Our October concert saw us present a spine-tingling performance of the overture to Humperdinck’s opera, Hansel and Gretel and a dramatic performance of Mahler’s Totenfeier (a prelude to our performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, in October 2016).
But the biggest applause was for our presentation of a selection of Grieg’s incidental music to Peer Gynt, complete with narration written by a member of the orchestra, which even cast the orchestra as trolls (“Render him into lard!”).
Our wonderful soprano soloist, Tania Pratt, tugged on our heartstrings, particularly with the final Cradle Song, during which a small group of singers (from APO’s own ranks and several from Reading’s Tamesis Chamber Choir) interposed the haunting Whitsun Hymn.
As well as Tania, there were several other star performances, including an amazing ‘Hardanger fiddle’ solo from viola player Kat Hatton, some fantastic wind solos (particularly during ‘Morning mood’) and a cameo from Louise Rapple Moore, director of Tamesis, on the organ.
But it was two pupils from Reading Blue Coat School, 12 year olds Ted Aplin and William Peters, who stole the show with their entertaining and engaging performance of the narration. Here they are, with Tania, at the end of the performance, quite rightly looking pleased as punch!