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59th Summer Festival 2017

Tuesday 25th July to Friday 4th August

Friends Mailing - Friday 5 May

Public booking - Monday 5 June

Telephone booking - Thursday 29 June

Dear Friends and Supporters

I am writing this on 21st December, the winter solstice, and it really is a great pleasure on this shortest day of a troubled year to be thinking about next summer and the wonderful, life-affirming music we have in store. Our opera will be Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd starring Roderick Williams as Billy and John Tomlinson as John Claggart with myself as Captain Vere. This is an opera that is very close to my heart - Roddy and I appeared on Richard Hickox’s great recording of the opera as the Novice and the Novice’s friend, alongside John Tomlinson, Philip Langridge and Simon Keenlyside. It seems appropriate and inevitable that we should perform this masterpiece at the St Endellion Festival. We have a very strong cast and crew and Ryan Wigglesworth will conduct performances on 2nd and 4th August.

Our major choral work will be Verdi’s Requiem - perhaps the largest and grandest choral work we have ever put on. I think it will be extraordinary to experience this piece in St Endellion Church on Saturday 29th July but perhaps you should also book to hear it in the glorious acoustic of Truro Cathedral when we make our annual visit there on Monday 31st. Soloists include Sophie Bevan, David Butt Philip and Matthew Brook - Ryan Wigglesworth will conduct.

The opening concert on Wednesday 26th July sees the return of Charles Owen to play Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Aidan Oliver will conduct Poulenc’s Stabat Mater. Our other major orchestral concert on Thursday 3rd August will be an extraordinary event - orchestral excerpts form Wagner’s Götterdämmerung with Brünnhilde’s Immolation sung by our own great Wagnerian soprano Rachel Nicholls. Rachel is in demand throughout the world in this repertoire and it will be an enormous thrill to hear her Brünnhilde in St Endellion. The first half of the concert will contain Bach’s Komm, Jesu, Komm and Holst’s Hymns of the Rig Veda.

There will be chamber music concerts on Thursday 27th and Sunday 30th July and we will also have two Friday lunchtime concerts at St Kew on 28th July and 4th August, the first of which will celebrate the centenary of the birth of the Cornish poet Charles Causley. Late night concerts will contain Walton’s Façade with Rory Kinnear and a programme of song and poetry complied and devised by Iain Burnside.

I hope you will agree that this promises to be an outstanding feast of music and that we will see you at as many of the concerts as possible.

With very best wishes for 2017.

Mark Padmore