Concert Review - Liz Noble

Despite a very bumpy road to this concert on the 6 March, congratulations must go to the small committee who pulled it off. Sadly QKA was not available this time and as rehearsals were elsewhere too, everything had to be sorted on the day itself. It was good that Bushfield Academy was available but the layout proved difficult for the large cast this time, and it did get a little warm on both sides of the footlights!


The audience to this sell out concert was welcomed and advised that it would start with a short Ukrainian folk tune entitled “A Prayer to Ukraine”. It was a simple but moving melody which of course was well received by all.


The concert also had a stand in conductor, Chris Ridley, an experienced colleague of the orchestra’s newly appointed conductor Bjorn Bantock who underwent successful spinal surgery a few weeks ago.


Chris Ridley opened the concert with the suite 1 from Bizet’s Carmen, a popular exciting start highlighting several good instrumental solos. The following Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves always stirs the emotions and was performed by the Peterborough Opera chorus, well-schooled by their Director Kate Wishart who was playing timps with the orchestra. The melodious Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana followed with a change of pace and the first half concluded with an excellent performance of the overture to Rossini’s Barber of Seville followed by two solos - Cavatina sung with passion by Liz Williams and finishing with Figaro’s Largo Al Factotum, sung by Dan Woodhouse with obvious enjoyment, charm and fun.


Brahms’ Hungarian dances no 5 and 6 began the second half with gusto and great percussion, followed by the change of mood as Liz Williams sang the passionate but tender Purcell’s lament by Dido to her beloved Aeneas.


Saint-Saens Dance Macabre followed with confident playing and interaction of the strings and excellent solo from leader, Liz Taylor , leading into the lively and popular Polovtsian Dances from Borodin’s Prince Igor. Well known of course, but its varied rhythms made a confident finale to an enjoyable afternoon that had encountered such difficult issues en route. Well done to all involved and we look forward to the summer events.

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