We're asking our mentors to tell us their favourite songs of all time, from any genre! Here is Jacqui Dark's list. What pieces of music make your top five?
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
Because: It takes me back to my rebellious pre-teen days! This song is much finer that most people give it credit for. A heartbreaking lyric with a snappy tune and instantly recognisable riff, plus a divinely camp video clip – what’s not to love?
Amsterdam – Jacques Brel
Because: Every Brel song is like a tiny encapsulated world, and this one is a gritty, hyper-realistic glimpse into the seedy side of humanity. It’s not pretty, but it packs a punch, especially with a master story-teller like Ute Lemper at the helm.
Ballad of Sweeney Todd – Stephen Sondheim
Because: It is hands down my favourite scene in my favourite musical: this number gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Sondheim’s brilliant score grabs you by the throat in the opening bars and never lets go – I would give anything to sing this show again!
Now the Great Bear – from Peter Grimes, by Benjamin Britten
Because: This YouTube clip is from our 2009 Opera Australia production – a work of genius which had me in tears every single time. This scene, which in this production sees Peter very obviously excluded and shunned by the town, is utterly devastating in its deceptive simplicity. I was intensely proud of my colleagues for producing such a masterpiece – Britten, Armfield, Wigglesworth, Skelton and a brilliant cast from top to bottom broke my heart and destroyed my soul every night.
Hoot’s Lullaby – Lior
Because: My little boy loves this gorgeous lullaby, and sings along with the “Hoo hoo” at the end, which pretty much makes my heart explode. Beautiful lyrics and music from a top indie artist – go, Giggle and Hoot!
Photo by Jeff Busby for Opera Australia.