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Thursday, October 12, 2017


 (Richard Cock)

Get set to raise the rafters at this year’s perennial highlight of Durban’s music calendar – the much-loved Last Night of the Proms Concert.

This year’s eagerly anticipated event, presented as always by the British Cultural and Heritage Association, takes place in The Playhouse Opera Theatre on October 22, 2017.

South Africa’s ‘Mr Music’, Richard Cock, returns to podium to lead the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, who will be flanked by the Durban Symphonic Choir and the combined choirs of Danville Girls High, Durban Girls High and Northwood Boys High Schools. The solo spots fall on violinist Amy Luo and flautist Tatiana Thaele. Also featured on the programme are proms stalwarts, the KZN Pipes and Drums, and Celtic dancers Melissa and Samantha Wood from the KZN Academy of Celtic Dance.

As ever, Cock has put together a bumper programme of favourites, which he will introduce in his own inimitable style. Show-stopping items include: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers; a McCartney medley; the Concerto Alla Ungarese by Oscar Ries; Scott Joplin’s rag hit, The Entertainer; Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy; Paul McCartney’s We All Stand Together; and O Fortuna from Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Paul McCartney’s Mull of Kintyre opens the second half of the programme. This will be followed successively by Dizzy Gillespie’s exotic A Night in Tunisia; the Joplin classic, Maple Leaf Rag; a cover of the 1984 Leonard Cohen hit, Hallelujah, sung by Durban Girls College Grade 10 singer, Jaime Davies; Handel’s mighty Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah; and Sir Henry Wood’s proms classic, Sailor’s Hornpipe. Sir Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem and Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 bring the programme to a tremendous climax.

As regular prommers know, the high-spirited Durban event, which includes much full-throated audience participation, is modelled on the hugely popular last-night culmination of Britain’s globally-celebrated BBC Promenade Concert series, presented in and around London, principally at the Royal Albert Hall.

Last Night of the Proms takes place at 15h00 on October 22 in The Playhouse Opera. Although costs have escalated, tickets for this 2017 concert remain the same as last year, ranging from R140 to R210. Early booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Tickets available through Computicket outlets at Shoprite Checkers, telephonically on 0861 915 8000 or online at Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 031-369 9596 (office hours).