Concert review – On the Bright Side
Trianon Symphony Orchestra and Choir
Ipswich Corn Exchange, 9 January 2016
The one thing you know about a Trianon concert is that it does what it says on the tin. “On the Bright Side!” would seem to some to be an ambitious title for a programme on a wet January evening with post-Christmas blues still fresh in mind. Not so for this Music Group. The theme was set before a note was played by the colourful co-ordinated tops worn by the choir and orchestra which made me wish I had brought my sunglasses.
The bright start was continued throughout the programme with a splendid mix of musical performance for the next couple of hours which cleverly combined stage, cinema, light operatic pieces and good old favourite nostalgia. Some thirty different passages ensured they were familiar to all ages in the audience who were treated to BBC theme tunes with Teddy Bears roaming through the hall handing out sweets whilst looking for their picnic, to the hits of The Beatles wrapped up in a Tchaikovsky suite (very novel that); a Gilbert and Sullivan selection, including sterling trumpet playing for the Entrance of the Peers from Iolanthe; Let it Go from Frozen (of course – it’s that time of the year); a selection from Carousel, and a medley from The Empire Strikes Back – a topical choice bearing in mind the concert was planned eighteen months ago. A special mention must go to the excellent medley from Phantom of the Opera which closed the first half on a dramatic high. It is always a good sign when walking around at the interval to hear a highlight tune being hummed!
“On the Bright Side!” would not be complete without a rendering of its origins set in the song by Eric Idle. Audience participation was encouraged in joining with
the chorus to Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, and I am
still chuckling at narrator Janet Dann’s aside that we may also wish to help with
the whistling there in view of the difficulties that those choir members of a certain vintage might have due to a lack of original dentures.
The most enjoyable concert by the orchestra and choir conducted by Professor Christopher Green, and sponsored by Barchester Homes, was played to a packed house and again shows how Ipswich is able to put on a performance by local amateur musicians to rival any venture. Well done to all. It certainly lived up to its name and brightened a winter evening.