Gig Review – BBC Proms in the Park - Hyde Park, London ✭✭✭✭


Saturday 8th September: Proms in the Park returns to London for the 17th year, with a turnout of 40,000 people and some beautiful weather added to the mix. The night was superb; a credit to the BBC and the audience definitely enjoyed themselves.

There was some early evening entertainment, which was introduced by Tony Blackburn, he introduced a range of artists to the stage, to warm up the crowd for the later acts. Included in the mix were: Björn Again, The Chicago Blues Brothers, the cast of Let It Be, The Gypsy Queens and BBC Big Band.

Sir Terry Wogan presents the later festivities; he certainly knows how to talk to a crowd of 40,000. The first act he introduces to the stage is the English tenor Alfie Boe.

There’s something about Alfie Boe, isn’t there? Alfie Boe took the stage with his first two songs of the night; Lehar ‘You Are My Heart’s Delight' and Lazzaro ‘Chitarra Romana’. It’s clear to see why the English tenor had 40,000 people in awe and on their feet, the songs were simply beautiful and his voice is utterly flawless.

Photo: Danielle Peck
Copyright: BBC
Sir Terry Wogan came back to the stage to introduce the next act, II Divo; with the success surrounding the record-breaking classical crossover quartet; which consists of, Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, baritone Carlos Marín from Spain, French pop artist Sébastien Izambard and tenor David Miller from the USA, was waiting to see something rather magical. However I was kind of disappointed. With help from the BBC Concert Orchestra and the conductor Simon Chalk, II Divo performed seven songs, from West Side Story, Bernstein ‘Somewhere’ to Pretti, Creatore & Weiss’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’. Some parts of the songs that were performed you could see where the success had come from, however maybe they just aren’t as good as they should be when it comes to performing live, in my opinion.

Next to be introduced to the stage was the London Community Gospel Choir, and abundance of talent in this group, they sang; U2’s ‘One’, Mote ‘My Hope is Built’, Bazil Meade, Ayo Oyerinde & Stephanie Meade’s ‘Keep Moving’ and Wesley Naylor’s ‘Faith’. The whole audience were on the feet dancing, a great act.

Alfie Boe came back to the stage to perform another three songs. From Les Misérables, Claude-Michel Schönberg’s ‘Bring Him Home’, which was performed beautifully. Then taking a different turn from the typical classical songs, he performed di Capua ‘O Sole Mio’ and then finally a song; that will be on his new album Storyteller, ‘Angel from Montgomery’, a rocky song, giving Alfie the chance to run around the stage, engaging the crowd. Clearly Alfie Boe has something special.

Next to the stage was Kylie. The audience had gone crazy, the BBC Concert Orchestra started playing the instrumental of ‘Feeling Good’ and on struts Kylie, in a beautiful red dress, she starts off by singing ‘On a Night Like This’. Kylie is great live and having her band and the BBC Concert Orchestra offered up something extremely special. Kylie went on to sing other hits like, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, ‘Spinning Around’ and ‘All The Lovers’.

A great night, the BBC Concert Orchestra were amazing as per usual.

4 out of 5 stars ✭✭✭✭

Review by Christina Benneworth