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Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour Returns with a Classic Programme

The annual Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour taking place at Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall returns for the 7th time in a programme that will last from January to April 2018. Although featuring the classics, it is by no means exclusively classical, nor confined to the North East as this year it also travels to Kelso and Grasmere.  There will be singers from the North Wales Opera Studio, traditional music from Northumberland with an international reputation, and brass from Cambridge. Performances will be held in Northumberland, The Scottish Borders and the English Lakes.

Highlights announced today include HMS Pinafore from Scratch – a staged version of the G&S favourite for soloists and audience; gala opera and sacred music concerts from Much Loved Productions, and from the North Wales Opera Studio; and Prime Brass, Cambridge, who have been hailed by Classic FM as an “exceptional brass ensemble”.  The Northumbrian Ranters will once again showcase the talents of the new generation, and Graeme Danby appears for a third time as the region’s most popular baritone.  The Three English Tenors return to entertain with the high notes of their careers and harmonised voices.

This unique festival has become an established part of the musical scene in Northumberland.

Commenting, organiser, Barbara Huddart said: “We are delighted that the Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour is returning.  The music and the food that accompanies it combine to make a hugely memorable event for all who attend.  The new events we’re planning are amongst the most exciting we have ever arranged.”

Taking place in four of The Robert Parker Collection of hotels, the Festival opens with an Opera Gala on 23rd January at the Wordsworth Hotel in Grasmere, and features further concert events there, at Ednam House in Kelso, and Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall Hotels in Northumberland.  The Festival concludes with The Three English Tenors at Ednam House.

This year’s full-length performance at Doxford Hall will be a major first for the 7th Season – HMS Pinafore from Scratch.  Presented by the Festival’s long-term partner, Much Loved Productions, it will feature rehearsed contributions from the audience as the chorus, before a full-length performance from everyone in the second half.

Also for the first time ever the Festival welcomes regular performers on Classic FM, Prime Brass – the exciting brass ensemble from Cambridge.  This ten-piece line-up of four trumpets, four trombones, horn and tuba are regular performers in Ely Cathedral and King’s College Chapel.  The compere for their exciting evening concert at Doxford Hall is Tim Lihoreau from Classic FM.

Opera has always been at the heart of the Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour and this year is no exception.  In addition to opera galas, and evenings of sacred music, and the inimitable baritone Graeme Danby, making a new appearance is Tenor Austin Gunn.  Both singers have themed evenings devoted to the North East and spring, respectively.  The North Wales Opera Studio is an exciting group, new to the North East, that brings together performers of all ages who are training as opera singers.

Longest running item is Festival favourite, Northumberland’s internationally famous young performers, the Northumbrian Ranters.  They return on 23rd February, and as the Festival’s founder Robert Parker has always said: “It wouldn’t be a Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour without them”.

The programme for the 2018 Northumberland Music Festival on Tour is as follows:

23rd January   – An Opera Gala Evening – North Wales Opera Studio – Wordsworth Hotel – Grasmere

24th January – An Evening of Sacred Music – North Wales Opera Studio – Wordsworth Hotel – Grasmere

16th February –  HMS Pinafore from Scratch – Doxford Hall

17th February – The Three English Tenors – Doxford Hall

23rd February – The Northumbrian Ranters – Doxford Hall

24th February – Cambridge Prime Brass – Doxford Hall

2nd March – An Opera Gala Evening – North Wales Opera Studio – Doxford Hall

3rd March – An Evening of Sacred Music – North Wales Opera Studio – Doxford Hall

20th March – Austin Gunn and Friends – Spring Serenade – Eshott Hall

21st March – Graeme Danby – An Evening of North East Music – Eshott Hall

6th April – Gala of Sacred Music – Ednam House Hotel

7th April – The Three English Tenors – Ednam House Hotel

With all performances including a gourmet meal, the Festival offers the perfect winter’s evening of entertainment, fine food and culture. The Halls and Hotels of the Group are perfect backdrops to musical performance – with large spaces, or nearby churches, that were designed from the outset for large social events.  Most also provide a dramatic backdrop for the classical music that was written with their architecture in mind.

Further details for the Northumbrian Music Festival on Tour can be found at www.nmfestival.co.uk or by telephoning 01668 283100 or writing to the Northumbrian Music Festival, Cheviot Centre, Padgepool Place, Wooler NE71 6BL.

By Emily