Performers for the 2019 event
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
For more than seven decades the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been at the forefront of music-making in the UK. Its home base since 2004 at London’s Cadogan Hall serves as a springboard for seven principal residencies as well as more than forty-five concerts per year in long-term partnership venues across the country, often in areas where access to live orchestral music is very limited. In London, the Orchestra’s regular performances at Cadogan Hall are complemented by a distinguished series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and a hugely popular series at the Royal Albert Hall. With a wider reach than any other UK large ensemble, the RPO has truly become Britain’s national orchestra.
Conductor John Rigby
We were delighted that internationally respected conductor John Rigby once again command the stage, this year not only conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra but also acting as compere and host.
John has a list of outstanding credits. He conducted the London premiere of An American in Paris and is Musical Supervisor for The Phantom of the Opera US tour and for the London production of School of Rock.
Last year he conducted Chess for the English National Opera, a Verdi Gala for Lyric Opera Dublin and the 2018 Johann Strauss Tour for Raymond Gubbay Ltd.
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines
This year’s event was be opened in spectacular style by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth.
Led by their Principal Director of Music, Lt Col Jon Ridley, The Corps of Drums marched in formation from the Castle, through the crowd, to join the rest of the Band on stage. Their programme consisted of several fun and uplifting pieces as well as some from their more traditional set.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra taking took to the stage accompanied by The Royal Marines Band, to perform the world premiere of “A Tribute to Leeds Castle”. This unique piece of music reflects the history and is a celebration of Leeds Castle’s significant 900-year anniversary.
The fanfare has been composed by Thomas P. Hodge MBE who commented: “I am really looking forward to hearing the music come alive performed by two of the very best musical organisations in the world. The Royal Marines Band, Portsmouth is one of the finest military bands and I feel immense pride they are performing the piece with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Leeds Castle Classical Concert.”
Sir David Steel, Leeds Castle Chief Executive remarked: “Throughout my 36 years as a naval officer, I was and will remain passionate about the Royal Marines Band Service. That they will be performing at Leeds Castle, in the County that was the traditional home of the Band Service, and at such a large outdoor concert, is very special. To have the joy of listening to not only the ‘Royal Band’ but also the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will make this a concert in the Castle’s 900th year, one to remember”.
Our Sensational Soloists
Alwyn Mellor is one of the UK’s leading sopranos and currently in great demand. Born in Lancashire Alwyn studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and made her debut with Welsh National Opera. Principal roles include the Royal Opera London, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, the Paris Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera and has appeared in concert with various orchestras. Forthcoming concert engagements include performances with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of the Music Makers, Singapore.
For more information please click here.
Oliver Tompsett has played a host of leading roles in the West End including; Charlie Price in Kinky Boots, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Galileo in We Will Rock You, Drew Boley in Rock of Ages and Fiyero in Wicked. Oliver is a regular concert performer singing both his own material and that of other composers a recent example being Jason Robert Brown at The Royal Festival Hall.
Louise is best known through her many performances in London’s West End, UK National Tours and international concert arenas. Her most popular theatre recognition is that of playing the roles of Glinda and Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked. Notably, she is the only actress to have played both starring roles in any production of Wicked full time.
Nicky Spence is fast emerging as one of our brightest young tenors. An artist of great integrity, Nicky’s unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty in his musicianship are steadfastly earning him a place at the top of the profession.
Highlights of Nicky’s current season include returns to the Paris Opera as Shepherd/Sailor Tristan und Isolde under Philippe Jordan, to La Monnaie, Brussels as Nikita From the House of the Dead and as Sergeant Johnny Strong in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper at English National Opera.
The event once again included a spectacular fly-over with a Spitfire from the Aero Legends stable taking to the skies – a fitting tribute to this heritage event.
Be part of this year’s event on Saturday 13th July – tickets are available here.