Ulster Orchestra waltzes The Braid in to 2013

A CAPACITY audience at The Braid waltzed in to 2013 proper with the Ulster Orchestra last week.

Under the baton of the ebullient Christopher Bell and accompanied by stunning soprano Rebecca Bottone, Northern Ireland’s premier classical ensemble was in effervescent mood for the finale of the annual Viennese New Year series.

As the conductor remarked, the Braid theatre, with its ornate gilt and stucco ceiling, is the perfect setting for the operettas, polkas and waltzes pioneered by the greats of Viennese music including the Strauss family, Franz Von Suppe and Franz Lehar, interspersed with delightful interludes with Ms Bottone, like Carl Zeller’s flirtatious Don’t Be Cross.

The Bedfordshire singer’s credits extend from London to Milan and Paris and she will be welcome to add a Braid encore at any time she wishes.

Likewise the Ulster Orchestra - sponsored on this occasion by JTI - whose Christmas concert was sadly not a feature of the arts centre’s festive programme in 2012.

An omission which must not be repeated or, despite Rebecca Bottone’s pleadings, we will have every reason to be cross.

Stephen Kernohan@jpress.co.uk