The clouds cleared and the stars came out for Seaford College’s first-ever opera gala spectacular.

Internationally-acclaimed baritone Sergei Leiferkus headlined a star-studded line-up of soloists who appeared at the College, near Petworth, for the Lavington Prom on Saturday evening, including Old Seafordian Matthew Rose, soprano Ilona Domnitch and tenor Robert Murray, accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia, under the direction of conductor Simon Over.

Excerpts from La Boheme and The Marriage of Figaro preceded a rousing Russian-themed finale, with pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and famous 1812 Overture, played with a backdrop of spectacular fireworks lighting up the night sky above the College grounds.

Rose, who opens as Claggart in Britten’s Bully Budd at English National Opera at the London Coliseum on 18th June,  organised the gala performance in conjunction with the Midhurst-based Showbusiness Production Company Ltd., said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to hold an event such as this at my old school. The College building and surrounding landscape is stunning and provided the perfect backdrop for the performance.

“After a week of abysmal weather, the skies cleared to provide a perfect evening.”

Seaford College headmaster Toby Mullins said: “The event was a resounding success and drew in fans of classical music from all over the South of England – not just parents and friends.

“We were honoured and privileged to have such a notable line-up of performers. Particular thanks go to Matthew Rose who spent a considerable time putting the event together. It was a delight to welcome him back to school for such a fantastic occasion.”

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