Cyndi Lauper

plus support: Matt Henry
Wednesday 22nd June, 2016 – 7:30pm

Artists

Cyndi Lauper – Main Act
Matt Henry – Support Act

SHOW TIMINGS

Doors: 7pm

Show starts: 7:30pm

Interval: 8:10pm (20 mins)

Second act: 8:30pm

Finish: 10:20pm*

*all timings are approximate and subject to change

Five years after her last UK appearances and after the phenomenal success of the award winning Broadway hit Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper returns to the UK with her Detour Tour.

Cyndi Lauper burst onto the world stage as the quintessential girl who wants to have fun. After more than 30 years and global record sales in excess of 50 million, she has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move.

Lauper’s celebrated musical journey takes an unexpected southern turn on Detour, her latest studio album, which finds the Grammy, Emmy and Tony-winning singer-songwriter putting her signature spin on a dozen classic country songs. Recorded in Nashville alongside a band comprised of the city’s top session players, Detour showcases Lauper’s unmistakable voice on country classics from the ‘40 -‘60s.

Cyndi’s Set List:

  • Funnel of Love
  • She Bop
  • Heartache by Numbers
  • Drove All Night
  • End of the World
  • Walkin’ After Midnight
  • Cowboy Sweetheart
  • You Don’t Know
  • When You Were Mine
  • Money
  • Misty Blue
  • Time After Time
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun
  • True Colours (solo)

*

Review by Kirsten Rawlins, Native Monster:Click here for full review 

…     “The set was filled with passionate, professional performances, which at times saw Cyndi using an old-style phonebox as a prop with a microphone in the mouthpiece of the handset, a large trunk on which she spun herself upside down while singing, and a rotating platform.

She even played a lap steel guitar on huge hits Time After Time and True Colours – further displaying her unbelievable talent.

And not only was it a special night for Cyndi fans, but also for the star too, as it was her birthday. But Cyndi’s mind was on the tragic death of MP Jo Cox – showing the US star’s great consciousness for global issues.

“I had a great night tonight, but I think it would be uncaring of me not to say anything,” she said sadly.

“You guys have lost a great MP – Jo Cox. She shared the same birthday as me. So did the man who tried to save her.

“I love England, but I’m scared. Hate is all around and you’ve gotta fight back with tolerance. The differences between us make us great – and I hope some day we’ll see that.”

On that note, she dedicated True Colours to Jo – and gave such an emotional performance, that I’m welling up just thinking about it. A spine-tingling, tear-jerking rendition which will no doubt stay in the minds of those lucky enough to witness it for weeks.”     …

.

Review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown, GigJunkies:

Click here for full review (with photos by Hollie Turner)

…     “So at 7.30pm on he comes – “How are we doing? Good to be home…” announces the boy from Bartley Green. He’s chatty and engaing playing us a few tracks from his new album – plus a couple of cover’s including Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’ which we all sing along too. He’s fun and engaging, a performer with a great voice. He was in the foyer, doing the signing, chatting, selfies thing after his performance, check out his new album at all the usual places.

And quick break and here the main lady comes. Full 6 piece band in tow, she’s singing away on a mini stand at the back of the stage –  a full height curtain reveals her – to shouts of  “Happy Birthday!” from the audience (indeed it is, she’s an incredible 63 today!) Garbed in leather, all country-style, with stetson hat and suitcase (?) in hand, she starts off her set with ‘Funnel of Love’ off her new album (Wanda Jackson cover).  A massive cheer from the crowd and we have a hit ‘She-Bop.’ Hat off, pink, punk dreads there is no calmingdwon for Lauper.

“Thank you for the birthday wishes….” in her infamous New York drawl. “I love you all, in a kinda retro, revival way…. you get old with grace….. who the f*** is grace?” she quips. After her hits, her then record company changed, and seated in front of an “accountant” he looked down on her, they way she was. After parting of the ways, she’s now back home and back with Sire. “It’s never too late to do what you want. And never listen to anyone who tells you how you should do it….” Her new album is on vinyl, and she’s excited ny this. The album is available in blue, while the single available in pink – to match her hair!

