- Radio Times
- Review by:
- Patrick Mulkern
It’s a tradition that must not be broken – that the first, slightly more challenging half of the Last Night is shown on BBC2, while the second, more populist, flag-waving half is allowed onto BBC1. One tradition is being broken tonight, however. And high time. For the first time since the Proms began in 1895, a woman is conducting.
“Change happens very slowly,” Marin Alsop told Radio Times in July. “Even my image of a maestro doesn’t look anything like me.” Conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, she is joined by star soloists Nigel Kennedy and mezzo Joyce DiDonato, who is singing arias by Massenet, Handel and Rossini, and – a cynch for a Kansas girl – Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz.
Short pieces by Britten, Bantock, Wagner and Verdi draw a line under their celebratory programmes this year, building to the rousing standards by Arne, Parry and Elgar.
If poised over a red button, you’ll be able to dip into Proms in the Park parties in London’s Hyde Park (Terry Wogan, Dame Edna, Brian Ferry), Caerphilly (Connie Fisher, Alison Balsom), Belfast (Katherine Jenkins) and Glasgow (Melanie C and Alfie Boe).
About this programme
Katie Derham introduces the first of tonight's two broadcasts from the Royal Albert Hall, as Marin Alsop becomes the first woman to conduct the traditional Last Night celebrations. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are joined by violinist Nigel Kennedy and mezzo Joyce DiDonato in a programme that begins with a new piece by Anna Clyne and features Vaughan Williams' Lark Ascending, as well as works by Massenet, Handel, Rossini, Wagner, Britten and Bernstein. Continues on BBC One at 9.20.
Cast and crew
- Katie Derham
- Oliver Macfarlane
- Executive Producer
- Helen Mansfield