Lush and romantic evening is promised by top orchestra in Bedford

The orchestra is based at the Southbank Centre in London
The orchestra is based at the Southbank Centre in London

Passion and Poetry is the title of a concert being performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra in Bedford next month.

Rising-star conductor Christoph Altstaedt brings a programme of romantic 19th-century storytelling - both operatic and symphonic - to the Corn Exchange stage on Wednesday, May 9.

The evening opens and closes with two symphonic poems: Liszt’s lushly scored Les préludes and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll.

The music for the Idyll - later used in Wagner’s opera Siegfried - was composed for Wagner’s wife Cosima’s birthday, and first performed as a surprise for her on the stairs of their villa in Lucerne.

In between are themes of love and heartache in two of the most popular operas of the Romantic era: Massenet’s Cinderella and the tragedy of Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata.

The orchestra will be joined by singers from the Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artists scheme.

The orchestra was founded in 1945 and has been based at the Southbank Centre since 1995. It performs more than 160 concerts a year and also records music for films and computer games.

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £14. Visit philharmonia.co.uk to book.