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Get dressed to kill as Adelaide Symphony Orchestra plays James Bond live on stage

31 Dec 2018
  • Media Release
by Paola Niscioli

Settle back for a night of style, sophistication and James Bond glamour in full symphonic glory as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra plays JAMES BOND live on stage, 15 & 16 February in the Festival Theatre.

Bond songs are every bit as irresistible as 007 himself.  Where would James Bond be without music following his every move? Behind the martinis, fast cars, villains, danger and glamorous women, he’s nothing without the sounds of silky strings, flashy brass and twanging guitars.

Under the baton of maestro conductor Nicholas Buc, the orchestra will provide an unforgettable night of music from the James Bond canon, joined on stage by a local band and backing singers supporting a stellar line up of special guest vocalists including Prinnie Stevens and Brendan Maclean who prefer their martini’s shaken not stirred.

Bond fans will rejoice in classic hits Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Nobody Does It Better, Live and Let Die, Skyfall and many more.

Singer Prinnie Stevens  is one of Australia’s true triple threats, juggling between TV, musicals and a recording career best known for her time on The Voice and most recently in hit musical The Bodyguard. 

Prinnie is excited to bring her cheeky style to the concert, “Growing up I loved watching Bond movies with my aunt in the holidays! I remember how exciting it was to watch the long intros and for me the highlight was the score and whomever the feature artist was. It was always so mysterious and so dramatic! I can’t wait to get the chance to bring these iconic songs to life with the Adelaide symphony orchestra!” 

As movie franchises go, the James Bond series is one of the most successful in screen history. A winning movie formula with global box office receipts in the billions of dollars surpassed only by Harry Potter and the Marvel franchises. From the casting of the leading men Sean Connery and the likes of Roger Moore of equal importance was the music. Enter John Barry, who would score no fewer than 11 of the Bond films and turn Monty Norman’s tune into arguably the most instantly recognisable theme music in television and film history.

Barry cemented Bond’s place within our musical and cultural landscape. And let’s not forget the singers, who added some showbiz pizazz and sparkle to the mix. The artists who performed the theme songs in the earlier films –Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Matt Monro, Louis Armstrong – had just the right mix of sophistication, nightclub sassiness, cool, and utter vocal command to earn the right to inhabit 007’s world, where only top talent need apply. Over the years contemporary artists such as Wings, Duran Duran, A-ha, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Garbage and, most recently, Adele and Sam Smith have provide a definable ‘Bond sound’.

Conductor Nicholas Buc says, “Barry ensured the films’ musical cohesiveness in the early days and helped define the sound of espionage. He set the scene perfectly and provided some of the most iconic Bond theme songs of the franchise. If I had to pick a personal favourite it would be Goldfinger; it’s the ultimate Bond song to which all others owe a huge debt.

Having the orchestra behind these wonderful songs adds an extra layer of drama that pulls us into the world of 007. The strings hint at the seductive locales, the brass light up the sassy romances and the percussion provides action-packed propulsion; all evocative hallmarks of a great Bond song that will be brought to life by the ASO. 

Australian singer, songwriter and actor Brendan Maclean has been described as a “king of Pop” by The Guardian UK and a “modern day Mick Jagger” by Baz Lurhmann. He can’t wait to put his own stamp on Bond’s all time classics and maybe some lesser known tracks, he speaks of one of his personal Bond score favourites, Weirdly enough my introduction to Bond was through video games! I must have racked up a hundred hours of Golden Eye on my Nintendo 64 before I’d even seen the film – so when my father did finally rent the VHS it immediately cemented itself as the one I’ll always think of when I hear, “Bond. James Bond.”

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra percussionist Gregory Rush says, “one of my favourite Bond Villains was Auric Goldfinger character played by the great Gert Fröbe whom some say I resemble. It was exciting stuff watching the films back in 1964 when I was 13 and in lust with all the Bond girls. The music was intoxicating and set the scene for all the action that unfolded”.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra cellist David Sharp says, “I’ve loved the James Bond music since I was a child – especially the early Shirley Bassey numbers. The music is much like the man; suave and sophisticated, but with that hint of imminent danger. It is really thrilling stuff.”

Don’t miss this tribute to Bond, in full symphonic sound.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello said, “ASO’s  Showcase Series has something for everyone. As movie franchises go, the James Bond series is one of the most successful in screen history. The music of the Bond films – set a standard that created a whole new genre. Audiences are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite Bond hero (or villain!) and get their martinis at the Festival Theatre bars.”

The ASO is a world-class symphony orchestra, in addition to presenting classic repertoire the orchestra has a reputation for its versatility in its Showcase Series of concerts that embraces popular contemporary music, adding pow to pop, while soundscapes burst beyond the cinema screen and patriotic anthems swell to their fullest glory. Don’t miss the first exciting concert in the series for 2019.


Friday 15 & Saturday 16 February, 7.30pm, Festival Theatre

Conductor                    Nicholas Buc

Special guests              Prinnie Stevens

                                    Brendan Maclean 

Other artists to be announced

James Bond Music Trivia – Did you know….

  1. Duran Duran’s theme to A View to A Kill went to #1 in 1985. The Bond Girl who starred in the film was Grace Jones.
  • In 1981 Sheena Easten was the first singer of a bond theme For Your Eyes Only to appear in a Bond film. Bill Conti, fresh off his success with the first two Rocky movies, scored For Your Eyes Only and it earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.
  • Guns and Roses released their version of bond theme Live and Let Die on their 1991 album Use Your Illusion I.
  • John Barry’s  reign as Bond composer ended with 1987 pop group A-Ha who did the theme to the movie The Living Daylights? It was a #1 hit in their native Norway, but a-ha’s Bond song didn’t find an audience in America, where they remain known for Take On Me.
  • Madonna wrote and recorded the theme to the 2002 film Die Another Day.
  • Seven bond themes: Skyfall, Live and Let Die, A View To A Kill, Nobody Does It Better (from The Spy Who Loved Me), Goldfinger, Die Another Day and For Your Eyes Only were Top 10 hits on the US Hot 100.
  • Paul McCartney and Wings recorded Live and Let Die in 1973—the film was scored by Beatles producer George Martin—and earned the first Oscar nomination for a Bond song.
  • Marvin Hamlisch scored 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, and his lush, piano-based aesthetic formed the basis of Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better a catchy pop ensuring both the song and score earned Oscar nominations.
  • In 2012 Skyfall’s title track, which Adele co-wrote and sang won the only Oscar ever won for a Bond score or song.
  1. Grammy winner Sam Smith was the voice behind Writing’s On the Wall the theme song for the film Spectre. It marked the first 007 theme song recorded by a British male solo artist since Tom Jones’s Thunderball in 1965.


Cheree McEwin, Publicist Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

08 8233 6205 / 0416 181 679 /

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