Opera ready to take centre stage at new music festival

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THE inaugural Northumberland Music Festival is to be held over ten days this autumn at three of Northumberland’s finest houses, Guyzance Hall, Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall.

The programme will feature established musical companies and groups from around the country, including the nationally acclaimed Garsington Opera.

The festival is the brainchild of Robert Parker, who owns the three halls and has a great love of all types of music. Recently purchased with his wife Gina, the houses provide the perfect back-drop for the planned musical performances.

The Northumberland Music Festival will feature performances from the complete range of musical interests, from Sullivan to Schubert, and from grand opera to colliery band.

Performances will take place at all three venues between October 28 and November 6.

The aim of this inaugural festival is to set the stage for the future, and to offer a variety of styles to suit a range of tastes. The ultimate aim is to make the festival one of the foremost music events in the north of England.

One further unique feature of the concerts will be the menus that accompany the programme. Good food will feature alongside the music at most of the events, and it will match the style of the music. Mr Parker said: “We intend to make the festival an annual event, and the first year will show some of the ideas we intend to develop.

“We have gone for concert style performances this year, but in 2012 most opera events scheduled will be full scale productions.

“The festival will not only promote music in the region, it will offer opportunities for both schools and individuals to participate.”

A percentage of all ticket sales from thefestival will be donated to three charities, Macmillan Cancer Support, Great North Air Ambulance, and HospiceCare North Northumberland.