Simply Sinatra / Johann Strauss Gala


Boxing Day – an afternoon with Ol’ Blue Eyes

Pauline writes: Four of us lucky Out in the City people celebrated Boxing Day in style with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, well not quite Ol’ Blue Eyes, but a marvellous show band and a great male singer together with a “Torch lady singer” and two ballroom dancers.

Norman, Toby, Mr Essoldo and myself were all enthralled at the Bridgewater Hall from 3.00pm till around 5.15pm. On a very wet day in Manchester, luckily with a good tram service as United were at home, it was warming and lots of fun and the hall was almost full; the performers got a standing ovation at the end of the afternoon and gave us all an encore to round off our day in style. All four of us enjoyed it as we said to each other before we made our separate ways home.

Matt Ford (the “Francis Albert singer”) & Emma Kershaw (the Torch singer) were joined by a fabulous 27-piece show band and two really good ballroom dancers and they performed many favourite Sinatra hits and other songs from the 40s and 50s in a sensational afternoon of music, song and dance. Apparently Frank Sinatra recorded 2,600 songs during his recording career.

Featured tunes included: Come Fly With Me, The Lady Is A Tramp, The Way You Look Tonight, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Fly Me To The Moon, Luck Be A Lady Tonight, Mack The Knife, Night And Day, My Way, Moon River, Cheek To Cheek and their final number New York, New York.


Saturday afternoon with Johann Strauss

Pauline writes: Twelve of us enjoyed an afternoon’s entertainment from the Johann Strauss Orchestra, the six Johann Strauss Dancers, the singing of Lizzie Holmes (soprano) with her period dresses and John Rigby who conducted the audience’s afternoon with aplomb.

We enjoyed an enchanting afternoon of some favourite waltzes and polkas. We imagined snow falling gently on the gilded ballrooms of old Vienna and mature LGBT couples skating on the frozen Danube, romance in the air. The elegant dancers in their billowing gowns flamboyantly whirled to the music of Johann Strauss and friends. Music from the heart of Vienna, dancing as if in a winter wonderland.

Pieces played included the Voices of Spring, Roses from the South Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Laughing song from Die Fledermaus, the Blue Danube Waltz, the Schlau Schlau Polka, the Tritsch Tratsch Polka and the Radeztky March.

During one of the songs by Lizzie Holmes, who was magnificent in a black and white period late 19th Century dress, Peter asked me if I would like to wear that dress … I said Yes in my dreams, but I couldn’t wear it on the tram, or even in a taxi.

Owen took all the photos, and we all enjoyed the music, the dancing and the singing.

A wonderful way to round off the Christmas week and chat with friends.

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