FANS of feel-good football movie, Ola Bola, are in for a Malaysia Day treat, as 11 extra tunes from the film’s soundtrack will premiere at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) on Friday and Saturday. (File pic)

FANS of feel-good football movie, Ola Bola, are in for a Malaysia Day treat, as 11 extra tunes from the film’s soundtrack will premiere at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) on Friday and Saturday.

The complete Ola Bola score, composed by award-winning Onn San, will be performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) at the concert hall in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) at 8.30pm.

Onn said Ola Bola’s director Chiu Keng Guan was so impressed with the score that he suggested that it be given the MPO treatment.

“I was a little surprised with his suggestion, but he insisted that it deserved to be played for a live audience in DFP. Later that year, I met with MPO officials, and after discussions, the project was on!” said Onn at a recent press conference to announce the concert at Traders Hotel, KLCC.

Onn, 33, said the two-hour concert would have 44 numbers, including the 11 that did not make it to the film.

“Chiu decided not to use every number. Those that his team took out were from the first half of the film and are character driven.

“The second half has more music because it is plot driven,” he said, adding that the upbeat and haunting music of the films Chariots Of Fire and Rocky had inspired him.

Onn will be rehearsing with MPO’s 60 musicians beginning today and admitted that it had been a challenge to translate the soundtrack into an orchestral version.

“I’m very excited about the concert, since it is my first with MPO, a world-class orchestra that excels in many genres of music.”

Onn is looking forward to the 9th Asean Para Games 2017’s opening and closing ceremonies, on Sept 17 and 23, respectively.

“I’m the music director for both ceremonies, and what I’ve composed for them is a traditional and modern combination, which has sportsmanship and beating the odds as its theme.”

MPO general manager Timothy Tsukamoto said the concert, themed “Ola Bola — Movie With Live Music”, would have the entire film screened in DFP during the orchestra’s performance of its soundtrack.

“It’s a first for us — having our musicians accompany the screening of a local film. We’ve previously done the ‘live’ soundtracks of Hollywood films like Psycho and Casablanca,” said Tsukamoto.

MPO artistic administrator Khor Chin Yang said Australian Jessica Cottis would conduct the concert, with the music orchestrated by Onn and Isaac Chia.

“Juwita Suwito will perform the theme song, Arena Cahaya, made popular by Zee Avi with MPO. Two other songs from the film, We Are Heroes and We Will Believe Again will be sung by the UCSI Chorale,” said Khor of the concert, which will also feature singer Stephanie Van Driesen.

Ola Bola collected about RM15 million at the box office. Arena Cahaya won Best Original Theme Song at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival last year, while Onn won the Best Original Score at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival.

Tickets to the concert are priced from RM120 to RM240. Call 03-2331 7007.

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