This year, the Canterbury Festival celebrates its thirtieth birthday from 19th October to the 2nd November with its usual dizzying array of music, theatre, comedy, literature, lectures and family events, and tops its usual pot pourri by bringing the travelling dance-hall, the Spiegeltent, to the county cricket ground as well.
Highlights to watch out for this year include:
- the new opera from composer Sally Beamish, Hagar in the Wilderness, from Nova Music Opera (recently premiered across the Severn at the Presteigne Festival) in a double-bill with Britten’s Curlew River;
- pianist Yevgeny Sudbin in a programme including Debussy’s vibrant L’Isle Joyeuse and Scriabin’s Sonata no.5;
- Canterbury choral society continues the Britten centenary celebrations running throughout the Festival with a performance of the War Requiem in Canterbury Cathedral; whilst Mid Wales Opera bring Albert Herring to the Theatre Royal, Margate;
- oboist Nicholas Daniel (recently appointed Artistic Director of the Dartington International Summer School in 2014) and pianist Julius Drake in a programme including Bach, Britten, Thea Musgrave and Helen Grime;
- the Tallis Scholars bring the Festival to a glorious finale with music by Byrd, Tavener, White and Tallis;
- ventriloquist Nina Conti and comedian Adam Hills;
- poet Dan Simpson and a crowd-sourced poem celebrating the city of Canterbury;
- historian and BBC regular Lucy Worsley explores the history of home life;
- Science Centre Stage – ‘where science meets the arts!’ – returns for a third year, supported by the University;
- Perfect Lines: Old Master in Print at the Beaney presents rare Canaletto etchings;
The Speigeltent itself will host Sunday morning events, morning concerts, and Knee Deep, an acrobatic display from Casus.
We wish the Festival a happy thirtieth birthday – may there be many more…