Festival Theatre Stage, Adelaide Festival Centre, Sun 14 Jun
As the house lights go down, an adolescent Daniel Koek is projected onto the stage singing in school musicals with Faith Lutheran College and performances with the Adelaide University Conservatorium of Music. The now mature and totally charming Daniel Koek enters the stage, “Hello Adelaide. It’s great to be home”. He begins a Phantom Of The Opera medley making body hairs stand on end and it is instantly obvious why Daniel Koek has become a West End leading man. Koek’s voice is outstanding! His lower register has enormous strength and his higher tenor sounds were beautiful. He was such a pleasure to listen to.
Koek performed songs from his famous West End roles; Tony in West Side Story, The Russian in Chess and Lt Cable in South Pacific and was supported by a splendid 5-piece band led by musical director Greg Arrowsmith. His most outstanding song was Bring Him Home from Les Miserables giving us a glimpse of Koek in the epic role of Jean Valjean. A role which meant he had to pull out from the 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival when previous artistic director and friend Kate Ceberano had invited Koek.
The performance tonight was also brightened by the stunning Michaela Burger who studied with Koek in London. The two sung an exquisite song by Australian composer Matthew Robinson.
Bringing Him Home With His West End Story is a ‘This Is Your Life’, which you can only ever do once, but it seemed to be appreciated by the many friends, family and fans in the audience. Projections above Koek worked well with photos of him playing his famous roles cycling through, even if it did verge on cheesy. The Qantas advertisement mid-way through the show was irritating, but tolerated, because we were thankful for Daniel Koek being flown home to perform before us.
Daniel Koek is totally enchanting and has such an outstanding voice. Hopefully we will see him back home again soon performing one of his leading musical theatre roles.
Image courtesy of Lee Holden