Durban’s 2016 ‘Last Night of the Proms’

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Celtic dancers Melissa and Samantha Wood and piper Colleen Scott. Photo: Val Adamson.
Celtic dancers Melissa and Samantha Wood and piper Colleen Scott. Photo: Val Adamson.

It’s all stops out in preparation for one the highlights of Durban’s music calendar – the annual Last Night of the Proms concert. Presented as always by the British Cultural and Heritage Association, this eagerly anticipated event takes place at The Playhouse on Sunday 23 October, starting at 3pm.

Podium stalwart Richard Cock will be back at the helm of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the combined Durban Symphonic and Durban Girls High School Choirs will lead the audience in the traditional sing-alongs, ensuring this year’s concert is as memorable as ever.

Featured on this year’s soloist roster are the distinguished soprano Vanessa Tait-Jones, and Junnan Sun, the KZNPO’s virtuoso Principal Clarinetist. Tait-Jones will perform Marguerite’s glittering ‘Jewel Song’ from Gounod’s opera, Faust, and Franz Lehar’s show-stopping aria, Meine Lippen Sie Küssen So Heiss from his operetta, Giuditta. Sun is set to dazzle the audience with a bravura performance of Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra.

Getting into mood for Last Night of the Proms are British Cultural and Heritage Association colleagues Lynne Cook and Cheri Steenberg with Dave Burch of the Durban Symphonic Choir and drummer Corrie Stevens of the Durban Regiment. Photo: Val Adamson.
Getting into mood for Last Night of the Proms are British Cultural and Heritage Association colleagues Lynne Cook and Cheri Steenberg with Dave Burch of the Durban Symphonic Choir and drummer Corrie Stevens of the Durban Regiment. Photo: Val Adamson.
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Also featured on the programme are the KZN Pipes and Drums, and Celtic dancers Melissa and Samantha Wood from the KZN Academy of Celtic Dance. Prommers can look forward to a generously packed programme of concert evergreens. Popular items include among others; John Williams’s Olympic Spirit; Edward Strauss’s Bahn frei and his With Pleasure Galop; the rousing Entry of the Gladiators by Czech composer Julius Fuèík; Lehar’s immortal Gold and Silver Waltz; Sir Henry Wood’s jolly Sailor’s Hornpipe; the mighty Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah; and, of course, Thomas Arne’s Rule Britannia; Sir Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem; and Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1.

As seasoned supporters know, the exuberant Durban event is modelled on the hugely popular last night culmination of Britain’s globally-celebrated BBC Promenade Concert series, presented every year in and around London, predominantly at the Royal Albert Hall.

Tickets for Durban’s 2016 Last Night of the Proms concert range from R140 to R210. Early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available through Computicket outlets at Shoprite Checkers, telephonically on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 031 369 9596 (office hours).

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