The 2011 Easter Festival will open with Vespers at 4.30pm on Sunday 10 April with the choir singing Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K339. This will be followed by a Chamber Concert at 7.30pm which will include Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet.
Robert Hardy has unfortunately had to withdraw from the performance of Façade which will take place at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 12th April.
We are very fortunate that William Sitwell, great-nephew of the late Edith Sitwell who composed the text to Façade, is able to take his place. Sitwell has narrated Façade on several occasions in the past including performances at Dartington in Devon and the Purcell Room in London. Sitwell’s day job is as an award-winning editor, broadcaster and writer. He is a frequent guest and presenter on television and radio with recent credits including Michelin Stars: The Madness of Perfection (BBC 2) Masterchef (BBC 2), Britain’s Best Dish (ITV) and Taste the Nation (ITV).
The Chamber Concert on Tuesday 12 April will include a work by Brett Dean, Epitaph No.5 for String Quintet, which is dedicated to the memory of Richard Hickox. William Sitwell (see above) will also perform as one of the speakers in Walton’s Façade, together with Pamela Helen Stephen.
On Wednesday 13 April we are delighted that two members of the celebrated Endellion Quartet – Andrew Watkinson and Garfield Jackson – will be playing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola. The choir will perform Dido and Aeneas by Purcell with the part of Dido sung by Sara Fox.
Our orchestral concert on Friday 15 April will feature works by Handel, Stravinsky, Bach and Beethoven and will be conducted by Andrew Watkinson.
The major work for the 2011 Easter Festival will be Bach’s St John Passion performed on Saturday 16 April at 7.30pm and Sunday 17 April at 5pm. Soloists include Sarah Fox, Pamela Helen Stephen and David Stout with our Principal Conductor, James Burton.
Other Festival activities will include a daily Thought for the Day given by a cross section of eminent speakers at 9am every morning, a ‘Bring & Sing’ Fauré Requiem for members of the public on Saturday 9th April, a free open rehearsal on the morning of Saturday 16th and two late night concerts on the 12th & 14th.