The 2009 City of Discovery Charity Concert
The idea of holding a special fund-raising concert for local charities in Dundee was conceived in 2007. I am therefore pleased to be able to report on the success of the inaugural City of Discovery Charity Concert which took place on 23 May 2009. A lot of hard work went into planning the event and we are indebted to the support of our sponsors, DC Thomson & Co Limited, Giles Insurance Brokers Limited and The Wellgate Centre. Thanks are also due to local charitable trusts who supported the venture; the City of Dundee Council; the Rotary Club of Dundee and many other individuals and organisations. Everyone worked together to produce a special evening for the 1,300 people who attended the Concert.
The success of the Concert was due in no small measure to the professionalism of the performers, namely the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Alfie Boe and Christina Lawrie who all excelled. They were assisted in no small measure by the Dundee branch of the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Together they produced a wonderful evening.
The objective, of course, was to raise funds for local charities and we were pleased to present cheques to Radio Tay’s “Cash for Kids”; Dundee Heritage Trust and The Rotary Club of Dundee in the knowledge that these organisations would use the funds locally.
Planning is at an advanced stage for the 2011 Concert which will be held on 4 June 2011. I am pleased to be able to announce that the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will again be performing along with two young Scottish violinists, Nicola Benedetti and Laura McGhee. It has been decided that the charity that will benefit from the Concert will be the Macmillan Cancer Relief Fund.
Finally, on behalf of the Board, I should like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our Patron, Lorraine Kelly and to everyone who has supported this initiative. In our opinion, it is important to raise funds for worthy charities and we can think of no better way of doing that than ensuring that those people who attend enjoy a wonderful evening’s entertainment.
The 2009 City of Discovery Charity Concert – Performers
Alfie Boe’s love affair with opera started quite unexpectantly as a teenager. It was whilst working as an apprentice at the local sports car factory that he was approached to tour with D’Oyly Carte touring company.
This then inspired him to go on and study at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio and, whilst at the Royal Opera House, he was approached by Baz Luhrmann, to take on the role of one of the leads in his Broadway production of Puccini’s La Boheme, for which he won a Tony Award.
Having signed to “Classical FM Presents” in 2006, Alfie’s eponymous debut album was released in Novemeber 2006. His second album, ‘Onward’ which included a special arrangement of ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’, was released in 2007 and went straight to No.1 in the UK classical chart establishing Alfie as a household name in the UK. In late 2007 Alfie released ‘La Passione’, a collection of traditional, mainly Italian folk songs that have stood up to the test of time. The repertoire includes ‘O Sole Mio’, ‘Funiculi Finicula’, ‘Santa Lucia’ and the wonderful ‘Caruso’.
In 2008 Boe returned to take on one of the main roles with the English National Opera at the Coliseum, in a new production of Lehar’s, The Merry Widow and was the only performer with two nominations for the Classical Brits.
This will be Alfie’s first singing engagement in Scotland.
Hailed as a rising star by the magazine International Piano, Dundee-born pianist Christina Lawrie’s recent engagements have included acclaimed recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and St Martin-in-the-Fields as a PLG Young Artist, and the Perth Concert Hall, as well as live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts and a debut at Cheltenham International Festival.
Christina plays frequently in Scotland, and had the honour of inaugurating the Steinway piano bought by Music Nairn in 2008. Recent Scottish engagements include a 6-concert tour of Argyll and Bute, and a tour of the far north, including Orkney.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is one of Europe’s leading symphony orchestra. Formed in 1891 as the Scottish Orchestra, the company became the Scottish National Orchestra in 1950, and was awarded Royal Patronage in 1991. A host of renowned conductors has contributed to its success, including Walter Susskind, Sir Alexander Gibson, Bryden Thomson, Neeme Jarvi, Waler Weller, and Alexander Lazarev. In July 2007 Stéphane Deneve was joined by Austrian David Danzmayr as RSNO Assistant Conductor.
National Youth Choir of Scotland
The National Youth Choir of Scotland (Dundee branch) was formed in September 2000, and now consists of over 300 children, ranging from training choirs, probationary choirs to the Dundee Youth Choir. The DYC perform regularly at the Dundee Twinning Association services under their conductor Fiona McIntosh and enjoyed a very successful visit to Orleans in 2006. They are looking forward very much indeed to performing with the RSNO and Alfie Boe.