14-day Newbury Spring Festival kicks off tonight with work of genius
TWO weeks of glorious world-class music kicks off tonight (Saturday) with the 43rd Newbury Spring Festival’s traditional big opening concert at St Nics Church.
International star tenor Ian Bostridge, famous throughout the world for his performances as the Evangelist, joins the finest period instrumentalists and singers of Armonico Consort to bring Bach’s St Matthew Passion masterpiece to life. A work of genius, combining the most perfectly formed recitative interpolated with Bach’s most beautiful arias, the St Matthew Passion reflects on the emotional drama from the story of the Passion of Christ.
Newbury Spring Festival is one of the most popular and successful music festivals in the South of England. Over the last 40 years it has built up a reputation of international status. The very best young musical stars appear alongside some of the world’s most distinguished and famous names.
The concert is sold out, but it may be worth checking the waiting list on the festival website https://www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk/event/st-matthew-passion/
The pandemic has proved a challenging time for the festival, with three cancelled programmes. Fortunately, many of the artists that were to play Newbury last year, and some others who had been long scheduled for this spring, were still available for this month and so the Spring Festival became the Autumn Festival. Festival director Mark Eynon said: "I am so proud of what we have been able to achieve this year, so grateful to our immensely generous and loyal sponsors and to our equally loyal audience for enabling us to survive. I know how much we are all longing to hear live music again, and I wish everybody a very warm welcome back to Newbury for this year’s unique Autumn Festival."
The next 14 days features jazz, orchestral and chamber music, gospel, choral, a capella, steel band, opera and talks, featuring renowned musicians as well as those at the start of their careers. Check out the festival website for the full programme details https://www.newburyspringfestival.org.uk