BUXTON FESTIVAL 10 July to 26 July
Box Office: 0845 12 72190
NB: All ticket prices are inclusive of booking fees.
•Only opera performances and music events listed – there is also a free, ten-minute Song at Six at 6pm every day, except Sunday and Wednesday, from the Pavilion Gardens Bandstand with members of the Festival Chorus.
•For details of a comprehensive, often star-studded Literary Series, see the Festival website - www.buxtonfestival.co.uk
•Each opera performance is preceded by a 30-minute Pre-Opera Talk at the Opera House, 6.15pm (£2) unless otherwise indicated.
•Festival for a Fiver – ticket offer of £5 on all available seats for under-30s.
Samson Tsoy/ Pavel Kolesnikov, two noted young pianists form a formidable duo to play Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring; and Rachmaninov: Six Morceaux Op 11. Pavilion Arts Centre, Wednesday (July 15), 12.15pm-1.15pm – £15.
Sarah-Jane Lewis, Gareth Brynmor John with Simon Lepper, a concert of Lieder and Russian song from two recent Kathleen Ferrier Award winners, a soprano and a baritone, and the top notch pianist. Seven pieces by Mendelssohn include Venetianisches Gondolied, Nachtlied and four duets; and seven by Brahms: An den Mond, Geheimnis, Minnelied, Von ewiger Liebe and two lesser-known duets. There are no (or should not be) duets in the two badly undervalued Russian song corpora of Tchaikovsky – three pieces, and Rachmaninov – nine, the best known item by the former being Don Juan’s Serenade, but the other two are splendid; while In the silence of the night is one of the most often heard from the latter’s impressive song output – the full programme can be viewed of the festival website! St John’s Church, Wednesday (July 15), 3.15pm-4.45pm – £20 reserved, £17.50 unreserved.
Winterreise, Schubert’s great song cycle performed by the chief revelation in last year’s production of Dvořák’s Jacobin, baritone James McOran Campbell with pianist James Southall and English surtitles. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 16), 12-noon-1.10pm – £15.
Organ Recital, Douglas Tang from Cambridge University gives the first of this year’s two recitals by Oxbridge organ scholars with Bach, Vierne, Widor and Guilmant on the progamme, at St John’s Church, Thursday (July 16), 5pm-6pm – £10 unreserved.
Louise, ever wondered about the rest of the Charpentier opera that gave us the soprano aria Depuis le jour? Well, here are three performances of it in all its complete, neglected glory, including the superb third act that follows the aria, albeit in concert performance, not staged, but it is a rare opportunity to encounter the tale of Louise, a Parisian seamstress who lives rather stiflingly with her parents, after she falls for a penniless artist, Julien. Charpentier’s music can be described as French verismo and he populates the scenario with a vast array of walk-on parts – a factor, perhaps, in its scarcity of stagings. Madeleine Pierard: Louise; Adrian Dwyer: Julien; Susan Bickley: her mother; Michael Druiett: her father, are the main protagonists with festival artistic director Stephen Barlow conducting and it is sung in French with English side-titles. Opera House, Thursday (July 16), Sunday, 2.30pm-5.30pm, Thursday (July 23), 7.15pm-10.15pm – £15 –£50. Pre-Opera Talk, Sunday, 1.30pm.
James Pearson Trio and Lizzie Ball, the resident group at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is again joined by the internationally noted Sheffield/ Hope Valley born and bred violinist who has added singing to her bow to perform by music Gershwin, Porter, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. Pavilion Café, Thursday (July 16), 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Mei Yi Foo, Malaysian pianist, currently resident in London and winner of the BBC Music Magazine’s Best Newcomer award on 2013, plays Bach: Partita No 5; Bach-Busoni: Chorale Prelude Nun komm dei Heiden, Heiland BWV 599; Mozart: Eine Kleine Gigue K574; Rondo K511; Debussy: Three Preludes; and Ravel: La Valse. Pavilion Arts Centre, Friday, 12-noon-1pm – £15.
Eleanor Turner, Lincolnshire-based harpist of wide international repute with an Iberian-tinged recital (mostly transcriptions) of Cabezón: Pavana con su giosa; Albeniz: Leyenda (Asturias); Mozart: duet from La Clemenza di Tito; Liszt: Le Rossignol (No 1 of Mélodies Russes 5); Alabiev: Russian Air; two self-composed pieces: Alice in Escher’s Wonderland and Two Breton Girls by the Sea; Piazzolla: Winter and Summer in Buenos Aires; Yann Tierson: Suite from the film Amelie, arr Turner; and Deborah Henson-Conant: Baroque Flamenco. St John’s Church, Friday, 3.15pm-4.15pm – £15 reserved, £12.50 unreserved.
