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Celebrating music together since 1973

Mystical Magic

Sunday 1st March 2020 at 2pm

SunPAC, 470 McCullough St, Sunnybank
Adults $35, Concessions and Group bookings Available
For bookings, please phone 3323 9650 or visit or buy tickets at the door 

Sunday 8th March 2020 at 2pm

Schonell Theatre, The University of Queensland
Adults $30, Concessions $26, Students $12 and under 5 free
Tickets for Schonell Theatre concerts may be purchased by calling Maree Williamson on (07) 3378 2384 or at the door

Ample free parking available next to the Schonell Theatre.  Complimentary programs and post-concert refreshments are also provided!


In March 2020 the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra is excited to present a fabulous concert entitled Mystical Magic - a collection of truly beautiful and entertaining pieces that have some mystical qualities, originating with the Romani people who were travelelers, wanderers and musicians. Many famous European composers have used this style of music in their compositions. The pieces are loved for their beautiful, slow, folk melodies that contrast brilliantly as they flow into fast and exciting sections. These popular pieces include Brahms' Hungarian Dance No.5, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance No. 8, Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 by Liszt and excerpts from Bizet's Carmen Suite No.1. The program also features some varied styles of music, such as the well-known Gypsy Baron Overture from the famous operetta by Strauss, the Gypsy Cha Cha (featuring our very talented strings), the Spanish Gypsy Dance by Edmundo Ros and a delightful latin Paso Doble.

Our soloist for this concert is one of our audience's favourites, mezzo soprano Leslie Martin-Nightingale. She will thrill you with her beautiful rendition of The Gypsy and the Bird by Jules Benedict, the very tipsy Annen Polka by Strauss and her performance of the passionate When I  Hear That Gypsy Music by Kalman! We are also delighted to have the wonderful Chen Yang as our conductor for this concert and he will be performing Monti's Czardas - he is such a superb violinist!

Please join the BCPO for this very special concert and enjoy an afternoon of amazing music as we present Mystical Magic!  


Chen Yang (Conductor)

Chen Yang was appointed concertmaster of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (QTO) after graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with distinction in violin performance. He later joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) for many years.

Chen is currently the leader and conductor of Corda Spiritus Orchestra of Brisbane and The Sinfonia of St Andrew’s Orchestra. He appears regularly as guest conductor for The Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra in their annual Metro Concert Series.  In 2014 he was invited to conduct The Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra in a Gala Concert celebrating their 20thAnniversary.

Chen has worked in music education for many years with his long association with the Queensland Youth Orchestra (QYO) leading their Junior String Ensemble (JSE) consisting of up to 70 talented young string players. At present he is also conductor and string teacher at St Hilda’s School, Southport.

His other musical interests include playing baroque violin with The Badinerie Players of Brisbane.    


Leslie Martin-Nightingale (Soprano)

Leslie has been performing professionally for over 25 years, working with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and internationally. Her enthusiasm for sharing her love of opera and the stage has also seen her perform for Corporate functions, Festivals, in parks, restaurants and local halls, in schools, with circus performers, and on the beach.

A regular performer in Brisbane, Leslie looks forward to concerts with the Brisbane City Pops Orchestra, a relationship that has been built over many years.

Concert highlights include: New Year’s Eve at QPAC with the Queensland Pops Orchestra; the Armidale Bach Festival; the Royal Australian Navy Band; and the Australian Army Band Brisbane. Audiences have enjoyed her performances at the Brisbane City Hall and Sydney Town Hall, where she sang solos plus duets with David Hobson.

Leslie puts her vast performance experience and vocal expertise to use by sharing her knowledge with aspiring Brisbane singers of all levels, ages and styles. Through her business, Success on Stage, Leslie teaches how to sing as well as how to perform and, most importantly, provides real performance experience for her prodigies.

Leslie enhanced her real industry expertise with knowledge gained through vocal pedagogy studies at the Queensland Conservatorium and took an active interest in the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing being both a director of the Board and the Vice President of the Queensland Chapter.

Over the years, Leslie has assisted emerging performers launch their careers in the music industry locally, nationally and internationally. Her career advice has introduced young artists to Opera Queensland, with another currently performing professionally in Europe and in West End productions.

Her knowledge of singing has been utilised by various Schools, Councils, Summer Schools and Eisteddfods through adjudicating, presenting workshops and masterclasses.

As a creative director, Leslie has produced iconic opera events such as Opera on the Beach in Sydney, and opera concerts on Broadbeach and Kings Beach, Caloundra. For 4MBS Classic FM she has created and directed various shows for the Festival of Classics including Verdi’s Women, a comparison of the real women in Verdi’s life to his operatic heroines; and a cut down version of Puccini’s opera Tosca, which was performed at the Powerhouse Theatre. She can also be heard on 4MBS Classic FM on Thursday nights.

Leslie regularly performs with Italian Tenor, Raffaele Pierno as Raffaele and The Nightingale. With their accompanist, Leanne Warne they have recorded an album of Italian songs and arias, Sogno d’Italia (Dream of Italy). Other recordings of Leslie include her solo CD, Treasures, showcasing music made famous by Gladys Moncrieff, June Bronhill, Jeanette MacDonald and Kathryn Grayson, Say Hello to the Opera for ABC Kids and Vavachi Classic Occasions’ recording Showstoppers. Leslie also appears on Opera Australia’s video-recordings of Patience and Die Fledermaus.

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