Wednesday 6 July 2022

Beautiful Music in Beautiful Places: The Lammermuir Festival returns with 35 live performances across 16 historic venues in East Lothian

Haddington - St Mary's Parish Church (Photo Robin Mitchell)
Haddington - St Mary's Parish Church (Photo Robin Mitchell)

The Lammermuir Festival's tagline is Beautiful Music in Beautiful Places and this year's festival, which runs from 8 to 19 September 2022, certainly proves that. The festival is offering 35 live performances across 16 historic venues in East Lothian and alongside festival favourites such as Holy Trinity Church and St Mary's Parish Church in Haddington, there are new venues such as The Big Shed near Musselburgh, North Esk Parish Church, Sancta Maria Abbey at Nunraw, and Dunglass Collegiate Church.

Scottish Opera will be giving what is thought to be the Scottish premiere of Massenet's 1907 opera Thérèse in a semi-staged performance at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington, conducted by Anu Tali with mezzo-soprano Justina Gringytė in the title role. Set during the French Revolution, the opera is a rare excursion into more Verismo territory than usual for Massenet. The title role was written for the mezzo-soprano Lucy Arbell who created a number of roles in Massenet's later operas (including Dulcinée in Don Quichotte) and who had a 'close relationship' with the composer. Interestingly Arbell was the grand-daughter of Sir Richard Wallace of Wallace Collection fame.

Coffee Concerts at Holy Trinity Church in Haddington feature pianist Malcolm Martineau performing all of Duparc's songs with singers Jennifer Johnston, Joshua Ellicott, Sarah Fox and James Newby, plus performances from pianist Till Fellner, violinist Viviane Hagner, French oboist Armand Djikoloum, and pianist Danny Driver.

Pianist Jeremy Denk was artist in residence at the 2021 festival and he returns to perform five programmes with repertoire ranging from Bach's Violin Sonatas with violinist Maria Włozczowska to Ravel and Miss Mazzoli to Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conductor Rory MacDonald. Denk closes the festival with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, conductor Dinis Sousa, in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, plus music by Ives and Mendelssohn.

The newly formed National Youth Choir of Scotland Chamber Choir makes its debut live performance conducted by Christopher Bell in James MacMillan, Caroline Shaw and Britten's Hymn to St Cecilia. The Dunedin Consort returns to the festival for its 13th consecutive year when John Butt directs a performance of Mozart's Mass in C minor with a cast including Lucy Crowe and Anna Dennis.

Other visitors include Baroque ensemble Spiritato which will make its Festival debut alongside The Marian Consort, The Quatuor Agate in their Scottish debut, Quatuor Mosaïques, Sansara, and The Orlando Consort.

Full details from the festival website.

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