people. The tour guide told us about the design contest for the building, how long it took to build it, how much over budget it cost to build it, and ongoing renovations to make it “handicap friendly”. We went inside the concert hall and you were allowed to actually sing a song if you wanted to. Then in the evenings, I attended the show at the Opera House.

It is hard to describe the actual performances in the Sydney Opera House. The acoustics were unbelievable. On the second night, even Burt Bacharach mentioned on stage that there are a few main music halls in the world (Opera Hall, Carnegie Hall, etc), but that the Sydney Opera House is the best. Burt Bacharach was SO well received there that the audience was loudly clapping their hands and stomping their feet after each song. And the Sydney Symphony musicians were tapping their bows on their music stands. I have never seen such an overwhelming enthusiastic response to Burt. I can see why he wanted to return there in 2008.

During the first night’s performance, Josie James started to sing her solo “Anyone Who Had A Heart”. Burt stopped the music and asked that the stage lights be turned on so the musicians could read their music. I guess things can still go wrong even at the Sydney Opera House. But when Josie finally sang her solo “Anyone Who Had A Heart” inside the Opera House, it just sent shivers through my body. It was an amazing performance.

It was in Sydney that Burt introduced the song he wrote with Tim Rice, “Who Will Speak For Love”. Josie James sang it toward the end of the program. At Burt Bacharach’s show in Vancouver BC Canada in September 2007, he was introducing “Who Will Speak For Love” and he said, “You have never heard this song before……unless you were in Sydney, Australia.” I shouted out, “I WAS THERE!” Then Burt said, “WHO SAID THAT? COME UP HERE!” I ran to the edge of the stage and Burt bent over and shook my hand and patted my cheek! What a thrill!

I purchased a program book “An Evening With Burt Bacharach” that was printed for his Australia and New Zealand tour. It was a 40-page booklet with his biography and photos of him with other performers, biography and photos of his singers and his musicians, and photos of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. I was able to get autographs from Josie James, John Pagano, Donna Taylor, and Rob Shrock after the program one night. I finally got Burt’s autograph on my Sydney program book cover after the show at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville CT in October 2007. He signed it, “To Laura, All my best always, Burt Bacharach”.

The hardest part of the trip (besides the flying time) was adjusting to the 14-hour time change. At 11 pm I would call my husband at home and it would be 9 am for him. If I had to do it over, I would have stayed longer than 5 nights (even if I had to ask for time off from work without pay) and I would have toured outside the city a little. So …… I got to see Burt Bacharach perform at the Sydney Opera House 4 times and I brought back two very nice golf shirts for my husband. Although he likes and wears his golf shirts, I think I got the better deal.

This was the order of the programs in Sydney, Australia in July 2007:

What the World Needs Now Is Love

Don’t Make Me Over
Walk On By
This Guy’s In Love With You
I Say A Little Prayer For You
Trains & Boats & Planes
Wishin’ & Hopin’
Always Something There To Remind Me

One Less Bell To Answer
I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
Only Love Can Break A Heart
Do You Know the Way To San Jose

Solo by Josie James: Anyone Who Had A Heart
Solo by Donna Taylor: Are You Falling Out Of Love (written with Jerry Leiber, recorded by Aretha Franklin)

From the CD “At This Time”:
Go Ask Shakespeare
Where Did It Go
Who Are These People
In Our Time (instrumental)

Movie Medley:
The Look of Love (sung by Burt)
Arthur’s Theme
What’s New Pussycat
April Fools
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (sung by Burt)
Liberty Valance
Making Love
Wives & Lovers (sung by Burt)
Alfie (sung by Burt)
A House Is Not A Home (sung by Burt)

Solo by Josie James: Who Will Speak For Love (written with Tim Rice)

That’s What Friends Are For

Solo by John Pagano: Any Day Now
Close To You
What the World Needs Now Is Love

Second encore:
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head (audience sing along)


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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:36 am
Location: Liverpool UK

Re: Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

Post by Andrew »

Hi Laura

Thanks for this wonderful recollection of your trip to Sydney! I loved the part about you shouting out at the Vancouver performance!

Burt really does bring a lot of people a lot of joy!

Andrew :D

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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Staten Island N.Y.

Re: Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

Post by vincent.cole »

Bonjour Laura;

Hey, you keep on posting!! :D

Thanks for sharing your joy from, 'down under'! You must have a photographic memory :!:

Laura, looks like all us will be expecting a few more post from you this year, since you have a few more Burt Concerts to attend :!: 8)

P.S. Say hello to your husband Tom for me!

Take care mon ami.


Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:35 pm
Location: Crownsville, Maryland

Re: Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

Post by Laura »

Hi Andrew,

Elsewhere on the forum there was a link to an article that said Burt Bacharach was performing in Brazil in October 2008. I asked Rob Shrock about it after the program in Princeton on June 7 and he said it was still in the planning stages. They may go to London instead! I just wanted to alert you since I see you are from Liverpool UK. I'll try to find out more information.

Thanks for your kind words about my trip to Australia.


Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:35 pm
Location: Crownsville, Maryland

Re: Memories of Sydney Australia July 2007

Post by Laura »

Hey Andrew,

I finally found your earlier post where you already knew before the rest of us that Burt might be in London in the fall! So please keep the rest of us informed if you find out a date, location, how to order tickekts, etc.


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