‘I Drove All Night.’ Wow. sing that song, there is sections where the notes on “night” roll on for ages. Lauper nails it. Bang on. Audition impressed they stand for a resounding standing ovation.  Back to country –  and she’s standing on a mini revolving stage giving a passionate rendition of ‘The End of the World’ (Skeeter Davis), followed by Patsy Cline’s ‘Walking After Midnight.’ ”      …

.

Review by Shannon Watson, GetToTheFront:

Click here for full review

…     “With it being a few years since I had last seen Cyndi live, I wondered if she would still be as good as she was, but she soon put that doubt out of mind, with her voice being as powerful and strong as ever. She possesses great control as she powers through such classics as, She Bop, Money Changes Everything, Time After Time, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and a favourite of mine, I Drove All Night. She also sang a touching tribute to Prince, with When You Were Mine.

Lauper has always been very visual and quirky, this shone through in her performance –  using various props such as an old telephone stand, a rotating turntable stand, and even a panto horse head on a stick!

fwaesrdtfyhuijo

Before she finally left the stage, she displayed her interest in politics with a solo, lap guitar version of True Colors as a birthday tribute to MP Jo Cox. Coincidentally, Cyndi, Jo, the brave man who attempted to help her, and myself share the same birthday, making it feel all the more important and emotionally charged.”

Advertisements

Beethoven’s Seventh

Saturday 18th June, 2016, 7.00pm

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Programme

  • Weber  Overture to Oberon , 10′
  • Elgar  Cello Concerto, 30′
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 7, 36′

“I am the new Bacchus, pressing out glorious wine for the human spirit!” Ludwig van Beethoven wasn’t known for his modesty – but until you’ve heard his Seventh Symphony in full, heart-pounding flight, you’ve never known just how intoxicating music can be. Kazuki Yamada will go all-out: a high-octane contrast to Elgar’s hugely popular Cello Concerto, performed with poetry by the wonderful Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey.

Sibelius’ Second

Thursday 16 June, 2.15pm

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Programme

  • Beethoven  Egmont Overture , 8′
  • Elgar  Cello Concerto, 30′
  • Sibelius  Symphony No. 2, 44′

A cello cries out in sorrow, the woodwinds sigh, and, like mist on an autumn river, a quiet melody drifts into the evening sky. Elgar’s Cello Concerto is one of those pieces that touches everyone’s soul, and the wonderful Pieter Wispelwey will wring out every drop of poetry, in a concert that begins with Beethoven’s heroic Egmont overture and ends with Sibelius’s sweeping symphonic portrait of a nation awakening to freedom.

.

Review by Katherine Dixson, BachTrack:

Click here for full review

…        “Pieter Wispelwey’s interpretation seemed relatively laid-back in relation to these underlying intense feelings but it was a pleasure to listen to, as well as to see him interacting with the orchestra. There was good rapport and a strong sense of dialogue and empathy, with soloist frequently smiling at the leader and conductor, and dance-like head movements while listening to orchestral passages. The warmth and depth of tone he conjured from his instrument were a delight, whether in the strong, resonant chords that frame the whole piece or in phrases that demanded a lightness of touch.

The middle section of the first movement has the solo instrument singing above full strings with a heart-tugging lyrical swaying that brought to mind an undulating climb in the Malvern Hills. The second scherzo movement was dramatic and captivating, Wispelwey demonstrating virtuosic speed, followed by lovely arcing phrases and careful placing of notes in the plaintive Adagio. The finale gave scope for flashes and flourishes of drama from the whole orchestra, with an almost combative feel between them and the soloist, before once again altering pace, the mournful closing chords handled with finesse and eliciting an enthusiastic audience response.

The second half gave us the sunny side of Sibelius, with his Symphony no. 2 in D major, Op.43. It has something of a southern feeling, an atmosphere of warmth, since it was inspired and partly written during a visit to Italy. The lilting melody in the first movement on poised, singing violins transitions to attention-grabbing pizzicato then luxuriates once more in legato playing. Interjections from woodwind, as it were passing the baton between sections, provided a fine example of the visual building of texture, once again underlining the value of witnessing live music. A Don Juan-inspired theme in the second movement introduced a sense of menace, with pizzicato lower strings and skilfully handled timpani in the background, almost imperceptible at first then growing.

The third movement’s multiple moods elicited nuggets of tempo change and well handled pauses. The triumphant ending, by contrast, was a master class in sustained speed – an astonishing feat of sheer physicality on the part of the strings. It made one’s arms ache just to watch them!”

 

Italian Symphony

Wednesday 8th June, 2016, 2.15pm

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

 

Programme

  • Dvořák  Othello, 15′
  • Bruch  Scottish Fantasy , 30′
  • Dvořák  Romance , 13′
  • Mendelssohn  Symphony No. 4 (Italian), 26′

The tumult of Dvorak’s Othello Overture, the enchanting colours of his Romance, a treasure-trove of delightful folk melodies in Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and, of course, Mendelssohn’s sparkling Italian Symphony. This is music bursting at the seams with passion: join us as Laurence Jackson and the CBSO bring it to life.

.In Memory of Walter Weller (30th November 1939 – 14th June 2015) 

Support the CBSO

.

Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

“What a joy to hear Laurence Jackson again. Barely six months after the CBSO’s former concertmaster moved to Australia he was back on his old stamping ground as the soloist in a concert planned long before he left. He may not have the swaggering glitter of some violinists (he’s too sensitive a musician to engage in vulgar histrionics), but his sweetness of tone and effortless technique are qualities many would die for.

Rather than a full-blown concerto we had to be content with Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, a demanding enough substitute technically, if somewhat blighted by its mundane thematic material. No matter: given the intelligence and beauty of Jackson’s playing – and the nuanced handling of the orchestral score under CBSO Assistant Conductor Alpesh Chauhan – most of the work’s mawkish sentimentality was avoided (the duet passage between Jackson and flautist Marie-Christine Zupancic was particularly delightful) while the sparkling scherzo and decorative conclusion held several charms.

And Jackson’s account of Dvořák’s Romance in F minor was delivered with even greater subtlety, matched by a felicitous accompaniment full of scrumptious detail.”     …

.

Review by Robert Gainer, BachTrack:

Click here for full review

…     “Chauhan interpreted these brilliantly, allowing the brass and woodwind to suggest the unfolding story while the strings set tone and atmosphere. In doing so he maintained emotive interest from the brooding start to the heroic yet tragic climax.  

Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Op,46 came next, featuring the concert’s soloist, Laurence Jackson. I was instantly won over by his warm and velvety tone. His phrasing achieved both comfort and tension, and his interpretation was simultaneously intellectual and heartfelt, without the excessive sentimentality too often associated with works such as this. He made his technique look effortless, particularly his fluttering bird-song trills. Importantly, he did not feel the need to thrash the more rhythmical motif of the scherzo, nor force the pomp of the strident warlike motif of the Finale: Allegro Guerriero. His unity with the orchestra was tangible throughout, but two highlights stood out for me. First were some delightfully echoed and paired phrases with the flute. Second was in the finale where I was so transfixed that he was half-way through a cadenza before I became conscious that the orchestra had stopped playing. Chauhan brought them back in with a breath-like string pianissimo before the return to the militaristic motif brought an extremely enjoyable first half to an end.

Dvořák’s Romance in F Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op.11, was the second work in the programme from the Czech composer. In some ways it felt like an encore piece that could have been squeezed into the first half. It was played with a smaller orchestra and had a more intimate feel than the Bruch. It gave Laurence Jackson another opportunity to indulge us, and for that alone I was grateful.”     …

.

Review by Richard Whitehouse, ClassicalSource:

Click here for full review

…     “Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony (1832) has never left the repertoire since its revival soon after its composer’s death, but it is still a work whose innovation can easily be overlooked. Chauhan certainly had the measure of the Allegro’s unbridled élan, the exposition repeat – with its seamless formal transition – duly (and rightly) observed, and with a tensile energy as carried through the development then on to a coda as clinched the formal design with telling resolve. The Andante’s stark processional was evocatively conveyed at a swift yet never rushed tempo, with the ensuing intermezzo was characterised by heartfelt string playing and deft horns. The Finale then had the necessary contrast, its alternating of saltarello and tarantella rhythms effecting a powerful rhythmic charge that held good to the forceful close.

An engaging concert, then, and an auspicious one for Chauhan, who is evidently a conductor going places (he makes his debut with the LSO in January). This CBSO concert originally to have been directed by Walter Weller, whose death last June robbed the wider musical world of a conductor of unfailing insight across the repertoire. His cycles of Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos (the latter with John Lill) with the CBSO bear witness to his traditional yet never hidebound approach, and this concert was appropriately dedicated to his memory.”

