Brought to life at the Bentley Music Academy, this staging of Chess – The Musical features a cast of talented students, who perform under the watchful gaze of Director Peter Cousens and Conductor Kevin Field.
The renowned music conductor, Kevin Field
Cousens is an esteemed figure on the Australian entertainment scene, and Field is a vastly experienced maestro who is currently stationed at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Skilled voice coach Nicole Thomson meanwhile ensures that the singing is on point. Looking at the Cold War through the allegory of an American-Soviet chess rivalry, Chess features the music of ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjom Ulvaeus, and lyrics by the latter and Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice, more commonly known as Tim Rice.
The musical itself is to a degree based on the real-life rivalry between two chess greats of yesteryear – the late Bobby Fischer of the USA and Boris Spassky of the USSR. In what has been called the ‘Match of the Century’, the two battled it out for the 1972 World Chess Championship title in Iceland. The drawn-out match featured several games of tactical ingenuity and dramatic twists, making it the perfect symbolism for the Cold War. Many saw it that way, thus turning into a landmark event, and the players into instant celebrities.
The director, Peter Cousens
Songs like One Night in Bangkok, The Arbiter and other Chess specials knit the intriguing story together, each adding pomp and depth at the right points. Performed by over 70 musicians, including students from Malaysia and the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, as well as Orkestra RTM members, this presentation is tipped to blow minds.
Efforts building up to this production have even caught the eyes of none other than Rice himself, who reached out to Field. “On behalf of Benny, Bjom and myself, I send you best wishes for successful performances, which I am more than confident will occur. Chess is one of my favorite scores (of the works with which I have been involved) and I am delighted to know that it will be heard in Malaysia thanks to two excellent music combos,” he wrote, referring to the promising Malaysian-Australian collaboration.
Chess -The Musical will be held at Wisma Bently Music, Mutiara Damansara on the 17th, 18th & 19th January 2020. The admission is RM90. For further information, please visit bentleymusic.com.