Let your hair down

— and your trousers


Text Box: Christchurch Symphony with Tim Beveridge and the Christchurch City Choir, Last Night of the Proms. Town Hall, November 9. Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd. Text Box: REVIEW With the usual mix of whistles, flags, balloons, streamers and light-hearted banter, this "Last Night of the Proms" (I always feel the 'r' is superfluous over here) was a great opportunity for the orchestra and audience alike to let their hair down or, alternatively, festoon themselves with hats and glitter wigs, all in the name of fun.

Presided over by the effervescent Marc Taddei in high-energy mode, the concert blended old favourites with show tunes, had the anticipated audience participation slots and, to cap it all, the premiere of a commissioned   work   by   David Hamilton. I say "to cap it all" because "Monday's Troll" was a real treat; it is a well-crafted work which fitted into the programme well, had the right humorous touch and gave the City Choir their best slot of the night. Hamilton is well known for his excellent vocal writing and this work is no exception; his orchestration was similarly impressive.

Gretchen Dunsmore deftly handled the tricky bass clarinet obbligato and the orchestra accompanied well throughout, allowing the choir to come through clearly. The same could not always be said of the Verdi and Christchurch Symphony with Tim Beveridge and the Christchurch City Choir, Last Night of the Proms. Town Hall, November 9. Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd.

Tim Beveridge knows his audience well, sings with conviction, and is justly recognised as one of the top names in musical theatre. His "Anthem" (from "Chess") was gutsy and passionate, while "On the Street Where You Live" was given a welcome reprise at the end. It sounds corny, but "Danny Boy" was a real winner, with rich string accompaniments backing him up in this number and "She".

Taddei drove his troops hard, with some blistering tempi in the Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 1 and Pomp and Circumstance March, with some nice elasticity of tempi in the opening Strauss bracket. Decorum went well and truly out the window for Greig's Hall of the Mountain King, but balancing this was a most sensitive account of Liadov's The Enchanted Lake.

While I could say, "Good show";  tonight, I say "Excellent show".

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