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© Peter Dewhirst

Musical stars visit Oxford music collection

St Aldate’s was alive with the sound of…an alp horn when the stars of The Sound Of Music paid a visit to the city ahead of the musical coming to the New Theatre this autumn
© Peter Dewhirst

"Everyone needs a little bit of The Sound Of Music"

Lucy O’Byrne, runner up of BBC1’s The Voice 2015, and Andrew Lancel, best known as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street, who play Maria and Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music Tour (at New Theatre Oxford 6th-10th September) paid a visit to the Bate Collection recently, and explored some of the instruments – including trying out the horn of Swiss origin.


© Peter Dewhirst


Lucy, who made history as the first classical singer to reach the final of The Voice, said she was looking forward being back in the “beautiful city” in September.

“It’s was really interesting looking around and seeing the different instruments,” she said. “It is a wonderful collection and it was a real honour to be able to see them all.”

And she hopes Oxford audiences will enjoy the show as much as the cast enjoy performing it.

“There is something for everyone – whether you come for the music or the story, everyone knows it. And it is very special for me to be playing such an amazing role,” she said.

Andrew, who has also appeared in The Bill, Cardiac Arrest and Bad Girls – parts of which were filmed in Oxford – said it was lovely to be back.

“It’s been a long time since I was here and it’s great to be coming back in this great production.

“It this mad world everyone needs a little bit of The Sound Of Music and for it to bring a smile to their face.”

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University, is the most comprehensive collection in Britain of European woodwind, brass and percussion.

There are more than a thousand instruments on display, including those by the most prestigious English, French and German makers, showcasing the musical and mechanical development of all wind and percussion instruments throughout the ages.

Andy Lamb, curator of the collection said: "It has long been our ambition to host a visit of such musical luminaries as Maria and Captain von Trapp. We can't serve schnitzels with noodles but do offer a warm musical welcome."

The Sound of Music tells the true story of the world-famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings and search for happiness, to their thrilling escape to freedom as their beloved Austria becomes part of the Third Reich at the start of WWII.

Tickets can be purchased from the New Theatre box office on George Street, by ringing 0844 871 3020 or by visiting the website (phone and internet bookings subject to booking/transaction fee. Calls are charged at 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge.).

For bookings of ten or more, or for Equal Access bookings, please call the in-house team on 0844 871 3040.


Images - © Peter Dewhirst


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