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West Side Story

West Side Story

Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Sir John Eliot Gardiner

A timeless love story; an electrifying spectacle. Jets versus Sharks. Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is a cultural phenomenon.

A timeless love story; an electrifying spectacle. New York City, 1950s. Jets versus Sharks. Two rival gangs fight for control of the Upper West Side. Against the backdrop of violence, two teenagers fall in love. Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story became a cultural phenomenon. Leonard Bernstein’s score was a defining moment in musical theatre and its sensational songs — ‘America’, ‘Maria’, ‘Tonight’, ‘Somewhere’ — still thrill more than 60 years after the work’s premiere.

It has a strong personal resonance, too, for period performance pioneer Sir John Eliot Gardiner, for whom Bernstein was a formative influence early in his career.

He conducts an augmented Broadway theatre scoring as Bernstein originally intended, with a young, hand-picked cast from Scotland and America and special guest instrumentalists drawn from the worlds of jazz and musical theatre. Puerto Rican-American soprano Sophia Burgos takes the role of Maria, with lyric tenor Alek Shrader as Tony for two very special performances of this ground-breaking, irresistibly foot tapping work.

‘In [the score], there is the drive, the bounce, the restlessness and the sweetness of our town. It takes up the American musical idiom where it was left when George Gershwin died. It is fascinatingly tricky and melodically beguiling, and it marks the progression of an admirable composer.’
New York Daily News, 1957

Concert performance

Based on a Conception of Jerome Robbins

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Entire Original Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Sir John Eliot Gardiner
 Conductor & Krupke
Stephen Whitson Director
Rick Fisher Lighting Designer
Mike Walker Sound Designer
Ste Clough Movement Associate
Christopher Bell Chorus Director
Howard Moody Assistant Conductor, Repetiteur & Piano

Alek Shrader Tony
Sophia Burgos Maria
Andrea Baker Anita
Dan D'Souza Riff
Nuno Silva Bernardo
Carmen Ruby Floyd Rosalia / A Girl
Holly Jarvis Consuelo
Ryan Kopel Action
Ross Cumming Diesel
Jared Esguerra A-Rab
David Lerner Baby John
Daniel Barrett Snowboy & Gladhand
Paul Hernandez Chino
Alfredo Jimenez Maria's father

Jets & Sharks Ensemble includes Stephanie Bell, Katie Carmichael, Tracie Davis, Sofia Faus, Hamish Garrity, Benjamin Giblin, Robert Guthrie, Jack Harris, Emily Henderson, Hakeem Henderson, Jared Johnson, Caitlin MacKenzie, Callum McCandless, Josh McCullough, Rebecca Pennykid, Quamir Payton, Micah Robinson, Peter Saunders, Marcel Sawyer, Tiana Sorenson, Kirsty Stirling, Kewanna Taylor

This concert performance is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International Europe


More information about some of the artists:

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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5-6 August 2019

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2020 programme will be announced in the spring.

With thanks to our supporters

Festival Partners

Geoff and Mary Ball