It was with some trepidation that I took my seat with a near capacity audience at the Mechanics’ Theatre on Friday April 24th for Pendle Opera and Stacksteads Band’s presentation of Abba to Aida.

How would Pendle Opera chorus cope with Pop and would a Silver band not overwhelm the singing?

However, within a few minutes my fears evaporated and I settled down to a real feast of music.

The Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana was wonderful, the choir and the band working together faultlessly.

The solo items by Stacksteads Silver Band were superb, ranging from an American Medley to the Arcadians.

Geoff Kerr, the pianist, demonstrated his skill and virtuosity in accompanying Grand Opera and Abba, and giving a splendid solo rendition of a Scott Joplin Rag.

Cris Salvador, who has taken several tenor leads with Pendle Opera, delighted us all with three beautifully sung solos, including “E lucevan la stele” from Puccini’s Tosca.

The concert also had its lighter moments with a comedy item by the less inhibited members of the men’s chorus, “Truth is so beautiful” from The Arcadians The first half finale of Rule Britannia, in which everyone joined, was the equal of any Last Night of the Proms, and I must give special tribute to the soloists – Jean Mitchell and Cathleen Foster.

The choir and band’s tremendous finale, the Grand March from Aida, was truly breathtaking and I seriously feared for the security of the theatre’s roof!

Yes, it was a superb concert of professional standard.

I anxiously await news the next concert given by Pendle Opera and Stacksteads Band.

Harold Foster.