Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Vache Baroque Festival is back

Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at Vache Baroque Festival in September 2020
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at Vache Baroque Festival in September 2020

Last September (2020), the Vache Baroque Festival launched with performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas staged in the gardens of the historic house in Chalfont St. Giles that gives the festival its name. Now, the festival is returning this Summer, with an expanded programme. Running from 28 August to 5 September 2021, this year's Vache Baroque Festival has something of a Miltonian feel. 2021 marks the 350th year since the publication of Milton's Paradise Regained so the festival is collaborating with with local museum, Milton’s Cottage (where the he wrote both Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained) on a number of events.

There will be Bach and Milton: Paradise and Pandemonium, a dramatic reading of extracts from Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained interspersed with Bach cantatas conducted by Jonathan Darbourne with Nick Pritchard (tenor) and Jamie Hall (counter-tenor). Also in the festival the dancers of Ukweli Roach's Birdgang will be marrying modern dance with 17th and 18th century dance music, whilst Sophie Gilpin will be directing a production of Handel's Acis and Galatea, conducted by Jonathan Darbourne with Rowan Pierce (Galatea), James Way (Acis) and Tristan Hambleton (Polyphemus).

As a taster, there is a staging of Bach's Coffee Cantata on Saturday May 29th, directed by Laura Attridge, conducted by Jonathan Darbourne, with  Richard Latham (bass), Betty Makharinsky (soprano) and Bradley Smith (tenor).

Full details, include information about the festival's recently launched Friends scheme, from the festival website.

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