Brian Blessed

Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa bring glamour to the seaside

From The Hull Daily Mail

On a balmy summer evening we headed up to Scarborough's North Bay for a special gala opening performance. The occasion celebrated the newly refurbished open-air theatre, which was recently opened by the Queen.

After a few logistic problems trying to seat 6,500 guests, we were ready to be entertained by the opera singers Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Compere for the night was none other than Brian Blessed – a real Yorkshireman with a wonderful booming voice which seemed to travel to the back row of the theatre. He introduced the orchestra of Opera North, conducted by David Ginenez – the nephew of Jose Carreras.

They were joined on stage by the Huddersfield Choral Society, who started off with L'arlesienne suite Farandole. The choir sang Faust Gloire Immortelle De Nos Aieux.

Jose Carreras was first on stage to sing two arias by Tosti and Valente, followed by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who also sang two arias, including Je Dis Que Rien from Bizet's Carmen. The second half was mostly songs from the musicals, which everyone seemed to really enjoy.

There were two encores for both Jose and Dame Kiri – with Dame Kiri finishing off with the most appropriate folk song, Scarborough Fair, which brought the audience to their feet. After a most delightful evening of musical entertainment we were treated to a spectacular fireworks display.

In all, it was an event which has firmly added the open-air theatre to Scarborough's social calendar.