From song to symphony - music at Buxton Fringe
For lovers of opera and orchestras there is a wealth of quality music to be heard at the 2016 Buxton Fringe. This year is the 37th Festival Fringe – making it one of the longest-running and biggest Fringes in England.
Over the course of 19 days (6-24 July) audiences can sample early music, chamber and piano recitals, and larger ensembles. One of the biggest groups playing will be the High Peak Orchestra delivering its usual ambitious programme – this year including Dvorak's 8th and a Tchaikovsky Suite.
The award-winning and youthful Peak District String Orchestra will be joined by a Wind Band for a programme featuring music by Handel, Britten and Barber's much-loved Adagio for Strings. The Manchester Recorder Orchestra features 40 players and a rare opportunity to hear music for recorders of all sizes. This year's main item is a jazzy Triple Concerto by Steve Marshall.
The Amaretti Chamber Orchestra has earned a loyal following for its high-quality music-making and it offers a wide-ranging programme this year – including Vivaldi, Villa Lobos and Shostakovich. The Cheshire Chamber Collective made an impressive Buxton debut last year and it makes a welcome return with nonets by Farrenc and Martinu.
Smaller chamber forces can be heard when the highly-accomplished and engaging Rachel Johnson and Jemima Palfreyman play pieces by Martinu and Scubert for piano and flute. Solo harpist Alice Kirwan promises an attractive mixture of classic and contemporary music for that most entrancing of instruments.
Ed Billingham offers another solo recital for a string instrument – the guitar. Ed is always a great hit with Buxton audiences and this year he is playing Bach, Rodrigo and a bit of Django Reinhardt. The final musical soloist this year is pianist Jonathan Ellis. There will be no passionate nor committed performance all Fringe as Jonathan plays some of the great piano music by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.
Fringe veterans Partita won an award for their early music last year and return with two programmes of music and song drawing on their extensive Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.
Elin Pritchard got rave notices when she sang the lead-role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Buxton Festival last year. This year – as part of the Helios Collective she'll be performing a selection of arias – including Purcell, Verdi and Berlioz – inspired by the words of Shakespeare.
Soprano Margaret Ferguson makes a welcome return to Buxton and – accompanied by pianist Jonathan Ellis – presents a wide-ranging and always enjoyable programme. Margaret will draw on some of the best-known opera and lieder repertoire, as well as songs from musicals and shows. Margaret is part of the vocal quartet Voci, which presents a similarly broad and delightful programme.
The City of Manchester Opera presents an exciting programme inspired by Spanish settings and characters. This will be great fun. Opera Seria brings an intriguing version of Mozart's Don Giovanni to the Fringe – inspired by Hollywood film noir this should be rich entertainment.
The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.