• Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment announced as new Festival Partner
  • Actor Jeremy Irons joins as Artist in Residence to perform at Castle Howard – the filming location of the series Brideshead Revisited in which he starred
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia continues relationship with Ryedale Festival as key partner
  • Additional residencies from Sir James MacMillan and the Heath Quartet
  • World premieres include: four pieces from Composer in Residence, James MacMillan; new English translations of Handel’s opera Alcina and Schubert’s Winterreise; and UK premiere of work by Kensaku Shimizu

Today, the Ryedale Festival announces a new long-term partnership with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE). The orchestra joins as Festival Partner, alongside existing partner Royal Northern Sinfonia. Musicians from the OAE’s Experience scheme will accompany a cast of young singers in two performances of Handel’s opera Alcina (16 and 18 July).

Crispin Woodhead, Managing Director of Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, said: ‘We’re delighted to be partnering with the Ryedale Festival. We have admired the work and quality of the festival for many years, and it is wonderful to now be a part of it and bring the OAE’s world class, radical and exciting approach to period performance to audiences in North Yorkshire, demonstrating the Orchestra’s strong commitment to touring in the UK. This year’s production of Handel’s Alcina gives the talented musicians in our Experience scheme a great opportunity and we are already planning more exciting performances for future years with the Ryedale Festival.’

In addition to this new, long-term partnership, the Ryedale Festival’s 2016 season (15 – 31 July) boasts Artists in Residence including actor Jeremy Irons, the Heath Quartet and composer James MacMillan.

Jeremy Irons will be performing alongside the Heath Quartet in four concerts that pair Beethoven’s late String Quartets with T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The concerts take place on the 19, 20, 21 and 23 July at various venues across the Ryedale area including Castle Howard, where Irons filmed the TV series Brideshead Revisited back in the 1980s. The 2016 Ryedale Festival will also see world premiere performances of four works by internationally renowned composer, James MacMillan. Motet IV for solo harp will be performed by Catrin Finch (21 July); Motet III for solo clarinet is an adaptation of music from his work Since the Day of Preparation about the Resurrection of Christ and will be performed by Andrew Marriner (clarinet) (24 July); Four Little Tributes will be performed on 26 July by the Royal Northern Sinfonia and was composed in honour of fellow composers Michael Berkeley, Sally Beamish, John Casken and the late Peter Maxwell Davies, who sadly died after this work’s conception; and Motet II for cello and piano will be performed by Leonard Elschenbroich (cello) and Alexei Grynyuk (piano) (30 July). MacMillan will also appear in a pre-concert talk on 28 July as he explores what place faith and mysticism have in artistic vision and how his Catholic faith has influenced his work.

Other premieres in the Festival include new English translations of Handel’s fantasy opera Alcina by John Warrack (16 and 18 July) and Schubert’s Winterreise translated by Jeremy Sams (25 July). On 30 July Leonard Elschenbroich and Alexei Grynyuk will also perform the UK premiere of a new work by Kensaku Shimizu.

Christopher Glynn, Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival, said: ‘Today’s announcements of our Festival Partners and Artists in Residence show the ambition of the Ryedale Festival and I’m delighted to welcome the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment into our fold, alongside Royal Northern Sinfonia. The festival exists to bring the highest quality music and arts to the people of North Yorkshire, and with the artists and musicians on offer in 2016 we are proud to be doing just that. We are confident that the Festival shows how classical music is alive and kicking, and presented to the highest standards, outside the UK’s capital.’


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