Ryedale Festival returns to Scarborough

Ryedale Festival returns to Scarborough with two concerts in July.

The Orchestra of Opera North will return to the Spa Grand Hall, the festival’s easternmost venue, on 20 July, at 7.30pm.

It will perform The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Britten, Elgar’s cello concerto and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

In 1946, Britten used a little piece for hornpipe by Purcell to take young listeners on an epic tour of the orchestra, introducing countless children to classical music.

Another great technicolour orchestral showpiece by Mussorgsky evokes the vivid emotional response he had to a series of sketches, watercolours and architectural designs he saw one day at an exhibition.

The soloist for the Elgar will be Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas, making her UK debut with one of the greatest English concertos, full of passion and poetry. Her “beautifully shaped phrases flow from her bow as naturally as singing - her impressive virtuosity appears effortless”, according to a review in the Strad.

Orchestra director Phil Boughton comments: “2017 marked the orchestra’s first visit to the Spa in six years. We’re delighted to be returning”.

The musicians will be under the baton of conductor Alpesh Chauhan, who has risen from Birmingham apprentice to international maestro in a dazzlingly short time”, as BBC Music magazine put it.

The festival’s other Scarborough concert will be at St Martin’s Church on 25 July, at 11am.

A Purcell Pageant will be performed by Solomon’s Knot, who will delve into the shimmering fantasy world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as depicted in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, bestudded with jewels from his odes, welcome songs and masques.

Described in the Observer as “organic music-making at its most sophisticated”, Solomon’s Knot is one of the most exciting baroque collectives. Performing without a conductor and often from memory, they describe themselves as “a group of singers and players who are prepared to take risks to communicate more directly with their audience”.

Ryedale Festival has been promoting concerts in Scarborough for the past six years, working alongside the local community and performing groups.

Described in the Times as “Yorkshire’s boldest music festival”, it is offering 500 tickets at £1 each for under-30s. This is part of its commitment to provide great music for as many people as possible in the region.

Tickets cost £30, £25, £20 and £15 for the Spa and £23, £18 and £15 for the church; under-18s pay half. They can be booked by ringing 01751 475777 and online at www.ryedalefestival.com.