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Cambridge Philharmonic to stage family friendly Pinocchio – and raise money for EACH.
Saturday 19 December 2015

On Saturday 19th December, the renowned Cambridge Philharmonic will stage a very special performance of Jonathan Dove’s opera The Adventures of Pinocchio at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, featuring many of the original ensemble from the acclaimed 2007 production by Opera North. The society is also supporting East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), raising valuable funds for the charity.

The Cambridge Philharmonic’s annual opera performances have become something of a fixture in the Cambridge calendar, attracting capacity audiences and star-studded casts. This year, principal conductor Timothy Redmond says he is thrilled to be putting on this piece by Jonathan Dove which has been enjoyed by worldwide audiences and is sure to be an incredible spectacle.

Since his breakthrough opera Flight, commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1998, Jonathan Dove has gone on to write more than 20 operatic works and is well known across the world for his accomplished and accessible productions. The Adventures of Pinocchio originally premiered in 2007 with Opera North, and several of the original cast returns for the Cambridge performance, including the wonderful Victoria Simmonds in the eponymous role. Other returning cast include Jonathan Summers as Geppetto, Rebecca Bottone as Cricket, Mary Plazas as the Blue Fairy and Mark Wilde as Cat.

Acclaimed operatic director Martin Duncan has been appointed for the production to bring the story to life, making it even more appealing to family audiences, alongside the conducting expertise of Tim Redmond. With the libretto by long-time collaborator Alasdair Middleton and based on the original novel by Carlo Collodi, this is sure to be a magical and memorable performance. Lynne Walker described the original production for The Independent as, “An opera which, from the glittering opening chord and the appearance on stage of a singing log, cannot fail to beguile young theatre-goers.”

The society is also delighted to be supporting EACH for this production, with a retiring collection at the performance on 19th December. Prior to that, on 7th December, local baker and star of the 2015 series of the Great British Bake Off Ian Cumming will attend a full rehearsal where a giant cake that he has made, in the shape of a large scale Christmas tree, will be sold during the break to raise further funds for the hospice. Ian is said to be thrilled to be involved with the Cambridge Philharmonic, and to be raising money for such an important and worthwhile charity.

A spokesperson for the Cambridge Philharmonic said, “We are so excited to be staging this wonderful production, and hope it will help introduce a younger audience to the incredible world of opera.” The society is well known for its annual family concerts in January, which will continue in 2016 with a remarkable celebration of Roald Dahl, and is looking forward to expanding its family repertoire with this wonderful opera.

The Adventures of Pinocchio will be performed at the West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, at 6.30pm on Saturday 19th December. Tickets may be purchased via Cambridge Live, www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk, where specific seats may be selected, or through the Cambridge Philharmonic website, www.cam-phil.org.uk. Tickets are priced at £15, £20, £25 and £30, with under-18 concessions at £10 and student tickets available on the door also at £10.

Notes for editors

Cambridge Philharmonic, founded in 1887, is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished music societies. With a full symphony orchestra and a large chorus, the Cambridge Philharmonic presents an annual concert series in King’s College Chapel, Ely Cathedral and the West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge.

Cambridge Philharmonic works with an enviable roster of soloists, including in recent seasons, instrumentalists such as Natalie Clein, Alison Balsom, Mark Simpson and Martin Roscoe and singers Joan Rodgers, Emma Bell, Roderick Williams and Jacques Imbrailo. This has been a long tradition of the Philharmonic and in previous decades, artists including Philip Langridge, Peter Pears, Philip Jones and Kathleen Ferrier all performed with the society. Principal and guest conductors have included Sir David Willcocks, Stephen Cleobury, Raymond Leppard and Thomas Adès.

Under their current principal conductor and music director, Timothy Redmond, the Cambridge Philharmonic has developed and expanded its repertoire to include annual opera performances, family concerts and a focus on contemporary music. Critically-acclaimed performances of repertoire as diverse as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Bernstein’s Candide, Verdi’s La Traviata and Mahler’s Second Symphony have given the Cambridge Philharmonic a profile that extends far beyond its home town.

In addition to its regular performances in the UK, the Cambridge Philharmonic has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and Prague’s Rudolfinum Concert Hall. The Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra reached an even wider audience when they recorded Ryan Teague’s album Coins and Crosses, which has been featured on BBC radio and TV and heard on radio stations worldwide.

For more information please contact Anne Sales at info@cam-phil.org.uk or call Jo Riches at Spirus on 01638 741830.