IN celebration of the ‘The King’ and his iconic rock ’n’ roll, Elvis Presley: The Wonder of You tours live this May and June.
Following the success of two Elvis albums, If I Can Dream (2015) and The Wonder of You (2016), the show features the great man on state-of-the-art screens specially designed for the tour and backed by a 40-piece symphony orchestra.
Closely involved in the creation of the albums and concert tour, Priscilla Presley shares her insight into the development of both projects.
Q: Why do you think Elvis would have wanted an album or stage show of this nature with an orchestra?
A: Elvis always loved the big sound and fullness of an orchestra. If he had his way, you would have seen a full orchestra on stage with him at every live show. I feel certain this is the kind of live show and these are the kind of albums Elvis would have been doing if he were with us today. He would have loved this. It really is a dream come true.
Q: How involved were you in the creative process?
A: Every step of the way I was there, working very closely with our producer, from the initial song selection to pre-production to the recording sessions at Abbey Road in London. Elvis deserves this kind of attention to detail and this truly was a very serious creative and production process – we couldn’t just do a symphonic collection of his greatest hits. We had to find the right songs that fit the feel of the albums and shows, so you will see some well-known songs that charted and some tracks that may be less familiar, but they all help shape the story, with Elvis on vocals, accompanied by a full orchestra. There was no other way to do this project and keep it authentic and at the highest quality.
Q: The 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing is coming up in August. Did you ever imagine his popularity would be this strong four decades after his passing?
A: In that moment when a loved one passes and even in the first few years after, it is hard to imagine life without them in your world. I certainly knew he would remain with our family forever, but I was able to see the signs of his lasting legacy and his continued global popularity with the success of Graceland in Memphis. We thought we might manage five years of tours when we opened in 1982, but the fans kept coming. Last year we welcomed our 20 millionth visitor and are about to complete a $140 million expansion to enhance the visitor experience with a new entertainment complex opening this March, along with our hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, which opened to rave reviews last October. There are no signs of Elvis slowing down… if anything, his legacy only grows stronger with each passing day.
What: Elvis: The Wonder of You
Where: Perth Arena
When: May 26