Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Gergiev in tune with an enthralled audience

Northern Ireland’s flagship arts extravaganza has gotten under way with one of the giants of the classical music world taking to the stage for the opening of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

Renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev wowed the audience at the Waterfront Hall last night as he led the Mariinsky Orchestra at the opening concert of this year’s programme.

Following a slight delay the orchestra took to the stage for an impassioned first half.

The second half saw an equally rousing production of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony which met with a rapturous response from the crowd.

Although the venue was not full, it was more than filled by the applause.

Meanwhile, two of Ireland's greatest literary figures, poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, will join the Ulster Orchestra at the Waterfront Hall tonight for an evening of words and music to mark their 70th birthdays this year.

Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University said the line-up for this year is very diverse and should appeal to people of all ages from a variety of backgrounds.

“The content and subjects portrayed address topics such as the recession and women in work, changes in policing, religious and sexual intolerance and the holocaust,” she said.

“There is hard hitting drama, laugh out loud comedy, invigorating music, mind-blowing dance and a series of exquisite talks and tours. The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s truly has something for everybody.”

Highlights of this year's programme include a fiery outdoor adaptation of Macbeth at Clarendon Dock by Polish theatre company Teatr Biuro Podrozy, as well as To Be Straight With You, a hard-hitting play at the Grand Opera House about violence against gay people.

Comedians Julian Clary and Sean Hughes are also on the programme.

The festival runs until October 31.

For tickets and programme information on the festival visit www.belfastfestival.com or call 028 9097 1197.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Sagittarius:

Spending time with family will help relieve stress. It's comforting to be surrounded by those who understand your quirks. In your public life, you feel like you always have to explain yourself to colleagues. This becomes incredibly draining. To add insult to injury, you've had difficulty finding an appropriate job for your level of expertise. Instead of holding out for the perfect opportunity, you should take a low level job that yields regular pay.More