Now in its 14th year, Sir Terry Wogan and BBC Radio 2 invite you to join the revellers in London's Hyde Park for the traditional open air gathering preceding the finale to the Last Night of the Proms. This year's BBC Proms in the Park features the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Martin Yates, and includes guest performances by Katherine Jenkins; Gardar Thor Cortes; string quartet Escala and special guest Barry Manilow.
To date Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins has sold over four million records, won two consecutive Classical Brit Awards and has had five number one classical albums. In between her busy recording and concert career she is a Trustee of the British Forces Foundation and makes regular trips to Iraq to entertain the troops. Tonight she performs Una Voce Poco Fa from the Barber of Seville by Rossini; Time To Say Goodbye, plus a selection of new material from her new album Believe - a collaboration with Canadian producer David Foster.
The tenor Gardar Thor Cortes hails from Reykjavik, Iceland. His father is a renowned tenor and conductor and his English mother a concert pianist. He first studied singing in his native Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Vienna. After appearing in the lead roles in West Side Story, Carmen Negra, Oklahoma and playing Raoul in Phantom of the Opera in the West End, he returned to study opera at the Royal Academy of Music. His debut album topped the Classical charts for three weeks and was nominated for a Classical Brit award. He has been called the James Bond of Opera" - a comparison Gardar attributes to the fact they both wear a suit to work!
The electronic string quartet Escala are musicians Tasya Hodges, Izzy Johnston, Chantal Leverton and Victoria Lyon. Though they have been performing as a group for many years their big break came on the TV show Britain's Got Talent. Tonight they perform tunes by Karl Jenkins, Wings and Led Zeppelin.
And making a special guest appearance to close the concert in Hyde Park is legend and superstar Barry Manilow. Few can match the career which progressed from postboy at CBS records, to jingle writer for KFC, Band Aid and Dr Pepper, then pianist to Bette Midler and now singer-songwriter, musician, arranger, producer, conductor, entertainer and performer. He has released more than 60 albums; had 25 hits and sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. Accompanied by his own band and the BBC Concert Orchestra he performs a selection of his finest songs including I Write the Songs, Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again, Weekend in New England, Looks Like We Made It, Can't Smile Without You, I Made It Through the Rain and the Grammy Award-winning Copacabana (At the Copa).
At 9.50 pm the park links up to the Royal Albert Hall for the grand finale to the Last Night of the Proms. To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the death of George Frederick Handel in 1759 all the parks will unite for a spectacular firework display to accompany the Music for the Royal Fireworks. Finally The Royal Choral Society is on hand to lead the sing-along in Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem.
BBC Proms in the Park was first staged in 1996 to enable a larger audience to enjoy the Last Night of the Proms experience. The event has since grown to be a nationwide extravaganza with London's Hyde Park playing host annually to a crowd of 40,000. In 2009 there will also be events in London, Salford, Swansea, Glasgow and Hillsborough, in Northern Ireland. You can also join in the Last Night fun via the BBC Big Screens in cities around the UK.
Terry Wogan hosts. With Katherine Jenkins, Gardar Thor Cortes and Barry Manilow".