DJ Graeme Park gives sneak preview into Haçienda’s classical takeover of Dubai Opera

Sponsored: Dubai Opera is putting on two exclusive shows with Haçienda Classical this week
DJ Graeme Park gives sneak preview into Haçienda’s classical takeover of Dubai Opera
© Hacienda
20 Nov 2018 AT 01:44 PM
20 Nov 2018 AT 01:44 PM

A little taste of Manchester is coming to Dubai, and it’s not only Mancunians that should be happy at the news.

That’s because the UK city’s legendary Haçienda nightclub is taking over Dubai Opera on November 22 and 23. The space will be converted into a nightclub style set up – this is not to be missed !

And while everyone’s promised two epic evenings of high-tempo fun, old school fans will extra chuffed as original DJ duo Graeme Park and Mike Pickering are returning to the stage reinventing their hottest mixes.

Hacienda Classical

This time, decks will be swapped out for a live orchestra to perform the house tunes that soundtracked a generation, and ShortList readers can even be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to see them live this week.

But what exactly can fans expect from the gig? Speaking to ShortList, Graeme revealed what in store this week"

What’s Hacienda Classical all about?
Graeme said: “Hacienda Classical is me and Mike Pickering on stage with a choir, a Latin percussionist, a 70-piece classical orchestra and some guest singers. We re-imagine and re-invent classic club tunes, from the '70s right up until the 2000s and we get quite creative.”

Hacienda Classical

You reunited previously in 2016, so what’s new this time around?
“The first year we did it, it was supposed to be a one-off show and we stuck to tunes from 88-92, because they were kind of the glory days of Hacienda, and we kept it to the original arrangements very closely. This one-off show was so popular that it soon became two shows, then three shows, then four shows, then 16 shows in 2016.

“After the fourth show, I vividly remember thinking 'this is supposed to be a one-off, but it's not, it's a tour, and I think it could be better'. So at the end of the first year, I said to Peter Hook [of New Order, who produces the show], ‘are we doing this again?’ He said ‘definitely’. I said I wanted to do a whole new set. I put my foot down and he agreed, so we came up with a new set for 2017 which was much better, because I knew it was going to be a tour.

“We started to play with the concept of remixing songs, doing a long arrangement or taking arrangements from other tracks and putting them in. So the second year was even bigger and better. When we found out we were doing a third year, I wanted it to be bigger and better. So what we've done this year is put more DJ influences into the arrangements.”

What do you think fans should most look forward to?
“As a DJ, you can take an acappella and play it over another track to create something new, so we tried to do more of that this year. So there's a couple of songs, massively well-known songs, that when you hear them start the audience will go mental – but then one of our singers will start to sing something else on top of it and then people go even more mental.

“It's exactly what I would do as a DJ. Taking two well-known pieces of music and combining them to make something new. It's the best show we've done yet and people are in for a real treat.”

Hacienda Classical

What’s going to be extra special about the Dubai show?
“The two shows in Dubai are the last two of a 20-date tour. They're going to be the best shows by far. The only thing that's going to be a bit nerve-wracking is that we can't bring the entire orchestra to Dubai, because it's prohibitively expensive.

“So we're bringing a few of the main players out, but the bulk of the orchestra will be made up of musicians from the Middle East and that in itself is really exciting.

“We did a show in Dublin in 2016 with the RTE Orchestra and that was amazing. There's a different kind of energy to it. We had this rehearsal, I remember going 'wow, these guys are amazing'. But then on the night of the show in Dublin, it had a completely different energy.

“I'm not saying it was better, it was just different. Which is why I'm looking forward to playing with a completely new set of musicians.”
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