Step into the seething heat of 14th-century Verona as The Hallé and presenter Tom Redmond guide families through Prokofiev’s thrilling Romeo and Juliet Suite at The Bridgewater Hall.
Like many Russian composers, Prokofiev found frequent inspiration in Shakespeare, particularly his tragedies, whose fever-pitched emotions lend themselves to musical interpretation of the most exciting kind. His ballet, Romeo and Juliet, is the pinnacle of what Prokofiev achieved within this arena, capturing all the drama of Shakespeare’s tragedy in vivid detail, from the ardent emotions of the star-crossed lovers to the haughty personification of their feuding families.
The Hallé are on a mission to bring this incredible music to new audiences, namely children, for whom the orchestra and Tom Redmond will tell the story behind the music in a fun and engaging way. Expect dancing, singing, props, outfit changes, and plenty of silly antics as you learn about the score’s context and content, including Dance of the Knights, now known across the land as the theme tune to BBC’s One’s The Apprentice. Elsewhere, Tom will unpick the drama within Shakespeare’s story, from moments of soaring grace to tragedy via exhilarating fight music!
Before the concert, there will be Romeo and Juliet-related activities, including quizzes and trails, in The Bridgewater Hall foyers. These will get the children in the mood for what they’re about to hear, and prime them for the interactive elements of the show. But grown-ups will get plenty out of this concert too; hearing the mighty Hallé Orchestra perform Prokofiev’s score under the baton of Maxime Pascal, described by BBC Music Magazine as “a phenomenon”, will be a treat for all ages!