• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

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Music-lovers pack into historic chapel for Last Night of the Proms triumph

AN inaugural Last Night of the Proms event has been declared a triumph in the spectacular setting of a North-East cultural attraction.

It was the first time the patriotic classical music celebration – complete with Union Flags being waved – has been held at Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens, near Durham.

The stunning St Cuthbert’s Chapel was packed for the event, which was staged by InterOpera, and conducted by Alistair Dawes.

The concert featured rousing performances by Easington Colliery Band and Ushaw Chapel Choir. The appreciative audience was also treated to magnificent solos by soprano Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz and baritone Chris Childs Santos.

The first half was a mix of overtures, arias, and choruses from the world of opera, with the second half devoted to the classics from The Last Night of the Proms, including Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Jerusalem, and Champagne Finale.

InterOpera chairman Jonathan Peacock said: “We are very proud to have brought The Last Night of the Proms to Ushaw for the first time.

“Small companies bringing top class opera to underserved areas are always dependent on fund-raising, so we are massively grateful to everyone who came, and we hope they spread the word.”

Steve Robson, who produced the brass arrangements for the event and is also responsible for a series of popular brass concerts at Ushaw, added: “It has been a very exciting collaboration and we are delighted by the response. It has been a wonderful night – a real triumph.”

The Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Sue Snowdon, who was in the audience said: “It has been a real inspiration to see The Last Night of the Proms come to Ushaw.”

Brass-lovers can also see a World Tour Youth Project, featuring four local youth bands and other young musicians, along with soloist Andrew Hedley at Ushaw at 3pm on November 2.

Then, on December 7, at 7.30pm, operatic bass Graeme Danby and soprano Valerie Reid will perform with Ferryhill Town Band in “A Prelude To Christmas”.

  • To find out more about events at Ushaw go to www.ushaw.org

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