2019 is going to be the most important year for the Festival. We simply have to be successful to ensure a continuance – and we need your help. Many of you have told us in recent months that you want to help but you are not sure what you can do from. These offers have come from Sydney to Seattle and everywhere in between! Well we are going to come up with monthly suggestions and here is the first.
HOST A COFFEE MORNING FOR OUR CHARITY
We are proposing you should host a coffee morning between February 23rd and March 2nd to celebrate Frederic’s birthday. Charge £5 per person and invite family, friends and neighbours. We will provide you with a pack of goodies which will help ensure a fun morning. Ask people to bring a themed G&S cake, take a photograph of the best one and send it to our cake competition. The winning cake will win a weekend in Harrogate during the Festival staying at one of the best hotels and including theatre tickets. Have a raffle. Help promote the Festival and our Theatrical Adventures. All proceeds will go to our charity which is the major sponsor of the Festival Youth Production; UNIFest University competition and Bus Pass Opera. Any individual or any Society or Group can host such an event – and if you did you would be helping ensure a future for the Festival and the Opera Company. We really look forward to hearing from you. We’ll be hosting one at the Vicarage! Details to follow.
NEW VENUES FOR OPERA COMPANY
We are busy finalising the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company tour for 2019 and can already confirm two new venues – Guildford and Bury St. Edmunds. Of course we will be in Buxton and Harrogate and have confirmed Darlington (August 1-3); Windsor (provisionally August 27-28); Guildford ( August 29 to 31); Malvern (September 3-7)’ Norwich ( provisional); Bury Sty Edmunds (September 13-17).
The first priority draw on Monday December 10th equalled last year’s Silver Jubilee record bookings. Thank you. This first draw was for Benefactors and Life Members. We are now preparing for draw number two for all our other members, which is on Monday January 7th. Don’t miss out on the best seats. Get your order in NOW and certainly before January 7th. Would you believe we have already received one confirmed GROUP booking travelling all the way from SINGAPORE. You will see in the newsletter that we are offering £20, £50 and £100 gift vouchers that can be redeemed against theatre tickets. What a great idea for a CHRISTMAS GIFT! Buy here.
OPERA COMPANY CAST FAVOURITES RETURN
We will shortly be announcing the cast for our four brand new productions of The Gondoliers, The Mikado, The Yeomen of the Guard and The Pirates of Penzance. We are delighted that following his huge success with Follies in the West End production, Bruce Graham returns to where his heart is – Gilbert and Sullivan. Richard Gauntlett directs and performs; we welcome back Ellen Williams, Matt Siveter, Matthew Kellett, Richard Suart and Steven Page – plus of course our fantastic young, talented chorus. You will love them!
A FIRST FOR THEATRICAL ADVENTURES
We keep saying “we don’t follow fashion – we lead it!” And we are doing it again. Our Theatrical Adventure “Up the Rhine” from March 18th to 25th leaves from and returns to Amsterdam. That means you can fly or take the Eurostar train to the boat. And we believe we will be the first European river cruise to have a 15 piece orchestra and six high quality soloists on board. The soloists include Sarah Helsby Hughes, David Menezes, Matt Siveter, Juliet Montgomery, Aidan Edwards and Emma Watkinson. Festival Musical Director Andrew Nicklin is putting together an amazing programme of concerts featuring opera, musicals and operetta and of course an evening of Gilbert and Sullivan. A memorable cruise; great sites to see and great music to enjoy and join in. There is no single supplement on this cruise up the Rhine. Another fantastic idea for a Christmas present. Call us today on 01422 323252 for more information.
NEW YEAR IN HARROGATE
We already have almost 100 people signed up for our fantastic New Year Gala Weekend in Harrogate. It will feature the National Festival Orchestra; conductor Aidan Faughey and Festival favourites Nick Sales, Sarah Helsby Hughes and John Savournin. Our weekend guests have two nights at the Crown Hotel and best tickets to the fabulous Saturday evening concert in the Harrogate Royal Hall; a presentation from Harrogate historian Malcolm Neesan on Sunday morning; opera and operetta concert on Sunday afternoon and an evening with Flanders and Swann (John Savournin and Andrew Nicklin). Plus a reception, lunch and dinner on Sunday. There is still time to book! Don’t be lonely on the first weekend of the New Year. And if you can’t make the weekend join the hundreds of other people who will be with us in the Royal Hall for a spectacular evening on Saturday January 5th. More information here.