MUSIC: Camerata’s Polar Exploration

Posted on September 8, 2011


Manchester Camerata will be performing the super-cool classical spectacular Polar twice as part of the Manchester Science Festival at the Royal Northern College of Music at 3pm and 7pm on Sunday 23 October.

Polar – with a unique live score – is a stunning portrait of the world’s frozen kingdoms, and includes stunning HD footage from the world’s best natural history film makers. The score is arranged by the renowned conducer and orchestrator John Harle.


This truly mesmerising concert experience takes the audience on a magical journey to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, featuring previously unseen footage, shown on an immense screen that fills the whole of the back of the stage and a score specially arranged and conducted by John Harle. The music includes original work from Harle as well as special arrangements of some of the most well known pieces of the world’s most famous composers including Mozart, Stravinsky, Rautavaara, Purcell, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius.

Conductor John Harle said: “Words like epic, poetic and dramatic spring to mind when imagining the vastness of the Polar Regions.  In this journey through the landscapes and animal life of Arctica and Antarctica we’ve married music of equal scale and descriptive power to these great wonders of our world. With the lyrical music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky marrying rhythm, melody and harmony to unforgettable and never-before-seen footage of polar bears, penguins, beluga whales, and Sibelius’s symphonic power matching the colossal scale of these icy, remote landscapes. Polar is an ode to these mysterious and monumental regions of the world that will move you with its stunning imagery and music”.

Those fortunate enough to catch Polar will watch the mighty polar bears, the haunting beluga and beautiful humpback whales, see the white blizzards, dazzling blue oceans and vast wilderness of the poles come alive on the huge screen raised above Manchester Camerata orchestra.

Andrew Glester, Producer and Director of Polar said: “We’re delighted to be working with Manchester Science Festival. Polar is a concert hall scale show and it’s going to be really amazing in the relatively intimate surroundings of the RNCM. Standing on the stage there and imagining how it will be on the night with the orchestra swelling beneath the stunning footage…well, I just can’t wait until John Harle’s baton is raised and it all begins”.

Manchester Science Festival Director, Natalie Ireland added “Polar is one of the highlights for the fifth Manchester Science Festival and we’re delighted to present this spectacular performance which is sure to inspire and engage audiences about our planet. It’s one of a series of events in the programme which link art and science, and the extent to which science affects so many areas of our lives is an important aspect of the Festival.”

Film Maker Doug Allan said: “The audience will be excited, touched and inspired by the images on a big screen, and the music with no commentary will reach into their emotions at a personal level, leaving them with a heightened awareness of the beauty yet fragility of the Polar Regions. I’d like to think that the connection that we all have to the natural world – the one which however is so easily subsumed in our “normal” lives – will be reaffirmed and reawakened. Let’s all touch the planet more sensitively and responsibly”.


Further information and to book

Read more about the Project

The Manchester Science Festival