Back in the spring, the older two and I went along to a schools performance at the Bridgewater Hall, home to the Halle Orchestra. I wrote at the time that Daniel and Emma were completely transfixed by it all and I was thrilled that we were invited to their Christmas show this weekend.
The Halle Orchestra is based at The fabulous Bridgewater Hall which is in the centre of Manchester, and very close to two Metrolink stops which make it a really easy venue to visit. Damian was meeting us after work, so the children and I took the tram into the city. It was a typically wet night and my plans to have a look at the Christmas lights beforehand were thwarted by the weather and Daniel being a little unwell with an ear infection.
We got to the Bridgewater Hall without getting too wet and made our way upstairs to collect our tickets and get a quick drink before finding our seats. It was a nice touch to have musicians out in the foyer areas playing Christmas carols, and a great way to help to demystify musical instruments – Emma was most intrigued as we were walking by. After a quick drink and leaving our coats to dry, we took our seats which were in the circle and awaited the show. The circle was fantastic and perfect for the children to get a real overview of the orchestra and to identify some of the different sections and instruments.
We were there to watch the Snowman with it’s live accompaniment, but first up there was the Polar Express Suite and the wonderfully fun Dinosaurumpus. The Polar Express is a fabulous piece of music and was a wonderful way to get the evening started. All three children peered over the balcony enthralled and I plan to revisit this piece of music with them as it was so beautiful.
Dinosaurumpus was up next and the children loved this – and it’s perfect for getting them on their feet and engaged with the music – shouting at the relevant parts, singing along and clapping away. It was lovely to see all the children engaged and enjoying the music.
After the excitement of Dinosaurumpus, there was a short interval before the Snowman. I don’t think my three had seen the animation before yesterday; we have shared the book but never watched the animation. All three enjoyed it, even little H who was sat watching it intently. The singing by the young boy for the famous Walking in the Air song was astounding and really was a fantastic addition to the orchestra.
The show started around 4 pm and finished around 5:30 pm (including an interval of 15-20 minutes). It was fantastic and The Bridgewater Hall is always a superb venue to visit – very accessible and well thought out.
Whilst the Snowman show that we saw yesterday evening is now finished, there’s still time to check out some of their Christmas programme with events this Friday and over the weekend which sound fantastic – I suspect it’s truly magical to get to one of these carol concerts and a wonderful start to the last few days before Christmas.
Please note, we were invited along by the Halle to watch this performance.