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We want our Phil!

PUBLISHED: 10:17 11 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:24 05 July 2010

PRECIOUS ASSET: Members of the Royal Philharmonic rehearsing at the Marina Theatre.

PRECIOUS ASSET: Members of the Royal Philharmonic rehearsing at the Marina Theatre.

IT'S the envy of theatres across the country - a prized link between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly

town.

And today The Journal is teaming up with Lowestoft's Marina Theatre to launch a campaign to keep the Royal Philhar-monic Orchestra (RPO) playing in town.

IT'S the envy of theatres across the country - a prized link between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly

town.

And today The Journal is teaming up with Lowestoft's Marina Theatre to launch a campaign to keep the Royal Philhar-monic Orchestra (RPO) playing in town.

We're trying to maintain the fantastic orchestra's residency in the town for a fifth year. A rallying cry to “Use it or lose it” has gone out to people to ensure these hugely successful ties will continue with more concerts next year.

Since securing the residency in 2005 there has been a spectacular series of concerts in town, featuring some of the world's best soloists and conductors.

The association between the Marina and the RPO has been hailed as the “jewel in Waveney's crown” and described by councillors as the most important event in the cultural life of the district. Such has been the success of the residency that sell-out shows in the 750-seat theatre have been the norm, leading to an extension from the initial three years at the theatre to four.

The RPO is embarking on its fourth year of residence at the Marina - the 2008 series of performances will start on February 8. And today, The Journal is urging you, our readers, to make the latest six-concert series a sell-out success.

With the orchestra in great demand, managers at the venue are appealing for those wishing to see the prestigious link continue to book for the current 2008 series in order that the orchestra can commit to 2009 and beyond.

With the success of the prestigious link-up between the theatre and orchestra reliant solely on ticket sales the importance of this year's series in making next year reality needs the support of everyone.

“The message we want to put across to the public is quite simple - book your seats now for 2008 and the RPO will remain in the town for an extra year,” said Martin Halliday, service manager for venues at Waveney District Council.

“Having the world's top orchestra resident at the Marina has been, without doubt, the most significant event in the theatre's history. Our association with the RPO is the envy of many towns and cities across the UK and has enabled us to secure a host of major artistes and productions never before seen in the town.

“The series survival depends entirely on ticket sales therefore we are asking anyone who wishes the association to continue to come forward and book for 2008.”

Since the residency began the theatre has attracted major West End musicals and a host of top class performers and seen the audiences treble. The Marina has consistently punched above its cultural weight and boasts one of the most varied programmes of any civic theatre in the country.

Ian Maclay, managing director of the RPO, said: “Over the last three years we have been overwhelmed by the support of the Lowestoft audiences who have joined us in vast numbers to create an extra special atmosphere for all our performances. With the ongoing support of the local community we hope to continue the residency for many years to come.

“In 2008 we have five first class concerts ranging from former BBC Young Musician of the Year Nicola Loud performing Brahms' Violin Concerto, this February, to the ever-popular Here Come The Classics, in July, and a Tchaikovsky Gala in September, celebrating the music of Russia's finest composer.”

Tickets are now on sale and the new season also features a major international orchestra - the Warsaw Philharmonic - visiting the town for the first time.

The RPO has also been working with schools, choral societies and the wider community as part of the association.

Contact the box office on 01502 533200.

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