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Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Stand by for a ‘Sound and Light’ extravaganza at this year’s annual Last Night of the Proms concert, presented as ever by the British Cultural and Heritage Association. Durban’s die-hard prommers can expect a bonanza event which will crackle and pop with an exuberance of fun! So get to The Playhouse Opera Theatre on August 5 at 15h00, to enjoy a profusion of sizzling classics, laced with novelty appeal all set to go with a bang!

Conductor Richard Cock, South Africa’s ‘Mr Music’, returns to the podium to crank up the wow factor as he leads the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, joined by the Durban Symphonic and Northwood Boys Choirs, and a line-up of soloists and support acts. This year’s solo spots falls on soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi and ten-year-old violinist, Nilashri Naidoo. And sharing the limelight are Proms stalwarts, the KZN Pipes and Drums, and Celtic Heartbeat, aka dancers Samantha Wood and Melissa Wood Alberts.

As ever, Richard Cock has put together a bumper programme of favourites, which he will introduce in his own inimitable style. Show-stopping items in the first half of the programme include: Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, world famous as the soundtrack to the movie, Space Odyssey 2001; the main theme to John William’s Star Wars soundtrack; Explosions Polka by Johann Strauss; the mighty Anvil Chorus from Verdi’s Il Trovatore; Khachaturian’s dazzling Sabre Dance; the beautiful Sanctus from Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass; Vivaldi’s Concerto in G; Lanchberry’s endearing Clog Dance from the comic ballet, La fille mal gardee; and the iconic River Dance hit, Reel Around the Sun.

Getting off on a high note, the second half opens with the 2014 Commonwealth Games Theme. This will be followed by a powerhouse line-up of show-stoppers, including: Dimutrescu’s Romanian Dance; Thunder & Lightning Polka by Johann Strauss; Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King; the Jewel Song from Gounod’s Faust; the thunderous finale to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; and Proms evergreens, Jerusalem by Parry, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and the jolly Sailors Hornpipe in an arrangement by Alan Stephenson.

As seasoned prommers know, the high-spirited Durban event, which includes whole-hearted 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 in the Playhouse Opera on August 5 at 15h00. Seats range from R150 to R220. 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 Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 031-369 9596 (office hours).