Opera + Classical Music Features

Preview: Yorkshire Spring and Summer Festivals 2022 – Part 2

Part 2 of 2: Northern Aldborough, Ryedale, York Early Music and North York Moors Chamber Music Festivals.


Yorkshire (Photo: Marc Eskenazi)

Part 1 covered Leeds Lieder, Beverley Early Music and Swaledale Festivals. We now conclude our roundup of glorious music in the hills and dales of Yorkshire.

The beautiful village of Aldborough, with its outstanding Roman remains and idyllic setting, is home to the Northern Aldborough Festival. Dedicated to bringing high quality music to rural areas, it has firmly established itself on the calendar of essential Summer Festivals.. This year, Handel’s Theodora is the opening event on 16 June, featuring a starry line-up including Lawrence Zazzo, Helen Charlston and Fflur Wyn, and staged in the 14th century St Andrew’s Church. Other events include recitals by the clarinettist Julian Bliss with James Baillieu, and the guitarist Sean Shibe with Quatuor van Kuijk.

A unique event takes place on 24 June, with John Tomlinson in The Shackled King, a new work by John Casken which interprets Shakespeare’s King Lear in speech, sprechstimme and song. It’s paired with Brünnhilde’s Dream, a sequence of music reflecting on the thoughts of the Valkyrie as she lies on the rock at the end of Die Walküre, sung by the mezzo-soprano Rozanna Madylus. Full details of the Festival are here.

“We now conclude our roundup of glorious music in the hills and dales of Yorkshire”

Next up is “the jewel in Yorkshire’s cultural crown,” the Ryedale Festival, with over two weeks of superb concerts in idyllic settings including York Minster, Ampleforth College, and the perfect market town of Helmsley on the edge of the North York Moors. Between the opening by the Kanneh-Mason family on 15 July and the final Gala Concert at Hovingham Hall on the 31st, there’s an outstanding selection of events to suit everyone.

‘The Wanderer,’ a recital on 17 July by Roderick Williams and Christopher Glynn featuring music by Vaughan Williams, Mahler and Schubert, in the splendid setting of Duncombe Park in Helmsley, is sure to be a big draw. Handel’s Acis and Galatea on the 19th in St Andrew’s Church in Helmsley promises much, as does ‘Music for a While’ a recital by the rising star Rowan Pierce, to be held in the fascinating St Lawrence Church in York on 26 July. Full details are here.

The York Early Music Festival runs from 8-16 July, and is designed to highlight the city’s medieval churches, guildhalls and historic houses, with historically informed music making of the highest international standard. You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of concerts and historic settings, with performances by The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Tallis Scholars and more. The festival also features a lively programme of talks, informal recitals and opportunities to ‘come and sing’ all in beautiful venues such as York Minster, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and St Lawrence’s Church. Full details can be found here.

Finally, on a smaller scale but no less impressive in ambition and repertoire, the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, this year entitled Soundscapes, runs from 13-27 August. The inspiration is nature, the seasons and the experience of travelling through them. The setting here is a particular feature; most of the concerts take place in the magnificent grounds of Welburn Manor, not far from Helmsley. Highlights include performances of Schubert’s Winterreise, Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Britten’s Lachrymae. It’s a carefully curated set of events in an intimate atmosphere, quite different to the other festivals. Find out more here.

Part 1 of our Yorkshire Festivals 2022 preview can be found here.

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