Hello and welcome to the Ryedale Festival, which brings great music and top performers to beautiful and historic venues, in a unique and friendly atmosphere amid idyllic North Yorkshire countryside.

The 2019 programme finds a special place for the music of Henry Purcell, including a pop-up production of his opera Dido and Aeneas in three beautiful and ancient churches,  a pageant performance of some his most magical and popular theatre music, and a concert-drama imagining his life in Restoration London.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Royal Northern Sinfonia perform at Hovingham Hall, while the Orchestra of Opera North bring an unmissable symphonic programme to Scarborough Spa. Artists in residence include Solomon’s Knot, who bring spontaneity and shared wonder to everything they do, the peerless wind players of the Orsino Ensemble, echo choir, poet Roger McGough, artist Jake Attree and composer Roxanna Panufnik.

Performers such as Ian Bostridge, Imogen Cooper and Roderick Williams mingle with stars of the new generation, like saxophonist Jess Gillam. Concerts are given in the great houses of the region, including Castle Howard, Duncombe Park, Sledmere and Birdsall House. But the spirit of the festival is also found in quiet corners, including the many beautiful village churches that host morning Coffee Concerts. 

Also in the melting pot: an invitation from Katy Hamilton to listen to Brahms with fresh ears; some of Bach’s greatest sacred music at Ampleforth Abbey; a new staging of Hugo Wolf’s song masterpiece; big band Basie jazz; and performances of Richard Shephard’s The Wind in the Willows by an all-age cast from across the region. 

I hope you enjoy exploring our website. The programme centres on classical music but also has space for jazz, folk, poetry, talks, the visual arts and a Come and Sing. Young festival-goers can come for as little as £1. I hope you find lots to inspire you in the festival and look forward to seeing you there.

Christopher Glynn