Fun for all the family can be found at this year’s Lichfeld Festival which kicks off this evening (July 9).
The fun will begin with Ray Gelato and The Giants who will have the audience in the main theatre dancing in their seats, while SharpWire will present theatre and music in a new and original combination for a late-night performance of Johnny’s Midnight Goggles in the Lichfield Garrick Studio.
Festival director Richard Hawley said: “With the next ten days bringing over 400 of the world’s most extraordinary artists to Lichfield, Festival audiences are once again in for a summer feast. No matter what your taste in music, art, theatre or talks, there is, I am confident, something in the Lichfield Festival to delight and inspire you.”
Providing the grand finale on Saturday July 18 will be the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which is making a welcome return to the Lichfield Festival after a five-year absence to perform in Lichfield cathedral under new chief conductor Andris Nelsons.
The programme will include Debussy’s La Mer and Tchaikovsky’s second piano concerto performed by Stephen Hough. Other major Cathedral concerts include an Opera Gala featuring tenor Alfie Boe, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and baritone David Kempster backed by the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, as well as a rare performance by ex-Deep Purple organist Jon Lord.
Comedy will be provided by Jeremy Hardy and Sandi Toksvig. Both are well-known from their work on BBC Radio 4 in programmes like The News Quiz, and both are among the sharpest stand-up performers on the circuit.
Family audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the first performance of Dreamfighter, a major new work by London-based composer Timothy Sutton for the Scottish Ensemble and the Taplow Choir. Based on a series of Ted Hughes short stories about creation myths, Dreamfighter is linked to substantial education work the Festival undertakes with local schoolchildren.
The Sixteen return to mark the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth and James Macmillan’s 50th birthday as part of their 2009 Choral Pilgrimage tour.
The ten-day multi-arts festival centred around Lichfield’s impressive medieval cathedral and the Lichfield Garrick Theatre features a wide range of classical, jazz, folk and world music, and includes a Georgian Market on Saturday July 11.
The 2009 Lichfield Festival is supported by principal partner BMW Plant Hams Hall, Lichfield District Council and Arts Council England West Midlands