hold on tight!

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Nicholas Ransley & Catrin AurThere was a charmingly shambolic tone to John Pryce-Jones conducting of the tasty Welsh National Opera orchestra for their Christmas Proms at Bristol’s Colston hall.

Rating: :-)  :-)  :-)

Ratings explained

Just John?

It wasn’t an Omnishambles by any stretch of the imagination. A completely retrievable set of miner shamblings by John that in no way seemed to undermined the orchestra’s ability to put on an awesome show. A very polished performance by the orchestra.

Christmas spirit?

The shamblings started when John introduced the 3rd piece in the set – and got it wrong. The Orchestra subtly let him know. John tried again, wrong again. By his fourth attempt he had worked-out what piece he was introducing. The audience giggled affectionately. Even the orchestra seemed amused by his unawareness of the running order. As the evening progressed and John threw in some sexist stereotypes under the guise of witty retorts to introduce each piece – he seemed drunk. His keenness to hold onto the rail around the conductors stand didn’t help make him look sober.

A blacker pot

The most entertaining part of John’s performance was when he shifted from conducting the orchestra to conducting the audience. We definitely needed his help, we didn’t know the tempo, the pitch, and couldn’t even remember the words to ‘Rule, Britannia’. We surely were a bit pathetic. Even our flag waving was decidedly below-par, no wonder are no longer an empire. We were a bit damp squibb-ish.

What was the set list?

My favourite was Grieg’s ‘In the hall of the mountain king’. The ‘Dam Busters March’ seemed like a bit of an outsider It certainly kept me happy and toe-tapping. I found ‘Those Magnificent men in their flying machines’ a tad more befuddling, a bit of befuddlement can be a good thing.

Musical Menu


3 bits of lovely banter on “hold on tight!”

  1. ExpatEgghead writes:

    Colston Hall? Bristol? My old stomping ground. What on earth was Ms Wendy doing there I wonder. The repertoire seems very, well, off beat. Bizet and the DamBusters in one glorious programme. I notice three Verdi pieces though. Hopefully you managed the bar crush at the interval or perhaps they’ve rebuilt it since 1998.

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  2. wendy writes:

    Expat, I’m originally from Brissle and often drop by to visit friends and family. No problems with bar access on any of the foyer mezzanine floors since the impressive 2009 addition to the front-end:
    Colston Hall Foyer

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  3. ExpatEgghead writes:

    Squiffy. Better than the rather dank, damp and smelly place it used to be. Still enjoyed impressing girlfriends there though.

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