Review: Classical Spectacular @ MEN Arena, Manchester

Preston and Leyland Citizen: Review: Classical Spectacular @ MEN Arena, Manchester Review: Classical Spectacular @ MEN Arena, Manchester

THE clue is in the title — SPECTACULAR!

For those who stayed home to watch Strictly Come Dancing or The X Factor — shame on you. Still it was your loss.

This is an annual treat that should be bottled and drip fed to the tired nation.

The Halle Orchestra, the Leeds Festival Choir, ballerinas, opera singers, fireworks, canons and don’t forget the laser show.

With rousing choruses of Rule Britannia and Jerusalem and everyone waving union flags, it was the ultimate feel-good show.

The elderly man next to me had a tear in his eye, and my husband, renowned for his reserve, was even singing along!

It is what it says on the tin — nearly two-and-a-half hours of classical music.

It is like getting the compendium of games as a child — all the favourites are there in one giant box of superb music.

The Halle was spectacular, creating the music that made the hairs on your neck stand up.

The choir was fantastic, the soloists incredible, the lighting had the “wow” factor, the ballerinas were delightful — it was all just magnificent.

So what did you get for your money — the beautiful Morning Mood from Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Puccini’s fabulous Nessum Dorma, the delicate Flower Duet from Lakme and Handel’s rousing Coronation anthem from 1727.

But it was the haunting Benedictus from Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man written to celebrate the Millennium, that was the star of the show, played with passion by the Halle.

Everyone went home with their ears ringing after the brilliant 1812 overture with canon fire and musket fire.

There were nearly 200 people on the stage and every single one of them deserved the standing ovation. Pity you missed it!

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