REVIEW: Johann Strauss Gala, Sheffield City Hall

IN these times of t-shirts and leggings it is a nice treat to see elegant Mr D'arcy-type fellows whisking ladies clad in sumptious, bright coloured, frothy frocks around a dance floor.

Even if totally impractical for a modern day trip around the supermarket, or a boogie in the city centre, their clothes look gorgeous.

The elegant occasion, an evening of Strauss music, took us back to the glittering ballrooms and romance of 19th century Vienna, with the orchestra directed from the violin in the traditional Viennese style by David Juritz.

The Tritsch Tratsch Polka opened the evening and so began the irresistible toe tapping as many more well known tunes drifted deftly out from the stage to the attentive audience.

The Emperor Waltz, Tales From The Vienna Woods, Cuckoo Polka and many more were complemented by the dancers, along with a touch of humour and the lively choreography of Christopher Hampson.

Soprano Amy Preston, in equally sumptuous attire, added more glamour and soaring vocals to the evening.

The Radetzky March set the crowd clapping along enthusiastically and The Blue Danube Waltz, saved until last, earned applause before it was even begun.

A little touch of 'On Ilkley Mor Bah't 'At' woven in at the encore was an acknowledgement of locality that pleased the crowd too.

This was a pleasant evening with talented, well-drilled artists that any Strauss fan would enjoy greatly. People went off home happily humming, with a spring in their step - and maybe an urge to wear a dashing cravat or romantic gown too.

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