Dream, Fantasy & Legend was the title of the concert and what a magical journey it was.
Chesterfield Gilbert and Society whisked its audience around the globe, from Spain to Italy, Germany to America in an imaginative programme which scaled the heights of entertainment.
The society presented a couple of new additions to its repertoire - a particularly lovely choral version of I Dreamed A Dream, from Les Miserables, which is usually sung as a solo, and the beautifully performed Fields of Gold.
Lively excerpts from Iolanthe whetted the audience’s appetite for a full-length production of the comic opera which satirises the House of Lords to be presented by the society at the Pomegranate Theatre in October. Musical director Andrew Marples said: “I wonder what targets our director Nic Wilson will find especially after the EU referendum.”
Vote-winning renditions of songs from opera, musical theatre and film came from every soloist at Hasland’s Eastwood Hall on Saturday .
Particular mention should be made of tenor Andrew Lockwood’s spellbinding performance of Una Furtiva Lagrima from Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love and the rich, fulsome voice of bass Blll Hoskin performing If Ever I Would Leave You from Camelot. Beautiful solos by Anne Flint performing Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz and Julie Currey’s rendition of Memory from Cats further served to impress the audience.
Of the duets, the pairing of Val Crick and Andrew Lockwood performing the Act 1 finale in The Sorcerer was my favourite - her sweet, pure voice soaring above his.
Variety was the keynote of the concert with Chesterfield’s answer to American barbershop quartet The Chordettes coming in the form of Anne Flint, Julie Currey, Carole Pilkington and Penny Fairs whose performance of Mister Sandman added an extra dash of sparkle to a glittering cocktail of song.
A G&S concert wouldn’t be the same without a spot of comedy from Phil Aldred whose solo rendition of Long Ago in Alcala included the immortal line: “As long as the right note is sung, it doesn’t matter what words you sing.”
Accompanied by Chris Flint on piano, the society ended this dream ticket of a show with a spectacular medley from The Phantom of the Opera, followed by Unchained Melody from the film Ghost.