Tales from Arabian Nights April 2014   

St James Church, Lower Hutt.  Saturday, 5rd April.


This first concert for the year was done in conjunction with the Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe of Eastbourne. The story of Scheherazade is that of the narrator of the '1001 Arabian Nights'. Persian actually, as it is all about a noble young lady telling tales to the Shah, each one ending on a cliff-hanger as dawn breaks so sparing her life for another day. Up until then, (cover the ears of the children alert), all prior ladies had a one night night stand followed by a termination request to the chief executive officer then the shah had a nap. This is the expected sequence...

Off with her head...

The Concert

Celli prior to concert.
  Celli preparing for the concert.
  All photos are by Iain Matcham
The concert opened with Prokofiev (Montagues and Capulets; from his 2nd Romeo and Juliet Suite). This is a popular piece because of its evocation of a sword fight between the young bloods of two warring families.

The brass at rear are more visible than in previous concerts. They recently obtained risers that enable them to see the conductor. Prior to that they were upbeat because that was all they could see of the baton. 


The drama provided by the Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe to help bring Rimsky-Korsakov's music to life was a big hit with the audience. The sultan with his power to destroy Scheherazade; the executioner, with the means to do it; and Scheherazade with her seductive tinkly costume and her power to captivate, all held the audience in their spell. Scheherazade began each movement with a different tale and once the sultan fell asleep, the orchestra finished the story with R-K's wonderful music. This combination ensured she would live another day until finally, to the audience's relief, the sultan chose her to be his life partner.

scherezade Orchestra
The sultan (John Marwick) is spellbound by Scheherazade's tale ( Elspeth Cotsilinis) The executioner (Tony Fitzgerald) is on stand-by ready
 to behead Scheherazade at the sultan's behest
scherezade Orchestra
While the sultan sleeps after Scheherazade's captivating story, the orchestra plays
the next movement of the suite. 
Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade is scored for
 an outstanding virtuoso violin player,
ably carried out by Blythe Press.
Conductor Brent at the end of the concert.