Music Uncategorized

‘OlaBola’s positively epic storytelling is made even grander with orchestra!

OlaBola made its mark as one of the most iconic local films last year, but it’s spirit is a long way from dying This Malaysia Day, as we’re all fresh from the patriotic fervor of the SEA Games and the Paralympics still going on, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra along with official partner, Astro Shaw, will continue on that zeitgeist of sports and nationalism with ‘Ola Bola – Movie with Live Music’! The showtimes will be on Friday, 15 September 2017 and Saturday, 16 September 2017 at 8.30 pm at Dewan Fiharmonik PETRONAS (DFP).

This will be the first time the MPO accompanies the screening of a local movie; prior to this, the MPO has presented the ‘live’ soundtrack for the screenings of Hollywood movies such as Psycho, Home Alone, Casablanca, and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times and The Gold Rush.

When OlaBola was released last year, it raked in RM15 million because of it’s message of unity and tolerance. And for those yearning nostalgia for days when things seemed simpler, OlaBola

Onn Sann, OlaBola composer
Onn Sann, OlaBola composer

touched the hearts of many. This Malaysian football film was directed by Chiu Keng Guan and was inspired by the glories of the Malaysian national football team which successfully qualified for the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980.

OlaBola has won many awards at both local and international film festivals. Its theme song, Arena Cahaya, written and sung by Zee Avi and co-produced by her and Rendra Zawawi, won Best Original Theme Song at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. This time, the wonderful music of Arena Cahaya will be sung by singer, Juwita Sowito and also features two other songs from the movie, We Are Heroes and We Will Believe Again.

Onn San, who wrote the movie score, won the coveted Best Original Score award at the 28th Malaysia Film Festival last year. The movie also won a Special Jury Award for its inspiring theme. He also  co-writes the music for the orchestra with Isaac Chia. These concerts will be helmed by Australia-born Jessica Cottis. The concerts will also feature the UCSI Chorale and vocalist Stephanie Van Driesen.


The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

Onn Sann stated that writing music for OlaBola drove him to find inspiration from  a lot of sports films like Rocky while still incorporating a local feel to the entire soundscape. “Chiu [the director of OlaBola] gave me some hints for the sound. He wanted something Malaysian, and when you look for that ‘Malaysian sound’ the challenge is to find something that’s not too ‘tourist’-y. What is the Malaysian sound? Is it the traditional instruments we use? Is it more of a cultural thing? That was the biggest challenge for me”.

New songs would also be played at the orchestra, providing viewers with a more unique experience than others who have seen the movie. “A lot of the movie didn’t have musical cues, so there’s some new music that we would play [in the orchestra]”, said Onn Sann.

Truly, Onn Sann rose to the challenge and gave us a memorable film to, not only watch, but also listen to. So if you’re looking for an added dimension to a movie experience, or simply find another excuse to watch this great film, head on over to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra website now to get your tickets!

If you’re looking for something to do this Malaysia Day, watch Ola Bola to the spectacular accompaniment of live orchestra and book your tickets before it’s sold out!


Telephone Bookings: 03-23317007
Email Bookings:
MPO website:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: