The Hall for the performance
Imagine a great big round theatre, 140 or so years
old, with rows of galleries up the walls, seats sloping down to the floor,
a big orchestral stage in front of giant organ console, and then hundreds
of choirs seats either side of the organ. Now fill that huge theatre to
capacity-5,600 in the audience-and add another 500 Welsh children in
choirs stalls, and add to them 4 Canadian children - not to mention all
the adults from Wales and Canada. That was the Royal Albert Hall in
London, England, on Wednesday November 8th, the Last Night of the 2000
Schools Proms. And KidsOp was there, singing excerpts from the
|It was an amazing experience for everyone.
Our performance—with Mervyn Burtch looking tiny at the piano on one side
of the great big stage—was a great success, conducted by Keith
Ellerington, and with the Raven and Wizard from the Caerphilly Kids Opera
Group production last year. Everyone wore masks supplied by the South
Wales mums, and was even a small group of dancers for the dance of the
dawn. The music sounded so rich with 504 voices singing it, but all of
them were needed to make an impact in the vast hall. I don’t think any
of us will forget looking out on that great throng of the audience. And
the Canadians will never forget the great cheer that went up when the
Canadians were announced by the Master of ceremonies!
The large structure to the right is the
great organ of the Royal Albert Hall. All the children singing The
Raven King were in the choir stalls to either side of the organ.
The four Canadian children in masks made by
South Wales parents
|But there were also lots of other school and
youth groups performing. Some of them, such as the Bromley Youth Orchestra
(aged 12-19), were of such a high standard that I don’t think we have
heard anything quite like them over here in Canada. The concert started off with a
fanfare from the highest gallery opposite the stage, the music seeming to
come out of the darkness. The darkness didn’t last long, as we had all
been issued with little flashlights (torches) that lit up when you pushed the base,
so that the whole of the Albert Hall seemed to be dancing with fireflies.
Then, to close the concert, everyone sang Elgar’s Land of Hope and
Glory, the traditional way to finish the Last Night of the Proms.
6,000 people singing and all waving flags—we waved our Maple Leafs—is
quite a sight and sound!
To see the full program of
the last night of the Schools Proms click on the button to the right
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