Happy happy Saturday! It’s here at last, and I am so ready to be off work for 2 full weeks – I honestly can’t wait! But instead of thinking ahead to the next couple of weeks, I wanted to actually take this morning to have a flashback to Thursday night’s trip to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast for a night of Christmas Music.
On Thursday night, we went to The Magic of Christmas concert in the Belfast Waterfront Hall to really kickstart that Christmas spirit now that we’re into the last few days before the big day itself. I had read about it back in July or August and asked Mum and Dad if they would be interested in going. Thankfully they said yes and I didn’t have to go alone!
The Ulster Orchestra presented The Magic of Christmas at the Waterfront Hall this December. Conductor Richard Balcombe and West End stars Sophie-Louise Dann (Les Misérables) and Alex Gaumond (Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You) will definitely get you and your family in the Christmas mood, with an enchanting programme including O Holy Night, The Polar Express and not forgetting everyone’s favourite, White Christmas.
On arrival at the Waterfront, we found we were in the front row of seats – something I had clearly forgotten since booking the tickets. It meant we had a brilliant view of the two special guests – Sophie-Louise Dann and Alex Gaumond – but a rather restricted view of the orchestra and choir. However, that didn’t matter.
The room was packed, everyone was feeling the Christmas spirit, and soon the lights went down. The Philharmonic choir started us off with a song I didn’t know, but the power of the full orchestra, matched with their singing, was enough to make anyone sit back in wonderment! The conductor, Richard Balcombe, then gave a brief introduction to the night and soon Alex Gaumond was on stage to sing his first song – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
All I can say about Gaumond is – wow. His voice, that song, I don’t know about anyone else in the room but I did feel myself tearing up as he sang his way through the song. In fact, having discovered he has a single on Spotify, I’ve been listening to him the last couple of days!
Sophie-Louise Dann came out on stage next to sing O Holy Night, supported by the choir, and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. So much power! What a range! I was entranced, watching her every move and listening out for each individual note. To then follow the Christmas classic, she treated us to another Christmas Classic – All I Want For Christmas Is You. Another beautifully sung song. And while all this singing was going on, I had to remember to tear my eyes away from the singers and onto the musicians because the amount of work going into perfecting each song was incredible.
I could go into details of each and every song, but rather than bore you with that, it would suffice to say that I have been raving about The Magic of Christmas since we walked out of the Waterfront. All your classic Christmas songs were sung, there were a few compositions to give the orchestra their chance to shine without anyone singing over them, and even the audience participation wasn’t enough to ruin the night! Although we’ll just say I don’t think my thighs have recovered yet from having to do the actions to the 12 days of Christmas…
Overall, I am delighted to say that The Magic of Christmas was a perfect night of music in Belfast to help get you into the Christmas spirit. We’ve already started to talk about maybe trying to go again next year if it’s on, regardless of who the special guests are!
And on that note, I had better get out of bed. The usual last minute panic buying of presents is happening today, with just one last thing to get, along with some wrapping paper. Then we’re out again this evening to see Driving Home For Christmas at The Lyric in Belfast – the last show of 2019 for me! What’re you up to today?