With just seven days until the start of Cheltenham Music Festival, we pick out seven things not to miss.
Cheltenham Music Festival World Premiere
Join us for a special Festival world premiere, Kalon, from Emmy Award nominated composer Richard Blackford. Soon to be released as a new recording with the Czech Philharmonic for Signum Classics, Kalon continues Blackford’s relationship with conductor Martyn Brabbins and BBC NOW. A unique strings only programme including works by Elgar and Tippett and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3, this is set to be a celebratory performance.
The programme features
Elgar Introduction and Allegro 15’
Richard Blackford Kalon (premiere) 25’
Tippett Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli 25’
Thrones, Swords and Fantasy
Conjuring up Middle Earth or the Seven Kingdoms, interstellar war or ancient Rome, film and game music has the power to whisk us away to other worlds. Grab a beer and settle in for a a thrilling live concert experience from Robin A. Smith as he brings together music from the Game of Thrones, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and much more.
Bernstein’s satirical masterpiece Candide
For one night only, internationally renowned companies Iford Arts and Opera Della Luna use intimate and unique performance spaces to create magical and captivating opera as they bring Bernstein’s satirical masterpiece Candide to the Town Hall’s Pillar Room.
In this sparkling new production to celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centenary year, director Jeff Clarke continues Opera della Luna’s reputation for inventive, irreverent, hilarious and high energy shows, which never fail to delight audiences.
Rated ★★★★ by The Daily Telegraph’s Rupert Christiansen.
Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow UK exclusive
Artistically ground-breaking and musically stunning, the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow bring their 100-strong orchestra and massed chorus and soloists to Cheltenham Music Festival for their only UK concert performance of 2018. One of the youngest and most innovative musical theatres in Russia, the company has gained a formidable reputation for its interpretations of Russian classics.
This is a real one-off opportunity to experience opera on a breathtakingly grand scale. A bombastic, passionate and rip-roaring night out straight from the Baltic.
The programme features
Tchaikovsky Letter scene from ‘Eugene Onegin’ 13’
Borodin Polovtsian Dances 13’
Rachmaninov Aleko 63’
Rapidly building a reputation for innovative and thought-provoking programming, the Berkeley Ensemble with radiant soprano Katherine Broderick bring us a stunning French influenced concert with music by Debussy and Ravel. Kenneth Hesketh invites us into the woods of a darker sound-world with his setting of a Brothers Grimm tale, followed by world premieres of Hesketh’s Debussy arrangements and closing with a work from previous Festival Artistic Director Michael Berkeley.
The Nutcracker & I
A new and magical story for anyone who dares to dream. Join pianist Alexandra Dariescu and ballerina Désirée Ballantyne for an enchanting musical journey through Tchaikovsky’s Nutracker, includiing favourites such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance and the Flower Waltz. With live music, dance and hand-drawn animations this is a must see for ballet fans of all ages.
Festival debut from British Sinfonietta
The enormous forces of Berlioz’s Grande messe des morts – including extended orchestra, four off-stage brass ensembes, ten pairs of timpani and a massed choir – make hearing it a rare and unforgettable experience. Add the exceptional acoustic of Gloucester Cathedral, a Cheltenham Music Festival debut from British Sinfonietta and one of the country’s finest choral directors, Adrian Partington, and it becomes unmissable. Berlioz’s thrilling masterpiece alternates from thundering drama to hushed intimacy.