The Seven Ages of Shakespeare

Wednesday 1st June, 2016, 7.30pm

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Programme

  • Nicolai  The Merry Wives of Windsor – Overture , 8′
  • Arne  Songs, 8′
  • Sullivan  The Merchant of Venice – Masquerade Suite, 12′
  • Vaughan Williams  In Windsor Forest , 18′
  • Porter  Kiss Me, Kate – highlights , 12′
  • Berlioz  Béatrice et Bénédict – duet , 10′
  • Purcell  The Fairy-Queen – highlights , 20′

“Sounds and sweet airs, that delight and hurt not…” No-one serves up musical entertainment with a sunnier smile than Nicholas McGegan. And there’s laughter in the air tonight, as he introduces four centuries of musical tributes to Shakespeare: from Cole Porter to Purcell’s all-singing, all-dancing take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Fairy-Queen. In between, there’s Berlioz, Arne… and you’ve heard of Gilbert and Sullivan? Now discover Sullivan and Shakespeare.

.

Review by Richard Bratby, TheArtsDesk:

Click here for full review

…     “And when he uses that knowledge – as in the shimmering, whispered closing bars of the duet Vous soupirez, madame? from Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict – he can hold an audience breathless. What did work – gloriously – was Vaughan Williams’s cantata In Windsor Forest, a suite of choral offcuts from his operatic version of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Sir John in Love. McGegan’s trump card here was Simon Halsey’s CBSO Chorus: bright, clear and alert, they made each phrase dance as well as sing, relishing the Tudor drolleries of the Drinking Song and providing great glowing arcs of sound in the Bridal Chorus. McGegan and the orchestra responded with a huge Sea Symphony swell.

The best came last: effectively the whole of Act IV of The Fairy Queen, with the three soloists plus tenor Andrew Henley taking their season-themed solos with poise and a rich palette of colours, and the full CBSO – yes, all on modern instruments, and with at least 30 players on stage – playing vibrato-free and drawing from Purcell’s score a range of shades and textures to match any period-instrument band. McGegan, beaming with enjoyment and looking at times as if he was about to start bodypopping, draped violin lines artlessly over Purcell’s melancholy plaints, detonated volleys of trumpets and timpani, and shaped big, dramatic dynamic contrasts. A choir of over 120 in Purcell’s lively little refrains? Well, why shouldn’t we get to hear music this good sound this magnificent, at least once in a while? It’s a celebration, after all. And if this concert proved one thing, it’s that genius is infinitely adaptable.”

.

Review by Ruth Horsburgh, Redbrick.Me:

Click here for full review

…      “Nicholas McGegan expertly and energetically conducted the orchestra and chorus with an infectious enthusiasm. There was an abundance of skill on display on stage, with excellent solos performed from all sections of the orchestra. The orchestra performed every piece strongly, with pinpoint accuracy in achieving the softest and tender dynamic to relay poignancy or a wave of sound which triumphantly enveloped the music hall, as was evident in their commanding performance of Sullivan’s ‘The Merchant of Venice – Masquerade Suite’. This effect was also enhanced by the CBSO Chorus, which is made up of, as was said in the programme notes, ‘amateur professionals’. Their skill as a choir was particularly evident in their performance of Vaughan William’s ‘In Windsor Forest’, with sweeping and beautiful melodies filling the auditorium.

There were also vocal solos performed throughout the evening, including a memorable and charming duet of ‘Wunderbar’ from Kiss me, Kate by Cole Porter, between Mezzo Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy and Baritone Duncan Rock. Soprano Fflur Wyn beautifully performed several solos, a highlight being ‘When Daisies Pied’ by Thomas Arne, which epitomised the harmonious relationship between Shakespeare and music, with a call and response ‘Cuckoo’ section. This was then followed by tenor Andrew Henley who sang Arne’s ‘Fear No More the Heat o’ the Sun’.

Shakespeare is renowned for his ability to convey the complexities of love and human relationships and this variety was reflected in the performed pieces, from the poignant Berlioz performed by the two soprano soloists to the feisty and amusing ‘I Hate Men’ performed by Piques Eddy. The evening culminated in a united and compelling rendition of Purcell’s ‘The Fairy Queen’.”     …