Soprano Rebecca Bottone is one of the most versatile performers on the operatic stage today. It has been said that she gets her charisma from her father, the tenor Bonaventura Bottone, but her chameleon ability is entirely her own. Her character roles have been highly acclaimed in performances at the Royal Opera House and with the Welsh National Opera.
On New Year’s Eve she appears as herself when she joins the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra at Brighton Dome for the second year running, to add glamour and sparkle to a very Viennese celebration. Her contributions will include “By Strauss” from An American in Paris, “The Waltz Song” from Tom Jones and the bewitching “Vilja” from The Merry Widow. When she sang here last New Year’s Eve The Argus reviewer Phil Dennett wrote: “the charming Rebecca Bottone, a soprano who loves to show off in the nicest possible sense, seduced and dazzled with a display that showed not just vocal agility but a fine control of tone and soaring power. Her supreme talents were best shown in the melodious Vilja by Lehar, enhanced by shimmering strings.”
The orchestra will welcome in 2018 with a feast of popular orchestral favourites from that golden age of Viennese light music just before the First World War – a programme of lively and nostalgic music from the repertoire of the Strauss family and its contemporaries. Johann Strauss II captured the light-hearted approach to life favoured by the Viennese of his day more than anyone else. With gems such as the Emperor Waltz he established himself as “The Waltz King” and surely no such celebration of Viennese music is complete without that perennial favourite The Blue Danube Waltz.
Alongside the traditional foot-tapping Strauss waltzes, polkas and marches, conductor Barry Wordsworth has included favourite light music scores from some of our finest English composers: Ralph Vaughan Williams’ fabulous English folk tune Fantasia on Greensleeves, Malcolm Arnold’s gorgeous folk tune influenced English Country Dance No.8 and Richard Rodney Bennett’s “Waltz” from Murder on the Orient Express – a brilliant musical depiction of a train moving away from the station platform.
With such a varied and entertaining programme on offer, why not join the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday afternoon to welcome in the New Year with style and panache. This concert, firmly established as part of the city’s festivities and generously sponsored by the John Carewe Brighton Orchestra Trust, nearly sold out last year, so do book early to avoid disappointment.
If you need even more motivation, here is a link to a YouTube video recorded by BPO Concert Manager Ian Brignall previewing the concert: https://youtu.be/24tCjBFWzRc
Tickets from £12-38 are available from Brighton Dome Ticket Office in Church Street, by telephone (01273) 709709 and online at: https://brightondome.org/event/14879/brighton_philharmonic_orchestra_new_years_eve_viennese_gala/