Opera + Classical Music Features

Preview: Eboracum Baroque – Heroic Handel & The Ryedale Festival

Melanie Eskenazi alerts us to two virtual musical events coming soon to a screen near you.

Castle Howard

Castle Howard (Photo: Marc Eskenazi)

North Yorkshire is known not only for its beauty and its character (this is hardly the ‘grim’ North) but for its cultural excellence, and in mid-July we will be able to sample some musical delights in ‘online’ versions of much loved local festivals and ensembles.

On July 18th, Eboracum Baroque, the young York-based group which has distinguished itself far beyond its backyard, presents Heroic Handel, a virtual concert which also serves as a fundraising event for the ensemble. Accessible on YouTube at 19.00, the programme is a delectable set of some of Handel’s most loved music, including ‘O The Pleasure of the Plains’ from Acis and Galatea and arias from Rinaldo and Giulio Cesare.

Twenty-five musicians have each recorded their individual parts separately from the UK and Europe before being assembled remotely for this unique performance. During lockdown the ensemble have also given a series of virtual concerts featuring repertoire for solo instrumentalists and singers as well as a ‘Spotlight’ series focussing on different instruments from the ensemble.

The group will be joined by their good friends York Gin, who will present a segment of the concert all about the Gin craze of the 18th century, together with some cocktail making. Perhaps have one in hand whilst you enjoy the concert?

“…in mid-July we will be able to sample some musical delights in ‘online’ versions of much loved local festivals and ensembles”

The day after, the Ryedale Festival kicks off with a week of online concerts, presented in a different way in that the eight live stream events are all filmed in three beautiful Ryedale venues. The musicians have all made the journey here despite the lack of a physically present audience. This Festival has always been about performances of the highest quality, set in surroundings of the most idyllic beauty. All Saints Church in Helmsley is typical, as is its picture postcard setting in this perfect market town on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Concerts taking place here include the opening piano recital by Isata Kanneh-Mason at 15.00 on the 19th, in which this “blazing new star” (The Times) will play Beethoven’s Sonata no 2 in A major as well as classics of the American piano repertoire.

On Friday 24th at 21.00, All Saints is the setting for a song recital by Rowan Pierce, the winner of the first Grange Festival Song competition. Her varied programme includes music by Purcell, Schumann and Strauss, and she will be accompanied by Christopher Glynn.

The magnificent Castle Howard – the setting used in the TV version of Brideshead Revisited – will be the venue for concerts by Rachel Podger (July 20th, 11.00), Matthew Hunt and Tim Horton (July 21st at 13.00) and the Carducci Quartet and Streetwise Opera on July 26th at 18.00.

These events will all be available to view until August 16th, and can be accessed at ryedalefestival.com

Heroic Handel will be available at eboracumbaroque.co.uk

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Preview: Eboracum Baroque – Heroic Handel & The Ryedale Festival
Acis & Galatea: Eboracum Baroque @ Arcola Theatre, London