Last Night of the Proms, Royal Albert Hall | Review

Last Night of the Proms 
Royal Albert Hall 
Reviewed on Saturday 8th September 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

After a spectacular eight weeks of concerts, the 2018 BBC Proms came to an end on Saturday night in a grand and celebratory fashion. As a first time attendee of the last night, I was excited to be part of such a well-known piece of theatrical history and the atmosphere and performances left me elated and proud to be British.

The concert followed it's traditional format, with a more serious first half followed by an audience participation fuelled second act. Master of ceremonies for the night was Andrew Davis who made a triumphant return after eighteen years and brought together a magical night. 

Debut work, Songs of Darkness, Dreams of Light by Roxanna Panufnik is a moving ten minute piece which brings together opposing religions and cultures and was especially exciting to witness. Of the various French and English choral pieces, a stand out was definitely Charles Villiers Stanford's The Blue Bird, performed expertly by the BBC Singers and causing the rambunctious audience to be in pin drop silence for its entirety. 

Saxophonist Jess Gillam provided energy, glitz and talent in equal measure through her performances of Scaramouche and a selection of World War One songs arranged by Anne Dudley. Gerald Finley also gave dominant performances of Stanford's Songs of the Sea and the vast Soliloquy from Carousel

The second act was a fine celebration of patriotism and community. The audience, orchestra, BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus joined together for a number of classic Last Night of the Proms pieces including Jerusalem and Auld Lang Syne, all of which were rousing and left the audience elated as the Proms came to a close and we all left the Royal Albert Hall for another year.

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