Beautiful playing from Ensemble
THE High Sheriff, Andrew Nisbet, made a brief welcoming speech before the Bristol Ensemble opened with the Overture to Bizet's Carmen.
Tenor Paul Potts, who was born in Kingswood and made his name as the first winner of Britain's Got Talent in 2007, continued with the well-known Granada before launching into La Donna e Mobile from Verdi's Rigoletto, where he showed the power of his voice. It was a pity he felt it necessary to use a microphone, which distorted the sound at times.
The Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana was beautifully played by the orchestra, as was the vivacious Barber Of Seville overture.
Josephine Goddard also comes from Bristol and is now studying at the Royal College of Music. Her voice has developed into a mature soprano and she joined Paul in one of the most famous operatic duets, The Drinking Song from La Traviata.
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Paul showed the softer side of his character with a poignant rendition of Lensky's aria from Eugene Onegin and a piece from Massenet's Manon.
After the dance-like Can-Can it was a great pleasure to hear Josephine in the magical Sul fil d'un soffio from Verdi's Falstaff. There were two more items from Paul before the inevitable encore Nessun Dorma.
Frazer Goulding, the eminent operatic conductor, kept proceedings moving with considerable panache.