A Portrait of Caruso


The ESO are joined by tenor Mark Milhofer for a special evening of songs and arias, celebrating the extraordinary lives of the great Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza at Worcester’s Swan Theatre in early May. In the lead-up to this year’s Jubilee Elgar Festival (3-5 June), the ESO are hosting several virtual concerts via their ESO Digital platform, featuring highlights from previous Elgar Festivals and a moving concert of Walter Arlen’s works, which explore poems and feelings of displacement through conflict.


ESO Concerts

Wednesday 4th May at 7.30pm
The Great Caruso at Swan Theatre, Worcester
Event Link: https://eso.co.uk/04may22-worcester

Luigi Denza arr. Arnold Schoenberg  “Funiculì, Funiculà”
Erwin Schulhoff  Suite for Chamber Orchestra
A portrait of Caruso with Mark Milhofer*

English Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Kenneth Woods
*Soloists: Mark Milhofer (tenor)

This programme will feature a selection of the songs and arias from the great Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza, interspersed with stories about their extraordinary lives and the music they created.

Tickets £25, Students £10, Under-18s £5

ESO Digital Concerts

Friday 29th April at 7.30pm (available to watch for FREE until Tues 3rd May)
Elgar Festival 2021 Highlights: Elgar Strings
Event Link: https://eso.co.uk/elgarfestival2021

Harold Truscott  Elegy for Strings
Edward Elgar  Serenade for Strings
Michael Tippett Little Music for Strings
Evan Chambers The Tall-Eared Fox and the Wild-Eyed Man

Recorded live at Worcester Guildhall as part of the 2021 Elgar Festival, Kenneth Woods conducts the ESO as they perform music by Truscott, Tippett, Chambers and of course, Sir Edward Elgar. Special thanks to the Elgar Society for their sponsorship of the recording and videography of this concert.

Friday 13th May at 7.30pm (available to watch for FREE until Tues 17th May)
The Music of Walter Arlen
Event Link: https://eso.co.uk/arlen

Walter Arlen  The Poet in Exile; The Song of Songs

English Symphony Orchestra
BBC National Chorus of Wales
Kenneth Woods
Soloists: Anna Huntly (mezzo-soprano), Gwilym Bowen (tenor), Thomas Mole (baritone)

Walter Arlen was born in Vienna in 1920. His family was dispossessed by the Nazi takeover in March 1938 and in a quest to find words suitable to his status as a refugee and a displaced person, he discovered the poetry of Czeslaw Milos, a Polish national, who wrote poems that dealt with situations echoing his own remembrance of things past and went on to inspire Arlen’s piece, The Poet in Exile.

The Song of Songs is a dramatic poem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. These series of poems, by one or more ancient Jewish writers, tells a love story with abrupt, dreamlike, and almost cinematic changes of scene, with the possible intention to help establish the institution of monogamy as part of Western civilisation’s moral code.

Monday 30th May at 7.30pm (available to watch for FREE until Fri 3rd June)
Elgar Miniatures for Cello and Strings
Event Link: https://eso.co.uk/elgarminiatures

Edward Elgar arr. Donald Fraser  Miniatures for Cello and Strings; Chanson de Matin, Chanson de Nuit, Romance, The Wild Bears, Sospiri, Salut d’amour, Nimrod

Conductor: Kenneth Woods
Soloists: Raphael Wallfisch (cello)

Recorded live at Worcester Guildhall as part of the 2021 Elgar Festival, cellist Raphael Wallfisch joins Kenneth Woods and the ESO as they perform arrangements of Elgar Miniatures by Donald Fraser. Special thanks to the Elgar Society for their sponsorship of the recording and videography of this concert.

Jubilee Elgar Festival 2022

What better way to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, than with a weekend of the best of British music played in the heart of Elgar Country? The Elgar Festival, which is curated by Festival Artistic Director Kenneth Woods, runs from the 3rd – 5th June 2022 and tickets are on sale now. For more information and tickets please visit: https://elgarfestival.org 


  • ESO Digital was launched in 2020 following a series of performances that were recorded and filmed at Wyastone Recording Studio and later broadcast via the ESO’s new digital channel, ESO Digital. These virtual concerts provided a much-needed lifeline for ESO musicians and audiences to stay connected during the pandemic and although the ESO is now welcoming back live audiences to their concerts, the platform has been such a success in reaching new and wider audiences across the world that it’s become part of the ESO family. For more information visit: https://www.eso.co.uk/digital
  • All of the ESO Digital concerts are available to watch for FREE each month, for a limited time, or audiences can become an ESO Digital supporter with a donation from just as £5 a month to access all virtual concerts as much as their heart desires.


For further press information please contact pr@eso.co.uk