Visit to Classical Extravaganza at The Royal Albert Hall Thursday 22nd November 18

As usual, the trip to the Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall was looked forward to with excited enthusiasm, especially those who had not been to the Royal Albert Hall before let alone  the Classical Extravaganza.

The journey to London was good.  The driver was able to drop us off and wait right outside the Albert Hall.  This was so convenient and eliminated the hunt for the coach in the main road after the concert, as so often happens.  The journey home was a different matter, roads works etc making the journey over 2 hours.

The members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Rigby, were their usual brilliant selves and ably supported by the Royal Choral Society and a band of retired Military Musicians.

The atmosphere inside the Albert Hall was exhilarating as we enjoyed an evening of good music culminating with the usual patriotic music and songs that we all love so much.

We were treated to a plethora of well-known, and popular music from Grieg, Rossini, Sousa, Bixet, Holst, Pachelbel and Suppe.  The Orchestra and choir really excelled with their rendition of Finlandia. There was a standing ovation for Peter Auty (tenor), after he sang Nessun Dorma.  The highlight was the Benedictus by Jenkins which was first performed in public in this Hall in 1999.  The Cello Soloist was particularly good.

The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, brought to an end an evening of  superb musical entertainment.  Despite knowing that the cannons and firearms would burst forth at a certain point in the music, many were caught out and jumped at the suddenness of the of the muskets and cannons being fired. Many were amused at being startled by the noise from both sides of the auditorium.

As an encore the Classical Spectacular Dancers brought a smile to our faces, as they danced the Can-Can .

After the finale a large net released many hundreds of red, white and blue balloons on to the audience.  Not many survived the popping frenzy that followed.

Without exception we all had a great night out with Carterton U3A,  and many thanks to Pam Howard for her impeccable organisation. 

Henry Howard

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