Cuckfield Music Festival has got off to a flyer.
Artistic director Hannah Carter said: “Cuckfield launched its first music festival with a hugely enjoyable Launch Supper in the Hayloft of the Talbot, of which the star was Jonathan Summers, the internationally acclaimed opera baritone. With 55 people attending, the Hayloft was comfortably full and the Talbot’s chef and staff were on top form, setting us up for two splendid contributions by Jonathan. In the first he told us a little of his earlier operatic roles at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne in the late 70s and early 80s before he expanded into an international career that has taken him all over the world. This includes a recent appearance in Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd with the Bolshoi in Moscow that won for the company three Golden Masks – the Russian equivalent, roughly speaking, of Golden Globes.
“With a pause only to enjoy his dessert, Jonathan came back to give us two arias, flawlessly accompanied on the piano by Rosemary Cole. The first was from Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and the second from Andrea Chénier by Giordano. The latter is, perhaps, a less frequently performed opera but the scene Julian portrayed is one of great dramatic intensity, and his conviction in singing it was, as one knowledgeable guest put it, ‘mesmerising’.
“All in all a rare treat with which to get the Cuckfield Music Festival into full stride, with the first main event on Saturday, June 15 when the Horsham Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Reza will be playing Grainger, Vaughan Williams and Tchaikovsky in Holy Trinity Church. During the following week there will be daily events - No Strings Attached on Monday; Speakeasy Revival Orchestra on Tuesday; Greek folk music on Wednesday (out of doors so bring chairs and a picnic); a lunchtime talk on Music in Painting and Mark Edwards Jazz Trio, both on Thursday; Caroline Tyler in a lunchtime recital Friday and, that evening, our rising stars from mid Sussex schools performing at Warden Park (free entry); Dominic Ferris with guest Jane Haughton on Saturday; culminating in the Magnificat Choir from Hungary on June 23, again in Holy Trinity Church (also free entry). Full details and booking on www.cuckfieldmusicfest.co.uk”
Events coming up:
Horsham Symphony Orchestra/Ensemble Reza, June 15 at 7.30pm, Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield,
Hymns and Pimms, June 16 at 6pm, Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield,
No Strings Attached, June 17 at 7.30pm, The Talbot, High Street, Cuckfield,
The Speakeasy Revival Orchestra, June 18 at 7.30pm, Baptist Church, Polestub Lane, Cuckfield,
Once upon a time in Greece, June 19 at 6pm, Mill Hill Farm, Staplefield Road, Cuckfield,