The Orchestra of Opera North will be joined by two exceptional young talents, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov and conductor Jamie Phillips, for an evening of music inspired by the fantastical at Scarborough Spa on Friday 21 July, as part of the Ryedale Festival’s first ever season of events in the town.
Widely acclaimed for his command of the Romantic repertoire, Jamie Phillips will make his Opera North debut conducting a programme of works by Humperdinck, Rachmaninov and Berlioz focusing on Dreams and Visions – one of the themes of this year’s Ryedale Festival. With its elegant Victorian ironwork and seafront location, the Spa’s Grand Hall should provide the perfect setting for some sparkling flights of fancy on a summer’s night.
Phillips became the Hallé Orchestra’s youngest ever assistant conductor as a 20 year-old undergraduate in 2012. In the same year he was the youngest ever finalist in the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors' Award, and he has since worked with leading orchestras throughout Europe and the US, recognised as a major new talent and lauded for his commitment to new music as well as his inspired readings of Rachmaninov and Berlioz.
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Pavel Kolesnikov will join the Orchestra for Rachmaninov’s instantly recognisable Variations on a Theme of Paganini. The Siberian-born, London-based pianist’s rare combination of virtuosity and expression make him an ideal fit for this glittering tour de force, and his return to perform with the Orchestra of Opera North comes ahead of his much-anticipated Chopin Prom later in the summer.
Informally referred to by Humperdinck as “Children’s Life”, his Overture to Hansel and Gretel opens the evening with a ravishing tribute to the power of childhood imagination. With the beautiful ‘Evening Prayer’ giving way to a spirited dash through some of the folk-inspired themes from the opera, the piece will be familiar to anyone who saw our staging of Hansel and Gretel earlier this year.
Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique – memorably described by Bernstein as “the first psychedelic symphony in history” – provides an intense finale to the programme. Subtitled An Episode in the Life of an Artist and written after the composer was spurned by the woman of his dreams, it evokes a lovesick opium dream filled with hallucinations, ecstasies, rages and a journey into the depths of hell, ending in a witches’ dance.
Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, comments:
Last year’s tour of Wagner’s Ring Cycle meant that the Orchestra had to miss the Ryedale Festival, but we’re delighted to return for 2017 with two outstanding guests in Jamie and Pavel – and two Royal Philharmonic Society Awards under our belts.
We’re also looking forward to performing at the Spa for the first time in six years, with a really spectacular programme that traverses the Romantic period.
Tickets for The Orchestra of Opera North: Dreams and Visions at Scarborough Spa on Friday 21 July are priced at £22.00 (under 25s £11.00), and are available now from the Ryedale Festival Box Office on 01751 475777, or via the Ryedale Festival website.
Pavel Kolesnikov by Eva Vermandel