The sound of Olivia

TRIBUTE: Melbourne singer Seona Murley as Olivia Newton-John.

By Luke Voogt

After 20 years performing at corporate shows Melbourne singer Seona Murley began to notice a repeat theme among her audiences.

“So many people would come up to me and say, ‘You sound like Olivia Newton-John, especially a young Olivia Newton-John’,” the 41-year-old told the Indy,

So a tribute to the pioneer Australian artist seemed like the next logical step for the mother-of-three.

“We got the idea at the beginning of last year,” she said.

“We really wanted to honour and respect her amazing career.”

Murley, who began performing when she was 15, uses her show to follow the career of Newton-John from a talent quest that launched her career at age 16 to ’80s hit Physical.

“She had so many songs that were amazing,” she said.

“She was such a strong voice – she could sing beautiful ballads or disco songs. I’m definitely a fan of her versatility.”

Joining Murley on stage are drummer Paul Cengia, pianist David Cameron, guitarist Gerard Assi and narrator Christopher McKenna.

Together they explore the 50 years that Newton-John delighted, charmed and entertained Australian and international audiences.

“We move through her country career – which was probably more popular in the USA,” Murley said.

She performs some of Newton-John’s greatest hits including If Not For You, Let Me Be There and I Honestly Love You, and, of course, the music of Grease.

“There’s eight costume changes throughout the show,” she said.

“It’s quite a fun visual show.”

The show ends on a high note with Newton-John’s hit Xanadu.

“The movie wasn’t a huge success back at that time but the music from that film was hugely successful,” Murley said.

She brings her show Magic – the Songs of Olivia Newton-John to The Playhouse on Wednesday and Thursday at 10.30am.

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