The host for 2017 was Aled Jones MBE
Last year, back by popular demand – Aled Jones MBE hosted the iconic event for the second year running on Saturday 8th July.
Aled, who has been a household name since the 1980’s will forever be remembered as one of the world’s most successful boy sopranos. He was an instant success at 2016’s event and the audience were once again in for a treat, as he introduced the concerts inspiring outdoor programme, in his own special style.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Last year the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) continued to celebrate its 70th Anniversary Season at the forefront of music-making in the UK. With a wider reach than any other UK large ensemble, the RPO has truly become Britain’s national orchestra. Although the RPO embraces twenty-first-century opportunities, including appearances with pop stars and on video game, film soundtracks and on CD, its artistic priority remains paramount: the making of great music at the highest level for the widest possible audience. As the RPO’s 70th Anniversary Season continues to unfold, its versatility and high standards mark it out as one of today’s most open-minded, forward-thinking symphony orchestras. Now it proudly looks forward to the next 70 years.
Conductor John Rigby
A graduate in orchestral and choral conducting from the University of Huddersfield and the Royal Northern College of Music, John has worked with many of the country’s leading orchestras across a diverse repertoire and can regularly be seen at many of the country’s top venues. He is a much respected conductor and has worked extensively in musical theatre with a huge amount of West End credits to his name.
He is Musical Supervisor for The Phantom of the Opera US tour and for the London production of School of Rock. Current conducting projects include the London production of An American in Paris, Madama Butterfly and a Verdi Gala for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Classical Spectacular and the 2017 Johann Strauss Tour, amongst a wide range of other projects, for Raymond Gubbay Ltd, Last Night of the Autumn Proms and Summer Classics with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and his debut with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
The Central Band of the Royal Air Force
The Central Band of the Royal Air Force joined the prestigious line up for last year’s event.
Music has always been an integral part of military life and since its formation in 1920, the Central Band of the Royal Air Force has boasted a proud and distinguished heritage.
Now based at purpose built, state of the art facilities at Royal Air Force Northolt, the Central Band continues to demonstrate its versatile and unique role. The band is at the forefront of many State Ceremonial events, from ‘Changing the Guard’ at Buckingham Palace to the National Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph. Central Band musicians have been privileged to participate in many high-profile national events, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Royal Wedding and the 2012 London Olympics.
The band was masterfully conducted by Wing Commander Piers Morrell who was recently promoted to Principal Director of Music.
Click here to find out more the band.
The Patriot Girls
The fabulous trio The Patriot Girls returned to light up the stage with their performances at last year’s event.
The concert included a Battle of Britain themed musical celebration and the girls performed old favourites like “White Cliffs of Dover”; “Long way to Tipperary”; “Pack up your troubles” and “We’ll meet again”, with the help of some audience participation!
The West-End leading ladies Joanne Pullen, Jo Gibb and Marissa Dunlop Bidwell, who also performed at the concert in 2013, are one of the most versatile singing acts in the business and regularly perform all over the world. Due to their backgrounds in opera, musical theatre and the pop/session world, they sing a multitude of vocal styles, which is ideal for this outdoor musical celebration.
Here’s a video from the girls and please click here to find out more about this sensational trio.
We are delighted that Anthony Flaum has appeared for the last three years at the Leeds Castle Classical Concert.
London born tenor Anthony Flaum is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and studied with Katie at the National Opera Studio. His studies were generously supported by English National Opera, where he is about to make his debut in their acclaimed production of Rigoletto (director – Jonathan Miller). Notable forthcoming engagements include; Rodolfo La bohème for Iford Arts Festival, Aroldo Aroldo for UC Opera. Past engagements include; Macduff Macbeth and the “Highlights Tour” for Scottish Opera; Nemorino L’elisir d’amore for Nevill Holt Opera, Northern Ireland Opera & OTC Dublin; Motel Kamzoyl Fiddler on the Roof, Lensky Eugene Onegin and Tschekalinski The Queen of Spades for Grange Park Opera.
Here’s a video from Anthony, for more details please visit anthonyflaum.co.uk
Growing up with the Leeds Castle Classical Concert on her doorstep, British Soprano Katie Bird, originally from Bearsted in Kent, last year received a fabulous response performing to a home crowd.
Katie is a graduate of the prestigious National Opera Studio, London, generously supported by English National Opera. She began her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and later went on to complete a postgraduate year at the Royal Academy of Music, London. During this time she was awarded the Norma Grieg Prize for French Song and was a Finalist in the Frank Spedding Lieder Competition.
Last year she made her debut for English National Opera, singing Masha and Chloe in David Alden’s new production of The Queen of Spades. Katie has also recently made solo debuts with Scottish Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Opera North, Neville Holt Opera and Longborough Festival Opera.
For more information please visit katiebirdsoprano.co.uk
The second half of the event was once again opened in spectacular style as a Spitfire from the Aero Legends stable took to the skies – a fitting tribute to this heritage event.
Be part of our special 40th Anniversary event this year on Saturday 14th July – tickets are available here.