An Afternoon at the Proms

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Interview with world renowned Australian violinist, Ian Cooper.

Hi Ian. I spoke to you over a year ago, when you visited both the Glasshouse and the Manning Entertainment Centre. What’s been keeping you busy since then?

I’ve just been on tour with the guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, where I joined him on stage at the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne and Brisbane Concert Halls. We have just released an album together called Just Passing Through, available in the iTunes store. I’m very excited about it, and it’s some of my best violin playing!

Prior to that in July I gave 12 concerts in remote towns for the Queensland Music Festival with the brilliant pianist Ambre Hammond. We flew to each town in a light plane, and our selections ranged from Classical, Gypsy and Irish music.

You’re visiting us again in October, presenting An Afternoon at the Proms – A Musical Spectacular! Introduce us to your fellow performers; who’ll be lighting up the stage with you on this visit?

I’m so excited to be sharing the stage with 40 performers: three magnificent sopranos; a Principal Tenor from Opera Australia; the amazing Hawkesbury Nepean Valley Pipe Band, who are the current Australian Pipe Band champions; the Performance Arts Western Sydney Dancers, who will dance Classical Ballet to Ravel’s Bolero and Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz – all accompanied by the Blue Danube Orchestra.

Fill us in on the repertoire for the show. How varied are the pieces of music that will be presented?

The show will take us on a musical journey all across Europe – music from Italy, France, Spain, popular Arias, music from the famous Hungarian Gypsy orchestras and The Waltz King – Johann Strauss. We will include musical theatre: I Dreamed a Dream from the worldwide smash hit Les Misérables; Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life) from the Barcelona Olympics; Time to Say Goodbye – (Con te Partirò) made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman; Scotland the Brave and Amazing Grace with the pipers; perhaps a little something from Fiddler on the Roof; Strauss’ famous Radetzky March and of course, we invite the audience to sing along to an absolute Proms favourite – Land of Hope And Glory.

What’s your favourite part of the programme?

I love it when the pipers and drummers march in from the back of the auditorium. I’ve no need to announce their arrival, and it’s a complete surprise – heads turn! It’s a little piece of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I’ll be playing some numbers on violin with the pipers, which introduces a Scottish flavour to the show, and when the pipers and orchestra combine and all play together, that’s such a magnificent sound.

This show has won the ACE (Australian Club Entertainment) Award for “Best Production Show” in Australia. Why do you think this production has been so successful, and why would you encourage audiences to come and see it in person?

The music and songs we’ll be presenting have really stood the test of time, and much of it has been popular for centuries. I feel very privileged not only to be able to bring music like this to Port Macquarie and Taree, but being able to do it with some of the best talent Australia has to offer makes it extra special for me. The whole cast and I look forward to coming to The Glasshouse on Saturday afternoon 10th October, and Manning Entertainment Centre on Sunday 11th October.

Thanks Ian.

THE PLUG

See An Afternoon at the Proms – A Musical Spectacular at the Manning Entertainment Centre on 11th October at 2pm.

Tickets: $65 adult; $60 concession; $55 group 10+/child under 18

Visit www.themec.com.au or buy tickets from Movies, Games and More.

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