Giovanna d’Arco, third and fourth performances of five for Verdi’s Joan of Arc opera in an ultimately successful staging and sung Italian with English side-titles, Opera House, Friday, Tuesday, 7.15pm-9.45pm – £20 –£65. Review under FEATURES
James Pearson Trio and Lizzie Ball, here they are again 24 hours later with a Tribute to George Shearing and Stéphane Grappelli – should work well given Pearson’s pianistic prowess and Lizzie’s fiddling ability! Pavilion Café, Friday, 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Lutes and Ukes, eminent lutenist Elizabeth Kenny’s Theatre of the Ayre – three further musicians, including Jacob Heringman; and George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain with a double bass player called David Bowie! To quote the blurb by way of what to expect: “The play list, from Wolff Heckel’s Lute Book of 1565 to Howling Wolf, circa 1964, shows the common ground between Rock and Baroque, ranging from Robert Johnson of Shakespeare’s King’s Men to The King (the more recent Elvis).” With Renaissance music confused for Baroque, a more recent Robert Johnson (1911-38) and Freddie Mercury also in there, the joint plucking of 17 pieces takes place at St John’s Church, Saturday, 12-noon-1.30pm – £20 reserved, £17.50 unreserved.
Lucy Russell and John Butt, you may recognise the former if you were at the Fitzwilliam Quartet concert on Tuesday this week – she has been its first violin since 1995. Here she wears her other hat as a distinguished soloist with another internationally renowned musician playing harpsichord for mainly Bach: Violin and Keyboard Sonata No 6 BWV 1019 and two Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, before the first performance of a new work for solo violin by John Woolrich: a seven-movement piece entitled Scherzi, after which there is a further two Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier and another violin and keyboard sonata, No 2 BWV 1015. St John’s Church, Saturday, 3.30pm-4.30pm – £15 reserved, £12.50 unreserved.
Lucia di Lammermoor, further three performances of five sung in Italian with English side-titles for a problematic staging of Donizetti’s famous opera – Elin Pritchard is super in the title role, though. It is also an absolutely complete performance; no cuts as is often the case, so add 45 minutes to the running time shown in the brochure and on the website! Opera House, Wednesday (July 15), Saturday, 7.15pm-10.30pm; Wednesday (July 21), 2.30pm-5.45pm – £20 –£65. Pre-Opera Talk, Wednesday, 1.30pm. Review under FEATURES
Chetham’s Jazz Ensemble, a sextet of two saxophones, guitar, piano, drum kit and double bass led by 2014 winner of the BBC Young Musician Award, saxophonist Alexander Bone from the famous music school. Pavilion Café, Saturday, 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Festival Mass, this week with Haydn’s Harmoniemesse from the Buxton Musical Society, Orchestra and four different soloists from the Festival Chorus this year, many of them covering roles in the three operas. St John’s Church, Sunday, 10.45am – free.
Ben Johnson with Sebastian Wybrew, the tenor takes a break from Verdi to offer a thoroughly engaging programme of Sullivan: The Lost Chord; Parry: No longer mourn for me when I am dead; Stanford: A Soft Day; Elgar: Pleading; Is she not passing fair; Eric Coates: I heard you singing; Betty and Jonny; Tell me where fancy is bred; Rise up and reach the stars; Michael Head: Money O! Little Town of Bethlehem; Herbert Hughes: Down by the Sally Gardens; The Stuttering Lovers; Amy Woodforde-Finden: Kashmiri Love Song; Till I Wake; and Liza Lehmann: Henry King; If I built a world for you. The third and fourth Coates songs are the final works on the programme – wonder if he’s saving Bird Songs at Eventide as an encore! Pavilion Arts Centre, Sunday, 12.15-1.15pm – £15.
Huddersfield Choral Society, busy choral director Aidan Oliver makes his debut conducting the famous chorus in a programme of Parry: I Was Glad and three Songs of Farewell – My Soul there is a Country, Never Weather-beaten Sail and There is an old Belief; Elgar: Ave Verum Corpus; and Rachmaninov: All-Night Vigil (Vespers); with an organ solo somewhere in the proceedings, Stanford: Fantasia and Toccata Op 57. St John’s Church, Sunday, 7.30pm-9.30pm – £25 reserved, £20 unreserved.
Quartet for the End of Time, Messiaen’s famed WW2 opus from the Hallé Soloists: Lyn Fletcher: violin, Rosa Campos-Fernandez: clarinet, Simon Turner: cello, who are joined by outstanding pianist Ben Powell for the performance which is preceded by an illustrated talk at St John’s Church, Monday, 12-noon-1.30pm – £20 reserved, £17.50 unreserved.
Rosalind Coad with Gregory Drott, imaginative programme from the young soprano, winner of the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform Award in 2013, that sprinkles four Charles Ives songs: Ann Street, Memories, Maple Leaves and Mists, in between cycles by Poulenc: Banalitiés; Copland: Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson; and Honegger: Six poèmes d’Apollinaire, at St John’s Church, Monday, 3.30pm-4.30pm – £15 reserved, £12.50 unreserved.
