Charismatic Spanish conductor returns to Alderley Edge

Alderley Edge Orchestra bring an evening of popular music dance and magic

On Saturday 20th May, at 7.30pm, the Alderley Edge Orchestra will spellbind their audience with an evening of mystery, fairytale and dance.

As conductor Juan Ortuno says: “This is a concert not only for children, but to bring back the child in all of us through the magic of classical music.”

After their sell-out performance on 4th March, the orchestra hopes to fill the Methodist Church once again and provide another evening of stirring music and entertainment. 

For this concert, the orchestra has invited the popular Spanish conductor, Juan Ortuno.

Juan is with them for the third time and is remembered warmly by the orchestra and previous audiences for the exciting and energetic performances he produces.

Juan says: “It is always a pleasure to come back to conduct this friendly group of players, who always put a lot of passion into their performances and achieve great quality music. And this is the sort of concert I love to conduct, with its popular music, dances and magic stories to tell.”

The evening opens with the Hansel and Gretel overture from Humperdinck’s opera.

Those attending, “will be transported to the magic world of the Grimm’s fairy tale, with two clever (and quite naughty) children, a dark forest, an evil witch and wonderful folk music.”

Then it is off to Russia for the beautiful and well-loved orchestral suite from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Based on a Russian folk tale, the music portrays both love and tragedy in the story of the beautiful princess, Odette, forced by an evil magician to live as a swan on a magical lake in the forest.

But as well as pathos there is also joy in the wild Hungarian and Spanish Dances (having a Spanish conductor this was a must!) and in the frenetic Neapolitan Dance, where the principal trumpet gives a dazzling virtuoso display.

Another Russian folk tale provides the basis of Prokoviev’s Peter and the Wolf.

This tells the story of the young Peter, forbidden by his grandfather to leave the garden, but who goes out into the forest and encounters the wolf… will Peter be brave and clever enough to defeat the wolf and save all the animals from being eaten?

Local thespian Alan Gibson assists the orchestra in recounting the story. Children of all ages will enjoy following the voices of each character – Peter, the grandfather, the bird, the duck, the cat, the wolf, each portrayed by a different instrument of the orchestra.

The climax of the concert is, fittingly, Ravel’s Bolero. A showpiece for the woodwind and brass section, the piece also brings in instruments not commonly seen at Alderley Edge Orchetsra concerts – saxophones, snare drum, and tam-tam to name but a few.

Two simple themes are repeated with mounting excitement as more and more members of the orchestra join in.

The mesmeric appeal of the piece is illustrated by how often it has been used by other performers, most notably Torvil and Dean in their Gold Medal winning ice routine at the 1984 Winter Olympics, Walt Disney in his film Fantasia and Frank Zappa on his world tour in 1988.

And those of a certain age may remember Bo Derek and Dudley Moore in the film 10.

The concert will take place at 7.30pm on Saturday 20th May at the Methodist Church in Alderley Edge (postcode: SK9 7DU).

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £1 for under eighteens.

Tickets will be available on the door or can be bought in advance through the website www.aeorchestra.org.uk or via the ticket hotline 01625 581 321.

You can also visit the website to hear a preview of the music and for more information about the orchestra.

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