The guest performances for the upcoming "More Friends - Music from Final Fantasy" concert in Los Angeles were revealed today in an official Square Enix press release. For those who have yet to hear of this widely popular presentation, "More Friends" is a continuation of the recently concluded "Dear Friends" tour, which featured a plethora of Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy compositions.
The guest appearances announced for "More Friends" are those of renowned Japanese vocalists Emiko Shiratori and RIKKI, along with returning MC James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Final Fantasy X's Tidus. Shiratori, responsible for the Final Fantasy IX theme song "Melodies of Life," drafted the lyrics for "Pure Heart," the Aeris theme remix. She debuted as a solo performer in 1969, afterwards appearing in both the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olymics and the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics; her other performances include the theme for "Doraeon," a Japanese film, and "Moomin," a popular animation series. RIKKI, recognized throughout Japan for her music's folk/pop persuasion, is the voice behind Final Fantasy X's theme song, "Suteki Da Ne." She currently holds the record for the youngest person to win the "Grand Prix" of the Japanese traditional folk music awards, which she accomplished at the age of 15. James Taylor is known throughout the voice-over industry for his monumental success, as he has appeared in everything from promos, trailers, and commercials to features such as the Animatrix, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Comic Book: The Movie.
Guests aside, this concert will mark the U.S. debut of "Maria and Draco," the very same opera from Final Fantasy VI, which will be presented by Stephanie Woodling (Mezzo-Soprano), Chad Berlinghieri (Tenor), and Todd Robinson (Bass-Baritone). "Swing de Chocobo," a newly composed piece by Grammy award winner Arnie Roth, is also scheduled for its worldwide debut in Los Angeles.
Composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu, conducted by Mr. Roth, performed by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra, the CSUF University Singers, and the Uematsu-led band, "The Black Mages," the "More Friends" concert will combine live rock, pop, and orchestral music with classic video-game footage. The concert begins at 8PM on Monday, May 16th in the Gibson Amphitheater. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, via either telephone at 213.252.8497 or Internet at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/73787. For the first time ever in the U.S., the soundtracks for both this concert and the "Dear Friends" concert will be available for purchase.