Handel lives again in city centre gig

He might have died more than 250 years ago but that did not stop George Frederic Handel making a star appearance in Norwich city centre to promote a concert taking place this Friday.

He died more than 250 years ago but that did not stop George Frederic Handel making a star appearance in Norwich city centre yesterday.

The composer, or at least someone eerily resembling him, was helping to promote a concert featuring his most famous pieces at the Anglican Cathedral tomorrow which will launch the Lord Mayor's celebration weekend.

It will feature soprano Sarah-Jane Davies, who represented Wales in the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and is being performed by the 45-piece Norwich Pops Orchestra which was set up five years ago by Keith Hobday and conductor Geoff Davidson to showcase better known classical music as well as popular scores from films such as the Snowman.

The concert will feature familiar works including the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, Water Music, Zadok the Priest, Music for the Royal Fireworks and The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.

Mr Hobday said the Water Music has a particular affinity with East Anglia as the Hornpipe was used as the Anglia Television theme for a number of years.

"We all love Handel's music, it is known by everybody and this is a really good opportunity to bring it to everybody. There are plenty of specialist orchestras in Norfolk but we want this to be an informal, relaxed experience but of a very high standard that can be enjoyed by anybody. "

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Handel, aka Maddermarket Theatre actor John Hare, from Attlebridge, will also be part of the procession into the cathedral, which he said was fitting as that is what the composer himself would have done.

"It is a great role to play because you get to respond to the public if they want to respond to you in a live setting," he said.

The Glory of Handel takes place at Norwich Cathedral tomorrow from 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £10 (£8 concessions) to £14 (£12 concessions) with half-price tickets for children. Contact Prelude Records on 01603 628319.