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Picnics and Proms - a delightful combination

Date: 15/05/2008           Category: Events

Picture the scene - a champagne picnic in Rochester Castle Gardens with classical music provided by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. On Saturday, 19 July, the Castle Proms will provide the grand finale to this year’s season of Castle Concerts, with water fountains and fireworks to enchant the eyes as well as the ears. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra has delighted audiences around the world with its versatile concert programmes and recordings of classical and popular music since its formation in 1987. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra’s performances have taken it into a variety of settings from traditional concert halls, stadiums and cathedrals to more unusual venues including train stations, racecourses, botanical gardens and castles. It has a history of working with international celebrity artists ranging from Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfel and Kiri Te Kanawa to Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder. This year, the two featured vocalists are soprano, Natasha Marsh and tenor, Nicky Spence. Soprano Natasha is a highly respected opera star, described as one of the most exciting exports the UK has celebrated for over a decade. Natasha’s debut solo album, Amour, went straight to the top of the classical chart. She tours extensively, and performed at the Carling Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, where she sang the national anthem. She has also appeared as a special guest for Russell Watson, G4, Il Divo and others. The young Scottish tenor Nicky Spence was signed to Universal records in one of the biggest long term record deals ever seen in the UK. His debut album My First Love, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, earned him a nomination in the Classical Brit Awards as Young Classical Performer of the Year. He has performed in front of Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall in London and has appeared with legends such as Dame Shirley Bassey, Katherine Jenkins and Lesley Garrett CBE. The programme is likely to include some old favourites such as: · Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs; · Hornpipe, arranged by Arne; · Sargent’s Rule Britannia; · Parry’s Jerusalem; · Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; · Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No 1. Although the weather cannot be guaranteed, the quality of the performances is assured. Two bars, serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, will be open during the concerts and a range of hot and cold snacks are available within the castle grounds. Customers may bring their own tables, chairs, food and drink into the grounds but are requested not to bring tents, awnings, glasses or glass bottles. Each event in the Castle Concert calendar will begin at 7.15pm and concerts will take place whatever the weather so please be prepared. Tickets are still available for Soul Party on Wednesday, 16 July at £20. The Edwin Starr Band featuring Angelo Starr play alongside The Soul Traders and Brenda Edwards. Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra plus special guests Louise Marshall, Ruby Turner and Marc Almond, supported by Christopher Holland play the following evening, Thursday, 17 July. Tickets are £30. To secure your ticket or for futher information about any of this year’s Castle Concerts visit www.medway.gov.uk/castleconcerts