Annual festival goes fourth

Music festival director Jeremy Peaker performs Gilbert and Sullivan.
Music festival director Jeremy Peaker performs Gilbert and Sullivan.
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Opera, a military band and comic songs are all being lined up for an annual music festival.

The Northumberland Music Festival has announced the programme for its fourth event.

Featuring classical, opera, traditional and revue, organisers promise a wider genre of entertainment than ever.

The festival takes place over three weekends between November 14 and 30 in Doxford, Eshott and Guyzance halls.

As well as two full-length opera performances – The Barber of Seville and Tosca – there will be a symphony orchestra concert, gala opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, the Northumbrian Ranters and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The festival director is Jeremy Peaker, who has planned the programme for the second-year running.

A founder member of the New D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and a full-time member of Opera North, he is also managing and artistic director of Much Loved Productions. He said: “The festival has received a tremendous reception here in Northumberland over the last three years.

“The fourth festival will again be happening over three weekends with more opera, an orchestral concert and an emphasis on comic performances.

“We think we are able to appeal to ever-increasing numbers.

“Of course, not only is this a festival of music, it will be, as always, a great festival of fine food.”

Among those also performing will be opera star Jan Hartley and two regulars from The Archers, Caroline Sterling and Lilian Bellamy, alias actors Sara Coward and Sony Ormonde.

Bass Graeme Danby sings and presents the wit and wisdom of Flanders and Swann and American satirist Tom Lehrer. The Northumbrian Ranters will also be making their fourth appearance.

So far, the festival has raised in the region of £10,000 for charity and this year will donate a percentage of its ticket sales to Hospice Care North Northumberland and St Oswald’s Hospice.

A full festival programme is available from info@nmfestival.co.uk, by ringing 01668 283100 or the website.