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star wars at the sage gateshead

Royal Northern Sinfonia – Star Wars Spectacular

Star Wars Spectacular 

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton


Regular readers of my extensive Royal Northern Sinfonia concert reviews will know how much of a fan I am of the RNS, they’re something really special and we are grateful for their work in the Northeast.

Last night saw the second night of a 2 night run of their Star Wars spectacular, it’s crazy when you think that this event is so popular they managed to fill the hall of Sage One twice over but that’s the pull of not only a world-class symphonic orchestra playing John Williams most iconic scores.

The hall was packed and an eerie mist filled the room and the 99th Garrison, a fully costumed Star Wars enthusiast group were also there as guests.  From that first iconic opening of the main titles hairs stood up on necks and shivers were sent down spines in the way that only the way that only Star Wars music can do.

What happened next was 2 hours of musical utopia, the music in chronological order by episode number, whilst the first half was impactful due to the addition of a choir for Dual of the Fates, it was in the second half that we really experienced the nostalgia of the most quintessential movies, although that could just be because I’m older, the music from episodes 4, 5, and 6 of course are the most well-known, and the music which began our journey to another galaxy far, far, away.

It was during The Imperial March that Darth Vader himself appeared from the back and stood throughout the extract as the 99th Garrison stood on the side of the aisles as storm troopers and even Kylo Ren made an appearance.  Even the lighting in the background was the lighting from the flooring of the Deathstar but of course, maybe it was only the die-hard Star Wars fans who would have noticed such attention to detail.

Princess Leia’s theme of course brought about a sadness in the hall as it has when it’s been played in previous concerts, we remember fondly Carrie Fisher in her seminal role, what a great loss to the galaxy her death was.

Stephen Bell conducted masterfully as only a genius conductor can and it was him who took us through the evening with delightful insights into the music of Star Wars, it’s certainly an evening that I am going to remember for the rest of my life and I hope it won’t be the last time they’ll have an evening devoted to Star Wars.


For more information on what’s on at the Sage Gateshead click here.

~ a guest blog by Mandy Charlton



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