UWE's Colston Hall Feast

Issue date: 23 March 2010


Belshazzar's Feast Saturday 24 April 2010
Colston Hall, Bristol

The University of the West of England's Centre for Performing Arts will host a whole day of events at Bristol's Colston Hall on Saturday 24 April 2010, culminating in an evening performance of Walton's mighty oratorio Belshazzar's Feast.

Nearly 400 performers, mostly amateurs, will take part: students, staff, alumni and friends of the University will be joined by local choirs and brass bands from the area for the occasion. The event is part of the Centre for Performing Arts' ambitious artistic season and developing programme of outreach work.

The centrepiece of the evening concert will be Walton's gargantuan oratorio Belshazzar's Feast. The work is one of the most enduring, emotionally charged and musically exciting oratorios. Based upon the book of Daniel and using one of the bible's most dramatic episodes as its storyline, the inclusion of two off-stage brass bands is an appropriate symbol of the scale of the work.

Accompanying Belshazzar's Feast in the programme will be Bruch's ever popular Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring the father and son duo of conductor Roger Huckle and soloist Emil Huckle-Kleve. To add to what promises to be an extraordinarily exciting evening, the concert will also feature the world premiere of Adrian Hull's Fanfare for Brass, and Sibelius' nationalistic tone poem Finlandia.

Ian Holmes, Centre for Performing Arts Director and conductor said, “It has been a great experience for the University Singers and Orchestra to work towards the performance of such an immense choral work and all have put in many hours of preparation. We are also very pleased to be welcoming so many musical friends from the local community to join us for this occasion!

“It is an opportunity and privilege, both for the Centre for Performing Arts and all the musicians of the University, to be singing and playing in such a fine concert hall and we are very pleased to be welcoming many schoolchildren who will be joining us for various events throughout the day.”

Activities will be taking place at the Colston Hall throughout the day. At 12:30, there will be a free lunchtime concert in the foyer given by Essenjay, a contemporary jazz-influenced ensemble made up of talented music scholars from the University. The afternoon will see all the performers come together for the first time at 14:00, when there will be an open rehearsal ahead of the evening's concert to which all are invited. This will be followed at 18:00 by a free, pre-concert talk in the main hall by Dr Adrian Hull, composer and lecturer in performing arts at UWE, looking at various issues arising from the evening's exhilarating programme.

Tickets for this unique evening are selling fast, but are still available either from the Colston Hall http://www.colstonhall.org/whatson/Event1045 on 0117 922 3686 or via the UWE ticket store

Visit the Centre for Performing Arts website

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