‘Raise Your Voice’ in Leeds –
This Leeds community choir of three hundred voices in full cry could raise the roof, as well as bringing a tear to the eye through their uninhibited and infectious enjoyment of singing. Inspiration musical director and conductor, Gary Griffiths, arranges the music for the massed voices and the brilliant Orchestra of Opera North.
A full-throated roar characterised the rousing Oklahoma! Chorus, and Raise Your Voice, from Sister Act. After an orchestral Curtain Up, the concert continued with a glittering medley from My Fair Lady and featured several numbers from newer musicals - Astonishing, from Little Women, and Meadowlark, from the Baker's Wife. Schonberg and Boubill hit shows were represented by The American Dream from Miss Saigon, and from Les Miserables - a lusty performance of Master of the House, Do You Hear the People Sing, and Stars; the last named showcasing the powerful tenor voice of Richard Aldham. Tell Me It's Not True, from Blood Brothers, and the haunting, Somewhere, from West Side Story provided some of the most poignant moments of the concert. A generous medley from Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard ended the official programme and an ecstatic capacity audience demanded more. Inspiration's encore - Bali Hai, from Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific - began with spectacular lighting effects and the sound of a tropical rainstorm produced by the choir's three hundred pairs of hands rhythmically tapping on their knees - absolutely awesome. I can barely wait for Inspiration's next Leeds Town Hall concert on Saturday 9th July at 7.30pm.