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June 23 @ 3:00 pm

- £14 - £38

Milton Keynes City Orchestra (MKCO) will perform their Farewell Concert,  Totally Tchaikovsky, at MK Theatre on Sunday 23rd June at 3.00pm under the baton of Music Director Damian Iorio with guest Soprano Philippa Boyle. The 1812 Overture will create a stunning finale to a beautiful concert including the Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet and two arias from Tchaikovsky’s best loved Operas.

It is with deep regret that the Board of MKCO has made a fully considered decision for the orchestra to close at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Over the last six years there has been a pro-active fund raising and creative re-organisation to bring greater quality to performance and education work. However, audiences haven’t grown significantly, the company is not resilient and there isn’t sustainable financial or resource support for professional classical music performance in MK.

With generous support from current funders MKCO will close without debt.  

It is devasting to close a cultural organisation with a forty-four year history, but amongst the terrific highs and memorable classical concerts there have been financial and resource concerns over many years.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our classical music lovers for their loyalty and support over many years, this is a difficult decision and it is truly heartbreaking for those involved who have given so much.

Conductor: Damian Iorio

Soloist: Philippa Boyle

Compere: Mark Niel

  • Tchaikovsky: Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet
  • Tchaikovsky: Lisa’s aria from Act 3 of Pique Dame (Soloist: Philippa Boyle)
  • Tchaikovsky: Letter scene from Eugene Onegin (Soloist: Philippa Boyle)
  • Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini
  • Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture

The music of Tchaikovsky is on everyone’s playlist and this afternoon concert has something for everyone from the dramatic overture encapsulating the story of Romeo and Juliet to the majesty and excitement of the much-loved 1812 Overture.  The composer’s operatic triumphs are featured in arias from Pique Dame and Eugene Onegin, sung by the thrilling soprano Philippa Boyle.

Tickets for the Farewell Concert are available through www.mkco.org or direct from MK Theatre ticket prices are £14 to £38.00 and £5 for under 18’s and students.

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Philippa Boyle

Winner of the 1st Prize in the 2013 Emmy Destinn Awards and semi-finalist in the 2013 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, soprano Philippa Boyle trained at il Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome with Elvira Spica de Masi and David Ciavarella, graduating with full marks and distinction. She then attended the Opera Studio at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where she studied bel canto with Renata Scotto. 

Prior to studying in Italy, Philippa was a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, where she read Classics.  With the choir she toured Japan, Hong Kong, the USA and all over Europe and is a soloist on several of their recordings.  She has also performed as a soloist under conductors including Ivor Bolton, John Rutter and Sir David Willcocks.  Philippa sang Filia in Carissimi’s Jephthe in the Munich Opera Festival and Innsbruck Festwochen der Alten Musik under Ivor Bolton, and has also performed at Glyndebourne Festival, Wexford Festival, Festival d’Art Lyrique d’Aix en Provence, Beijing Music Festival and the Rome International Baroque Festival, and given recitals in Burma, Malaysia and Madeira.

Opera roles include Elisabetta di Valois (Verdi Don Carlo) for Fulham Opera), Elizabeth (Donizetti Maria Stuarda) for OperaUpClose,  the title role in Puccini’s Tosca for King’s Head Theatre (voted best Opera production, Offies 2018), Cathleen (Vaughan-Williams Riders to the Sea) for Wexford Festival Opera, cover Cockerel (Janacek Cunning Little Vixen) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera,  the title role in Danyal Dhondy’s Shahrazad for Cantata Dramatica and Opera Vera, Alice Ford (Verdi Falstaff) for Woodhouse Opera, Donna Anna for Opus Opera, Giorgetta (Puccini Il Tabarro) for Opera Vera, Giunone (Cavalli La Calisto) for Hampstead Garden Opera; Dido (Purcell Dido and Aeneas) for Nightingale Opera.; Angelica (Handel Orlando) for Associazione OperaInCanto in Umbria; Giulia (Rossini La Scala di Seta), Creuse (Charpentier Médée) and Suor Genovieffa (Puccini Suor Angelica) at Conservatorio Santa Cecilia and Bastienne (Mozart Bastien und Bastienne) for Associazione A.B.I.L.I.S at Teatro Goldoni, Palazzo Altemps in Rome and Anne Trulove (Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress) for Cambridge University Opera Society.  Other engagements include a recital of songs and arias composed during the Third Reich for The Mastersingers; an evening of staged excerpts from Schiller operas with The Faction at the Bunker Theatre.

A keen exponent of contemporary music, Philippa has premiered works for Oliver Brignall (Salome in Roles for MettaTheatre in residence at Victoria & Albert Museum), Danyal Dhondy (title role in Shahrazad, Opera Vera at Leighton House Museum), Dmitri Scarlato (Anna, La Tregua di Natale – UK premiere, Italian Cultural Institute, London), and Kim B Ashton: The Boy The Desert and the Forest (London premiere at Grimeborn Festival) and Tonseisha: The Man who Abandoned the World (world premiere) for Saltpeter Productions at Tete a Tete Festival.

Philippa enjoys a busy career as an oratorio soloist, and recent engagements include Elgar The Apostles in St Mary’s High Pavement, Nottingham; Dvorak Te Deum in Nottingham Albert Hall;  Mendelssohn Elijah in Maidstone; Beethoven Missa Solemnis in Snape Maltings and St Albans Cathedral, Rachmaninov The Bells in Canterbury Cathedral, Messiah in York Minster and with Orquesta Ciudad de Granada in Auditorio Manuel de Falla in Granada, Spain; Britten War Requiem in Oxford Town Hall and many performances of the Verdi Requiem: with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Leeds Town Hall; in Fulda Cathedral, Germany; in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford Blackheath Halls. Southwark Cathedral, Southwell Minster, and King’s College, Cambridge.  

Current and future engagements include singing cover Angrboda/Thora/Goddess/Soprano 1 and Nanna/Embla/Soprano 2 in Gavin Higgins The Monstrous Child for ROH Linbury; Elizabeth (Donizetti Maria Stuarda) for OperaUpClose, the title role in Kat’a Kabanova (concert performance) and Eva in die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, both for Fulham Opera; Verdi Requiem in Norwich, Beethoven 9th Symphony in Romsey Abbey, Bach St John Passion in York Minster.


Mark Niel

Mark Niel is a Poetry Slam Champion with appearances on BBC National Radio as well as at major festivals such as Latitude, Green Man and Wychwood to his name. Mark was chosen was commissioned by Radio 2 as their “2Day” Bard and to pen a poem to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

A home-grown talent, Mark writes poems, songs, plays and sketches, coming up through the ranks of various local theatre companies and choirs, now making appearances across the country as a Poet, actor and presenter.

Mark also plays guitar and sings with Acoustic Folk Trio “Noah’s Cape” who are about to launch their first EP.

Mark is a proud cultural ambassador for Milton Keynes and he is delighted to compere this evening’s concert for MKCO.



June 23
3:00 pm
£14 - £38
Event Category:


Milton Keynes Theatre
500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 3NZ United Kingdom + Google Map

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