Aretha Franklin is one of the most influential voices in the history of pop music.
From Respect to Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin's timeless classics have become an essential part of musical history. But while sitting at the pinnacle of the musical pantheon, her life was also shrouded in pain, depression, struggles and hardship.
ARETHA, A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul, is a powerful memoir that celebrates the life and music of one of the greatest voices in history. It will have its world premiere in the Sydney Opera House's Concert Hall on June 17 and 18 before heading to the QPAC Concert Hall, June 20 and 21 and Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne, July 2.
Through storytelling and soul, the audience will travel through time and discover more about the woman behind the voice, from her early gospel roots and rise to fame, to her legendary hits and lasting impact on music.
The concert celebrates the life of a woman who broke down barriers and paved the way for generations to come. The spirit and fire behind her voice earned her many accolades, including 18 Grammy awards, over 75 million records sold, and the number one place on Rolling Stone's 'Greatest Singers of All Time'. Her expressive voice connected with audiences - and together they shared heartbreak, longing, and love.
Franklin died in 2018 at the age of 76.
Narrated and directed by multi-talented First Nations actor Jada Alberts (Wentworth, Cleverman), with musical direction by Joe Accaria (Velvet Rewired), ARETHA features a line-up of outstanding Australian vocalists: Emma Donovan - legendary ARIA-nominated, award-winning, Gumbaynggirr and Yamatji singer/songwriter; Montaigne - celebrated singer/songwriter and unique art pop musician; Thandi Phoenix - a vocal powerhouse with a unique tone, magnetic energy and commanding stage presence; THNDO - actor and singer/songwriter with range so rich she's considered Australia's 'First Lady of Soul and R&B'; and Ursula Yovich - multi award-winning actor, singer and writer who starred in Belvoir's Barbara and the Camp Dogs and is a recipient of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award.
Speaking of Franklin, Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott said, "Her music connects so genuinely with audiences - we've all experienced heartbreak, longing, and love through her voice and lyrics. ARETHA promises to bring this together in an incredible evening of entertainment that pays homage to the icon, her extraordinary catalogue of songs and gets audiences on their feet."
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