A CONCERT marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of the composer Richard Wagner will be staged at Huddersfield Town Hall next weekend.
Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the hall on February 9 and its guest will be the soprano Cressida Sharp.
The first half of this celebratory concert will feature two works by Wagner. It opens with the composer’s overture to the opera, The Flying Dutchman.
The opera, which was first produced in 1843 and conducted by Wagner himself, is based on the legend of a sailor condemned to sail his ship until redeemed by a faithful woman.
The Philharmonic will then play the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.
It is for this piece that they will be joined by Cressida who is tipped by the Philharmonic’s conductor Nicholas Smith as a star of the future.
Cressida, who is based in Oxenhope, is a former choral scholar at Clare College in Cambridge.
As a choral scholar she toured to Germany, Israel, the United States and France. She has also sung at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Westminster Abbey.
Since graduating from Cambridge last year, she has appeared as a soloist at Macclesfield Proms On The Pitch and played the title role of Massenet’s Manon with Leeds Youth Opera.
This year she expects to play Cunegonde in Leeds Youth Opera’s production of Candide and Norina in Silk Opera’s Don Pasquale.
The second half of the concert consists of Bruckner’s Symphony No 7 which includes his own tribute to Wagner, a quartet of Wagner tubas introduced into the Adagio.
Wagner died while Bruckner was working on this movement. Throughout his life, Bruckner remained a devout Catholic and his faith pervades his music.
Bruckner’s Symphony No 7 is therefore closely connected with Wagner who had been something of a mentor to him.
The orchestra, whose leader is Mary Barber, will be conducted by Nicholas Smith.
Nicholas studied the oboe with Leon Goossens and later conducted with Franco Ferrara in Italy.
He became principal conductor of the Northern Chamber Orchestra at the age of 22 and 35 years later, continues to conduct occasional concerts with them.
Nicholas spent several years as music director of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra in Finland and 14 years as music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic. He is now living in Macclesfield.
The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets on 01484 223200 and on-line at www.huddersfield-phil.org.uk.