WHAT better way to waltz into a New Year than with the help of Viennese classics?
In Vienna it is a New Year tradition and it has become one in Huddersfield too.
For many concertgoers in Huddersfield, an afternoon listening to the music which entranced the Viennese in the 19th century has become the perfect way to start the New Year.
The Orchestra of Opera North’s Viennese Whirl has become one of the highlights of the concert season and next Friday’s concert at Huddersfield Town Hall will be one of the year’s busiest.
An afternoon concert on December 28 (3pm) will whisk audiences off to the world of the waltz king, Johann Strauss II.
This stunning concert, full of energy and excitement always fills the hall to the rafters and next week’s event will be no exception.
Dougie Scarfe, former concerts director with Opera North and the man who organised the current season, said: “I’m not interested in doing these concerts unless we do them really well and at the heart of that needs to be a conductor who is really in tune with the music.
“Jacek Kaspsyzk conducted the Viennese Whirl last year as the original conductor had to step down.
“I thought he conducted it as well as anyone I’ve ever heard and so I had no hesitation in asking him back. I’ve even let him choose a couple of pieces which I don’t usually let people do!
“The soloist will be Ed Lyon. We’ve not had a tenor for a while but Ed has a terrific voice that you will really hear well in this music.”
Ed studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy and the National Opera Studio.
He has performed extensively with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as well as singing in concerts at the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.
Jacek Kaspszyk has a long standing association with Opera North, since conducting the company’s mainstage production of The Flying Dutchman back in 1989.
One of Europe’s leading conductors both in the concert hall and on the operatic stage, Kaspszyk is currently artistic director of the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic, and music director of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The concert programme is filled with classic waltzes and light music by composers including Franz Lehár, Suppé, Josef Strauss, and a multitude of popular pieces by the ‘Waltz King’, Johann Strauss II.
Strauss wrote over 500 waltzes, polkas, and quadrilles and was largely responsible for the popularity of the waltz in Vienna during the 19th Century.
The concert includes well-known pieces such as the Overture from Lehár’s The Merry Widow, The Thunder and Lightening Polka and the Blue Danube Waltz, both by Johann Strauss 11 as well as Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna by Von Suppé.
Tickets for the concert are £8 to £24 with concessions from Box office on 01484 223200 or www.kirklees.gov.uk/townhalls.
But this is one of the concerts which is usually a sell-out so check on ticket availability.