RTWSO: World War I Commemoration
Soloist: Annette Wardell (soprano)
Conductor: Roderick Dunk
This month our concert is devoted to commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War.
It will be more than just a symphony orchestra concert: a varied programme of music will be interspersed with readings and poetry all relevant to the Great War.
From Holst’s Planets suite we have Mars, the Bringer of War, also the patriotic hymn I Vow to Thee my Country (traditionally played on Remembrance Sunday) whose tune Holst took from The Planets. The Banks of Green Willow is one of just a few works by George Butterworth, a gifted British composer who died tragically young during the conflict.
French composer Maurice Ravel drove an ambulance during the War: he survived but many of his friends did not and the Menuet from Le Tombeau de Couperin is dedicated to one such friend.
We are including some of the wonderful music John Williams composed for the award winning film
War Horse, about a horse that survived the conflict, and our programme will also include some popular songs from the period. We remember the fallen with the Pie Jesu from Fauré’s well known setting of the Requiem Mass and we will end this very special concert with the whole of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The most famous of the variations – Nimrod – is usually played at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
Annette Wardell (soprano)
Born in Yorkshire, and recently featured in British Vogue, Annette Wardell is one of operas rising stars. Studying piano from the age of four, she went on to study voice at The Royal College Of Music London, and the Royal Northern College Of Music Manchester. Operatic roles soon followed, as Duende in Simon Holt’s “The Nightingales To Blame” for Opera North; Cis/Emmie in Peter Halls acclaimed production of Britton’s “Albert Herring” for Glyndebourne Opera, also starring Alfie Boe; Cherubino in Mozart’s “Marriage Of Figaro” at Holland Park Opera, and her Barbican Hall debut as Zerlina in another Mozart opera “Don Giovanni”. A great favourite with Gilbert And Sullivan audiences, Annette has performed in many of these productions including Elsie in “Yoeman Of The Guard”, Casilda in “The Gondoliers” and Yum Yum in “The Mikado” at the Buxton Festival, and most recently Mabel in “Pirates Of Penzance” for Raymond Gubbay, where her Pirate King was none other than comedian Alistair McGowan!
On the concert platform Annette has performed as soloist with many of the country’s major orchestras, including BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Halle and Manchester Camerata amongst others.
She is currently on tour with The National Symphony Orchestra, and her most recent guests have included Alfie Boe and tenor Russell Watson.
Annette’s largest ever crowd was when she was honoured to perform at The FA Cup Final to a live audience of 78,000, 280 million worldwide!