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2012 Ryedale Festival, until July 29
THE Russians are coming to the 2012 Ryedale Festival.
As artistic director Christopher Glynn said in the festival programme leaflet: “The sights and sounds of the festival will be many and varied. Russian works feature strongly, from the solemn splendour of music composed for the Orthodox church to one of Stravinsky’s most witty and inventive scores.
“At the heart of the festival will be a performance of Tchaikovsky’s richly melodic opera Eugene Onegin.”
That production, by the Ryedale Festival Opera on Sunday and Tuesday at 7pm in the Ampleforth College Theatre, also introduces another festival theme: “the music of dance”.
The festival’s opening concert today at 11am will be at Hovingham Hall, featuring the Ryedale Festival Primary Schools Choir, the Quintessence Brass Ensemble and Helmsley Arts Centre manager Em Whitfield Brooks as director.
This will be followed at 3pm with an afternoon concert by Passacaglia at All Saints’ Church, Hovingham, performing work by Bach and Telemann.
At 8pm, a gala concert with Kate Royal and Christopher Glynn will take place in The Saloon at Duncombe Park on the theme of A Lesson In Love.
In all, the festival will feature 44 events in 28 locations from today until July 29. These include performances of dance-inspired music by composers as diverse as Bach, Dvoják, Lutoslawski and Piazolla, as well as a newly-composed Community Dance Oratorio showcasing the talents of local people and a breakdancing performance by York Breakdance at Sheriff Hutton Village Hall on July 15 at 2pm.
The 2012 festival performers, both established and emerging, hail from all over the world and include singers such as York counter tenor Iestyn Davies, sopranos Sarah Fox and Kate Royal and baritone Roderick Williams.
Instrumental soloists include Kit Armstrong, Andrej Bielow, Adrian Brendel, Mahan Esfahani, Tine Thing Helseth, Gwilym Simcock and Alessandro Taverna, while chamber ensembles include the Heath and Fitzwilliam Quartets, Calefax, Quintessence, Passacaglia and the Anton Stadler Trio, who play a Coffee Concert with York pianist Sarah Beth Briggs at St Mary’s Church, Lastingham, on July 20 at 11am.
On a larger scale, Sveti Sedmochislenitsi, the Seven Saints Choir from Bulgaria, will perform music from the Russian Orthodox tradition in Ampleforth Abbey tomorrow at 8pm.
The festival will continue its association with Northern Sinfonia, whose Chamber Ensemble performs with Christopher Glynn, on piano, on Monday at Pickering Parish Church at 8pm, and the Orchestra of Opera North, which joins the festival artist in residence, violinist Andrej Bielow, at St Peter’s Church, Norton, on Wednesday at 8pm.
Young performers are at the heart of the festival too with many of them performing in the series of coffee concerts in country churches.
Other highlights include The Cole Porter Songbook event at Duncombe Park on July 26 at 8pm with feature soprano Sarah Fox, fresh from her success at the BBC Proms, accompanied by Jamie Burton the piano and reader Martin Vander Weyer from Helmsley.
The Double Concert on July 20 at 7pm features the Fitzwilliam Quartet and pianist Anna Tilbrook at Sledmere House and the Ryedale Festival Ensemble, narrators Rohan McCullough and Samuel West and conductor Stephen Threlfall at St Mary’s Church, Sledmere.
The Ryedale Festival Community Opera team of composer and conductor Tim Brooks and director Em Whitfield Brooks, plus choreographer Jolley Gosnold and designer Lyn Watt, present 7 Ages – A Community Dance Oratorio on July 22 at 4pm and 6pm in the Milton Rooms, Malton.
The Triple Concert at Castle Howard on July 25 at 7pm features James Young and Simon, pianos, with Owen Gunnell and Patrick King, percussion, in the Long Gallery; counter tenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Thomas Dunford in the Chapel; and the Heath Quartet in the Great Hall.
Jazz pianist Gwilym Simcock leads the Lighthouse Trio at the Kirk Theatre, Pickering, on July 23 at 8pm; baritone Roderick Williams gives a recital with pianist Susie Allan at Sledmere House on July 24 at 8pm; and Jane Thornton’s Lost and John Godber’s Found, two new comedies of modern life and love on the Yorkshire coast, take an afternoon out from their Stephen Joseph Theatre run in Scarborough for a 3pm performance at the Kirk Theatre, Pickering, on July 26 at 3pm.
Further theatre shows will be Livewire Theatre Company’s Taking Tea With The Romanovs in the Helmsley Walled Garden on July 26 at 5pm and July 28 at 3pm, and Slung Low Theatre Company’s Converging Paths – Storybook at Pickering Castle on July 28 at 8.30pm.
The festival concludes with the Northern Sinfonia’s Final Gala Concert at Hovingham Hall on July 29 at 7pm, when Tine Thing Helseth will be the soloist for Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat major.
The venues over the two weeks will be Ampleforth College and Abbey and churches, halls or other locations in Sheriff Hutton; Slingsby, Pickering, including the Kirk Theatre, parish church and castle; Malton, including the Milton Rooms; Old Malton; Norton; Easingwold; Helmsley, including the Walled Garden and the arts centre; Lastingham; Botton Village; Birdsall; Thornton-le-Dale; and Scampston Hall.
Looking ahead to the autumn, the Ryedale Festival organisers draw attention to Ryedale Festival Chorus’s participation in a 7.30pm performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the York Barbican on October 6.
The choral singers from all over Yorkshire will be joined by the Orchestra of Opera North, conductor Simon Wright, soprano Katherine Broderick, mezzo-soprano Louie Winter, tenor Barry Banks and bass Matthew Best.
For full details of the 2012 festival, visit ryedalefestival.co.uk. Box office: 01751 475777.