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  • Writer's pictureJenna Cockburn

REVIEW: Rock The Opera | Classical Rock Concert at Edinburgh's Usher Hall

"A unique, mesmerising and ground-breaking experience."

For the first time ever, Rock The Opera came to Scotland. Last night (Saturday), I was honoured to have been invited along to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh for a night of operatic rock. A fusion of classic rock songs with a symphonic backing provided by the creator, conductor and rock specialist Friedemann Riehle and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Riehle and the Orchestra have taken Rock The Opera all around Europe, and performed in over 100 prestigious venues.


A sapphire light illuminated the simply set stage. The orchestra trickled out one by one and took their seats. The effervescent audience simmered down in theirs. The maestro himself, Friedemann Riehle, walked out and took his spot centre stage, followed by the singers – Leanne Jarvis (London), Alteria (Milan), and Niki (Sofia, Bulgaria). With one wave of the conductor’s baton, the show has begun.

What ensued was a majestic masterpiece. The power and passion that emanated from the orchestra fused with the energy and finesse of the strong vocalists created a bridge between worlds – classical and rock. My two favourites!

Performing timeless songs from Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, and AC/DC, but my favourites were the performances of the Queen songs “We Are The Champions”, “Under Pressure”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, and “The Show Must Go On”. Looking around, I saw different generations – grandparents to grandchildren, and aIl were on their feet dancing. Have you ever seen a sight? People in a packed-out theatre dancing to an orchestra! My mind was blown…in the best way!

Now, having had a chance to put the lid back on my cranium, I have reflected on last night’s sorcery. Rock The Opera is sincerely one of a kind. The skill and precision, not just from the über talented orchestra and vocalists, but also the superstars on drums and the guitar, Sina Doering and Simon Eichinger, left the audience wanting more. And they happily obliged. I lost count of how many encores and standing ovations they deservedly received.

Rock The Opera is in Scotland for one more night. They will grace the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow tonight (Sunday) before moving onto the rest of Europe in July.

So, dear reader, my message is this…

For a unique, mesmerising and ground-breaking experience, this crossover spectacular is not to be missed!




Scotland’s only five-star concert hall, today’s Usher Hall is an extraordinary blend of historical and contemporary, traditional and modern, inside and out. A stunning Edwardian building, the Hall was extended in a 2010, adding a thoroughly modern façade that cradles the side of the original building, providing even more and better accommodations to a wider range of performers and audiences.

Every year, they play host to performances across the full musical spectrum — classical and jazz, rock and pop, world and folk — as well as kids’ concerts, comedy, chat, dance and so much more.

If that’s not enough, they also welcome conferences and corporate events, away days and VIP nights.


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