Dido and Aeneas, a second outing (the first sold out) for the co-production between the world famous English Concert, harpsichord/ director Robert Howarth, and Bristol Old Vic of Purcell’s opera preceded by a dramatised prologue based on Virgil’s Aeneid recounting Aeneas’s Trojan adventures before arriving in Carthage accompanied by instrumental music by Purcell. When the candle-lit staging, directed by Tom Morris and John Retallack, arrives at the opera super South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza is Dido with David Stout: Aeneas; Mary Bevan: Belinda; Susan Bickley: Sorceress; and Erebus Ensemble, a fast-rising in fame chamber choir. Opera House, Monday, 7.15pm-9.15pm – £15 –£50.
The English Concert, harpsichord/ director Robert Howarth, Baroque Masters concert at St John’s Church, Tuesday, 12-noon – sold out.
Lucia di Lammermoor Scenes, the understudies in the Festival Chorus covering the main roles in the production of Donizetti’s opera get a chance to show what they are capable of at the Palace Hotel (once a regular festival venue), Tuesday, 2pm-3pm – £10.
Elias String Quartet, hardly in need of introduction, the now internationally acclaimed foursome makes its festival debut performing Haydn: String Quartet Op 33 No 3 The Bird; Mozart: String Quartet No 19 Dissonance; and Beethoven: the second Razumovsky quartet, Op 59 No 2 at St John’s Church, Tuesday, 3.30pm-5pm – £20 reserved, £17.50 unreserved.
Benjamin Baker with Robert Thompson, highly rated New Zealand-born violinist who clearly has something to say, or the Young Classical Artist Trust (YCAT) would be not be supporting him, plays Schubert: Duo in A, otherwise Grand Duo, in four-movement work published posthumously and written a year after his three sonatinas; also by the composer, his famous song Der Erlkönig in a transcription for solo violin by Heinrich Ernst (1814-65); and Richard Strauss: Violin Sonata Op 18, another rarely heard but eminently worthwhile work. Pavilion Arts Centre, Wednesday (July 22), 12.15pm-1.15pm – £15.
La Serenissima, violin/ director Adrian Chandler and Katy Bircher: flute, with a programme of Vivaldi concertos. No surprise there, but: two Concertos per violino in tromba marina strings and continuo RV221 and RV313? Concerto Il gran mogul for flute, strings and continuo RV431a; Concerto for flute, strings and continuo RV440; and The Four Seasons – Manchester Edition? It seems the parts of latter, in the hand of Vivaldi’s father, are housed in Manchester’s Henry Watson Library, inspiring Adrian Chandler to create a new edition. A violino in tromba marina is a ‘loud’ violin (the technicalities are complex), which has been recreated from evidence in the archives of the Ospedale della Pietà where Vivaldi spent so much time. He penned three concertos for it. The Il Gran Mogul concerto is the Indian part of four ‘national concertos’, the French, Spanish and English sections being lost. Opera House, Wednesday (July 22), 7.30pm-9.30pm – £15 –£35.
Debussy and his Muse, a portrait of the composer and Marie Blanche-Vasnier with whom he fell in love at the age of 18, although she was 14 years his senior, married and the mother of two children, written by festival regular soprano Gillian Keith who performs it with her inseparable piano accompanist Simon Lepper. The so-called ‘Vasnier period’ saw him write around 40 songs, or mélodies, 27 of them dedicated to Marie, some of which are performed here complemented by mélodies by Debussy’s friend Paul Vidal and Lalo, along with an early Séguidille by the composer only published this year. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 23), 12-noon-1.10pm – £18.
Giovanna d’Arco Scenes, the understudies from the Festival Chorus for the production of Verdi’s opportunity in the limelight at the Palace Hotel, Thursday (July 23), 2pm-3pm – £10.
Frith Piano Quartet, Benjamin Frith: piano, who seems to have dropped off Music in the Round’s radar; Robert Heard: violin; Louise Williams: viola, another familiar face from Lindsay Quartet days; and Richard Jenkinson: cello, perform Schumann: Piano Quartet Op 47; and Dvořák: Piano Quartet No 2 Op 87. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 23), 3.30pm-4.30pm – £18.
Organ Recital, Alexander Pott from Oxford University with the second of this year’s two recitals by Oxbridge organ scholars with Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck and Delius on the programme at St John’s Church, Thursday (July 23), 5pm-6pm – £10 unreserved.
Jay Rayner Quartet, renowned restaurant critic, Masterchef judge and sometime jazz pianist drop in with singer Pat Gordon Smith, saxophonist Dave Lewis, bassist Robert Rickenberg and tunes from the Great American ‘food and drink’ songbook by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Blossom Dearie and Dave Frishberg, plus culinary anecdotes and growing with his mother, agony aunt columnist Claire Rayner. Pavilion Café, Thursday (July 23), 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small, Thursday, September 3, 1pm – £6. Also, October 1; November 5; December 3.
For details of Choral Evensong at Sheffield Cathedral and St John’s Church, Ranmoor, and music at daytime services, please see the respective websites of both in the ‘Who’s Doing It’ section of Classical Sheffield.