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Sat 4 Aug 2007

Where: Christchurch Town Hall, 86 Kilmore St, Christchurch

William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, one of the most exciting 35 minutes of choral music, leads this stunning opening concerts for the Christchurch Arts Festival on 4 August. Belshazzar’s Feast overwhelmed the audience at its first performance with its use of jazz rhythms and incredible youthful energy, a feat the choir aims to emulate with this production. The programme concludes with Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Cantanta for mezzo-soprano, OP78. Prokofiev’s 1939 extraordinary tour de force was written for Einstein’s tumultuous movie that celebrated the 13thC defence of Russia from invading Teutonic Knights. It contains some of his most vivid and dramatic music, including the visceral “Battle on the Ice”.

Brian Law will conduct the Choir and the Christchurch Symphony. Bass baritone is Gary Ralyea. Mezzo TBC.

Restaurants to book near Belshazzar’s Feast