Tuesday, September 22

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ailish Tynan (soprano), Stephen Bell (conductor)

- January 1, 2020

BPO bid farewell to 2019 with a lavish Viennese Gala. Set the scene with white Tuxedos, satin gowns and party frocks – it was then easy for the capacity audience to imagine the necessary garlands, crystal and champagne when the orchestra struck up Johan Strauss Jnr.’s overture to ‘Die Fledermaus’, appropriately followed by the seductive tones of ‘Adele’s Laughing Song’, delivered with saucy charm by Ailish Tynan, her eyes flashing in the dim light.

They treated us to a heady mix of traditional favourites and delightfully unfamiliar polkas and songs from the vast repertoire of the Viennese Belle Epoque. I particularly enjoyed being reminded of the thoroughly international credentials of the great Arthur Sullivan. ‘The sun whose rays’ from ‘The Mikado’ was a high point of this well planned programme which climaxed with a teasing performance of the ‘Pizzicato Polka’ and a really lush rendition of the ‘On the Beautiful Blue Danube’. These were then topped by the two encores. Lehar’s ‘Vilja o vilja’ had Maestro Bell co-opting the audience to sing the chorus and La Tynan soaring up to a sublimely sustained top B! The party ended with orchestra and audience romping through the Radetzky March, egged vigorously on by the maestro whose music, enthusiasm and terrible Christmas cracker jokes sent us off cheered and uplifted into 2020.

Dome Concert Hall,
31 December 2019
Rating: ★★★★★
Andrew Connal

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