The Welsh National Opera Orchestra returns to St. David’s Hall for their WNO Family Concert on Sunday 28 October, this time with a terrifying twist. Steve Speirs of Upstart Crow and Stella fame will present and introduce an afternoon of some well-known terror-ific film tunes as well as some popular operatic songs.
Led by conductor James Southall, the orchestra will perform in costume many family favourites including the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Batman theme and the music from Harry Potter. James will introduce the instruments of the orchestra throughout Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Other classical music featured in the concert will be Dvorak’s ‘Song to the Moon’ from Rusalka which is about a mermaid and the concert will end with two songs from the opera based on the fairytale Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck.
This fun and informal concert full of familiar orchestral music from the world of opera, film and popular culture will also include many theatrical elements. During the magical performances there will be animations to accompany the musicians as well as exciting props to bring the music to life. The first half will close with some audience participation to the theme tune of Ghost Busters.
WNO Orchestra will be joined by Soprano Ailish Tynan and Baritone Gareth Brynmor John and WNO Youth Opera making their debut with the Orchestra.
There will be an array of pre performance activities to enjoy as audience members are encouraged to arrive from 1pm onwards to join in with free family-friendly fun throughout the foyers of St David’s Hall before the concert. All pre-performance workshops will be open to the public and to non-ticket holders. St David’s Hall will be transformed into a Halloween haunt with creepy cobwebs galore. Children and adults will have the chance to try out an instrument with members of the WNO Orchestra or take part in a costume and music workshop. There will be wigs and make-up demonstrations which will include prosthetics and scars as well as face-painting. There will also be a treasure hunt and costume competition with prizes to be won and a magician performing magic tricks to entertain all the family.
Steve Speirs returns to join WNO as presenter after performing with the company last year in the opera Die Fledermaus in the hilarious non-singing role of Frosch the jailer.
Steve Speirs said: “I am thrilled to be invited by WNO to host this year’s Halloween concert. A concert that I am sure will introduce a lot of young people to some amazing music. Classical music is such an enriching part of our lives and it’s actually around us all every day in some form or other- I think the afternoon is going to be a real treat for everyone involved and I’m very lucky to have a front row seat.”
Emma Flatley, Director of Partnerships and Engagement at WNO, said “Now a regular feature in WNO’s calendar, I am delighted to welcome back another family concert to Cardiff, this time with a Halloween theme. WNO has expanded this increasingly popular format to cities far and wide including two of our regular touring cities, Birmingham and Southampton, and as part of the Hong Kong International Festival earlier this year with great reactions from audiences. We hope to extend the concert series even further in the future in order to engage families with live music across our touring regions”.
Tickets for the Family Concert at St David’s Hall are now on sale, with tickets for adults £18/£14, under 16’s £7 and free for under 5’s. Call the Box Office to arrange on 02920 878 444 or purchase online at http://www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk/whats-on/wno-family-concert/