Classical Fantasia goes with bang as stars and fireworks light up Abbey

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THE GROUNDS OF Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds were alive with classical music as Classical Fantasia came to Yorkshire.

Thousands of people descended on the abbey to watch the Manchester Camerata perform amidst a backdrop of a mesmerising fireworks display.

The Classical Fantasia concert saw stars such as Noah Stewart, Laura Wright and saxophonist Amy Dickson wow audiences at the atmospheric surroundings of the Abbey.

Despite heavy rainfall throughout the day, concert-goers managed to avoid a soaking as the weather held out for the two-hour outdoor concert on Saturday.

The repertoire featured much-loved classical pieces from the likes of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, as well as songs from opera and musicals including West Side Story and Oklahoma!, plus a spectacular firework finale.

Audience member Corinne Saunders, 28, had a front-row seat for the performance.

She said: “This was my first Classical Fantasia concert and I was a bit apprehensive as I’m not a huge opera fan.

“But the whole thing was epic and I had goosebumps from the start. The fireworks were amazing.”

Tenor Stewart, who was born in New York, recently performed in Spain and Russia and his self-titled debut album reached number one in the UK Classical Chart.

His jaw-dropping rendition of Nessun Dorma, complete with an impressive fireworks display, stole the show.

Joining Stewart was soprano Laura Wright, who has sold more than one million albums despite being only 24.

Wright is also the official anthem singer for the England rugby team and has toured with stars including tenor Alfie Boe and Russell Watson, and has also opened for Andrea Bocelli.

Also sharing the stage was Grammy-nominated classical saxophonist Amy Dickson, who won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Classic Brit Award in 2013.