David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed was premiered at the Sydney Opera House by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in May and is touring to Melbourne and Perth before coming to Adelaide’s Festival Theatre on February 16 and 17.
Conducted by Nicholas Buc, it features around 30 songs by Bowie, who died in January this year shortly after releasing his 25th studio album, Blackstar. They include hits such as “China Girl”, “Starman”, “Life on Mars” and “Let’s Dance”, alongside lesser-known tracks.
“The most important thing to me was how Bowie’s canon would be portrayed with real integrity and nuance by the orchestra and artists with a sympathetic voice to the work,” says creative director Amanda Pelman.
“It would be foolish to suggest we can represent the whole of Bowie’s canon; the 30 songs are both the highest-selling songs and some of the most quirky performances.”
The songs were personally selected by the performers, including You Am I founder and frontman Tim Rogers, The Church lead singer and bass guitarist Steve Kilbey, ARIA-award-nominated artist iOTA, solo singer-songwriter Deborah Conway and Magic Dirt frontwoman Adalita.
In a video filmed during the Sydney rehearsals (see below), the singers spoke about how Bowie had influenced them personally and professionally, with Adalita saying she loved “Let’s Dance” so much, “I had to do it”.
“‘Let’s Dance’ is just a classic Bowie song. I think it’s a really beautiful song in the way it’s structured – it’s always been one of my favourites. And I love the video clip, the fact it’s filmed in Australia; it’s got a beautiful mysterious quality.”
Kilbey described Bowie as “part of my genetics at a cellular level”.
“Everything I do, sing, write … everything is influenced by David Bowie. He’s my main man.”