• New Year’s Eve Viennese Gala, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, The Dome, on Tuesday, December 31.
Soprano Ailish Tynan took the Dome by storm as she sang out the old year and sang in 2020 in supreme style, writes Phil Dennett.
The Brighton Philharmonic also produced a superb performance in what must surely be one of the finest New Year’s Eve concerts staged at the famous old concert hall.
Ailish arrived with a reputation as one of the world’s finest sopranos and left with the ecstatic applause of a mightily impressed full house ringing in her ears.
In festive green for the trills of the humorous Laughing Song, she showed the full shades of her emotional range in the touching Stolz Du Sollst Der Kaiser. Handclaps accompanied her warm tones as she captured the romance of Lehar’s aria Meine Lippen.
Switching to a blue and gold dress, her singing was 24-carat with a light touch of vibrato on Sullivan’s The Sun Whose Rays and a stunning climbing finish on Heuberger Im Chambre Separee. With singing of this quality and subtle shades instead of monochrome a beguiling encore from the Merry Widow was just plain greedy; this was a soprano not just doing it well, but meaning it.
Which not to say the orchestra was merely a supporting act. The musicians showed plenty of empathy with the soloist under impressive conductor Stephen Bell. Thriving in their own spotlight, they showed plenty of dash and occasional humour in a programme that sometimes strayed confidently off the well-trodden Viennese route.
Gaiety and tenderness were drawn from Josef Strauss’s A Woman’s Heart while the power of the brass lifted Kalmann’s Countess Mariza overture. All sections took the chance to shine on the Gypsy Baron March.
The grace of the Blue Danube summed up the afternoon and an obligatory hand-clapped Radetzky March put the seal on a perfect way to start a new decade.