Lavish orchestral and choral forces were assembled for an enjoyable programme of Broadway musical theatre and opera on our special Leap Year Day concert in February. The Phil was delighted to be working again with the Airedale Symphony Orchestra (ASO) again in a joint production at Leeds Town Hall. The country had been battered for weeks by gales and torrential rain which was still pouring down on Saturday, but we were pleased to see a good audience bravely turned out for the concert.
The first half of the programme was traditional in format (and dress), featuring music by Jerome Kern, Aaron Copland, Randall Thompson and Bernstein. We performed Samual Barber’s Agnus Dei with a special dedication to the memory of the late Margaret Irving. Margaret sadly died unexpectedly in February and was a long time active member and singer with the Phil.
We went a bit wild and free in the second half, donning colourful tops in order to sing and sway along to the marvellous concert version of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Familiar numbers like Summertime – ravishingly sung by Sarah Power; I Got Plenty of Nothing – a soft-grained performance from Neil Balfour, and Bess You is My Woman Now, were all featured. The stupendous finale Lawd, I’m On My Way was encored which caught some of the orchestra out judging by the frantic scrabbling to find the right page in the music by some. A good time was had by all.