Ryedale Festival in the Press

'The first night of the Ryedale Festival was exactly what the opening of a festival should be: energetic, exciting, new and performed with panache…This kind of bold programming is just what a festival like this needs: the audience loved it, the performers were smiling throughout. Get your tickets while you can.’ 

The Press 

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The Merry widow cl wWhen it comes to planning its annual operatic outing, Ryedale Festival has a couple of aces up its sleeve. For most of the year its Artistic Director Christopher Glynn is an accompanist… His unerring eye for emerging talent, particularly among singers, results in the cream of them coming north in July. The festival can also rely on its president, John Warrack, to deliver a polished, new, up-to-date English version. Once again it came up trumps on both fronts. There was not a weak link in this Widow’s cast….Nina Brazier returned as the skilful director…Maria Vaizeo’s splendid costumes and tasteful sets…Ilona Domnich took the title role as to the manner born….Alejandro Postigo’s choreography had them all dancing like pros…the onstage orchestra, stylishly led by Melissa Reiner, benefited from the flair of Kerem Hasan’s baton, while the chorus radiated unfailing bonhomie.’

Opera Magazine, October 2015


Here’s to the Ryedale Festival, a summer fixture that brings serious music-making to parts of northern Yorkshire where the bleat of sheep is all you’d otherwise expect. And by ‘’serious’’ I do mean serious. The concert I approached last week through the open Doric and Heath Quartets 2015 Ryedale Festivalfields of a stately pile called Duncombe Park featured not one but two string quartets sharing a programme of Haydn and Bartok. And it was the best thing I’ve heard in months… And the festival opera…done here simply but effectively with a small orchestra encouraged to punch above its weight by conductor Kerem Hasan, and with the decidedly classy soprano Ilona Domnich taking the title role in her stride. But Ryedale’s hottest ticket was a sequence of concerts that paired two sets of string quartets written a century apart..It was fascinating to hear two ensembles of this quality playing back-to-back in the same programme – the Doric a sartorially and sonically smart group, combining attitude and elegance; the Heath more physical and visceral…penetrated to the deepest level, unforgettably… Two years ago the Ryedale Festival lost all its public funding… A profound misjudgement.’

Michael White, Catholic Herald  

 

An outstanding evening of orchestral music...The audience at this Ryedale Festival concert can have counted themselves extremely fortunate in hearing a performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony that was the equal of all the celebrated recordings of the work…A fantastic evening.’

Yorkshire Post

A performance of Rachmaninov’s Vespers by Ex Cathedra, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore, was always going to be a musical treat, and indeed it was…the choir were in top form; it wasn’t just a question of balance and projection but the vocal sound had a seductive spiritual authority and the movement had a glorious shape…captivating.’ 

The Press 


Every sum2 The Coronation of Poppea  - Ryedale Festival - Staphanie Marshall left as Nero and Elizabeth Holmes as Poppea credit Emma Lambe wmer music festival proclaims the richness and variety of its musical menu. Ryedale, under the artistic directorship of Christopher Glynn, competes with the best…ambitious in programming…ticket prices (even for a fully staged production of The Coronation of Poppea at Ampleforth) so reasonable that southerners will gasp at such northern value’

The Spectator

a revelation by the name of Ryedale…an extensive tract of well-heeled rural bliss, with grand country estates like Castle Howard, picture-perfect villages and poignantly romantic ruined abbeys to the north of York. The English landscape like it’s meant to be, and pretty well unspoilt…I’ve been there for a music festival, also called Ryedale. And it’s been a total joy. Arcadia….this festival has something real to offer. The programming is good, the artists well-chosen, the locations fabulous: an unbeatable package. If you’re in that part of the world, it runs on to July 27th. If you’re not, it’s worth the journey.’

Michael White, The Daily Telegraph 2014



Castle Howard slider 5 wOne of the joys of the Triple Concert is that for one glorious evening we get the run of the place. The audience, in three groups, floats around inside Castle Howard – still the home of considerable treasures – and, during the interval, outside in its lawns and gardens. It makes a perfect end to a summer’s day…Pianistic drama does not come more exciting than this.’ 

The Press 


For two weeks in July music-lovers in North and East Yorkshire have to pinch themselves to check they haven’t gone to heaven. For this is when a host of world-acclaimed musicians arrive on their doorstep to perform in some of the most spectacular venues in the country’

Country Life


Ryedale Festival does what all festivals should but few do. It delves into parts of the repertory where other promoters fear to tread’

The Press


The Ryedale Festival is enjoying a fine summer … anchored by the versatile pianism of Christopher Glynn, the festival’s excellent new artistic director’

The Press

The-Coronation-of-Poppea NewsRyedale Festival Opera is an object lesson to our large opera companies as to how much can be achieved from so little…on the proverbial shoestring budget, Ryedale Festival each year offers an operatic production of the highest quality’ 

Yorkshire Post

 



What do you do when you discover that the Arts Council has not merely cut but totally demolished your grant of £45,000 at one fell swoop? You quickly retract the two fingers you found unfurling in your pocket, dust yourself down and do even better than before. At least, that was Ryedale Festival Opera's answer…Evenings like this are too good to miss. Postscript to Arts Council metropolites: rural festivals are essential breeding-grounds for young singers, and to be neglected at your, and our, peril’.   

Opera Magazine


with its unerring knack of flushing out operas that are ideally suited to their surroundings Ryedale Festival Opera has hit the target yet again…there were only nine singers, but not a weak link among them…vivacious, emotional and clear toned…a poignant and rewarding show’

Opera Magazine

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As surely as swooping swallows announce summer, the arrival of opera at Ampleforth heralds the start of the Ryedale Festival. A full house greeted both performances of Mozart’s penultimate opera, given in a lively new production by Nina Brazier… full of the joy and spontaneity of intimate festival opera’ 

York Press

exciting for us to see stylized spectacle cast aside and the focus diverted to the characters…That’s what Ryedale Festival gave us on Saturday…the cast projected both the heavy and lighter moments with engaging conviction. Three and half hours went by like a breeze.’

The Scotsman


Ryedale thrives on enterprise… it was youth to the fore in this startlingly talented cast, with strength in depth throughout… This was a triumph, another feather in Ryedale’s operatic cap.’

York Press


one of my favourite operas, and of the many productions I have seen, Ryedale Festival Opera’s budget performance is among the most enjoyable .… imaginative and delightful production…..young singers of immense potential’.

Yorkshire Post


Yet again tickets were like gold dust for the return of the now famous triple concert amidst the baroque glories of Castle Howard…liquid gold.

The Press

 

 ‘Music festival lives up to its world class nameGardenParty RMF-5562

Gazette and Herald

a world-class outfit…undeniably exciting stuff’ 

The Press

Ryedale Festival…the jewel in Yorkshire’s cultural crown’

The Guardian