Now in its 43rd year Perth Festival is one of the oldest continuously running arts festivals in Scotland. Don't miss The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko and a new commission by Police drummer Stewart Copeland. .
• award winning Montenegrin classical guitarist, Miloš Karadaglic and The Royal Northern Sinfonia
• the amazing Mnozil Brass from Austria
• a full scale production of “The Magic Flute” by English Touring Opera - the first time the Festival has staged opera in Perth Concert Hall using the orchestra pit – all very exciting
• a major new commission entitled “The Perthshire Cantata” from Dougie MacLean
• World class choir The Sixteen continue their Choral Pilgrimage
• The return of the arTay contemporary art marquee featuring over 70 Scottish artists
• Alison Moyet
• Scouting for Girls
• Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra with Melanie C and Marc Almond
• and so much more...
The 2014 Perth Festival of the Arts will open on Thursday 22nd May in Perth Concert Hall with English Touring Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute”. In previous years the operas have been staged in Perth Theatre, which is now closed for three years for refurbishment. The bold decision was taken to move the opera to the Concert Hall. ETO will bring their full production including set, costumes and lighting rig and the orchestra will be installed in the orchestra pit. This is the first time that the Festival has used the orchestra pit since the hall opened in 2005. Normally they are squeezed into the Theatre they will not be surprised at the amount of space they will have. This production is keenly anticipated.
The Festival is delighted that the award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will play at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday 25th May. It is the UK's oldest professional symphony orchestra and has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life since 1840. Their Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, who joined in 2006 is recognised as one of the exceptional musicians of his generation. The programme will include Elgar’s In the South, Stewart Copeland (from The Police) Percussion Concerto new commission and Prokofiev Symphony No 6.
One of the hottest properties in classical music, Miloš Karadaglic came to international attention in 2011 with his debut album “The Guitar (Mediterráneo)” which, in the space of just a few months, topped classical charts around the world, became an internationally best selling sensation and earned Miloš Gramophone’s prestigious Young Artist of the Year Award. Milos will play Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with the The Royal Northern Sinfonia. Geoffrey Norris of The Daily Telegraph said: "The playing is lithe, subtle of timbre and transcendentally beautiful."
The amazing Mnozil Brass from Austria play classical, jazz and other styles of music using traditional brass instruments and more unusual instruments such as the keyed trumpet and Wagner tuba. Music is presented with a typical Austrian style of humour, which can be approximately characterized as "jet black" and "here and there" absurd. Elements of slapstick exist next to virtuosic brass playing.
The Sixteen - Choral Pilgrimage In 2014 The Sixteen revisits the golden age of Renaissance polyphony in England, presenting a stunning programme of music by John Sheppard, Richard Davy and William Mundy. It is a huge privilege to be part of this Pilgrimage and St John’s Kirk is the perfect setting for this sublime concert.
Local talent will also be very much on show at this year’s Festival with “The Perthshire Cantata” a new commission by Dougie MacLean. It will be an original 'song based' composition using Perthshire themes in the inspiration and lyric, incorporating trad/roots based and contemporary styles. This will be performed in Scotland and abroad to celebrate the new city status of Perth and the wonderful county in the heart of Scotland that is Perthshire.
Alison Moyet will be playing her back catalogue and songs from her critically acclaimed and top 5 album minutes. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be joined by Melanie C and Marc Almond and Scouting for Girls make their Festival debut on the 30th May. The Festival Ceilidh is becoming an institution not to be missed. This the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band takes to the stage.
Perthshire actor, Ian Grieve, will perform in “Confessions of Gordon Brown” - a sell-out success at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, which was also staged in the West End. Gordon Brown hilariously exposes the darkest secrets of being Prime Minister, the stab-in-the-back plottings, the betrayals and most importantly - the hair gel. Love him or loathe him, Gordon Brown was our greatest failure at being Prime Minister in 200 years. In a candid portrait of life inside Downing Street Gordon at last reveals what it takes to knife your way to the top and rule a nation. And how his dream of power all went wrong. Brand new one man play by acclaimed Scots Emmy-nominated writer and director Kevin Toolis in a manyrivers production.
Scottish Soprano Colleen Nicoll, from Dunkeld, will sing a Saturday Morning Recital in St John’s Kirk. She read music at The University of Edinburgh where she studied voice with Patricia Hay. Colleen graduated in 2010 with an honours degree in music and has since been working as a singer and singing teacher in Edinburgh and around the UK.
London Classic Theatre will stage “Entertaining Mr Sloane” by Joe Orton in Perth Concert Hall.
It was first staged at the Arts Theatre in London in 1964, winning the London Critics ‘Variety’ award for Best Play of the Year. Its unique blend of farce and black comedy beautifully captures the suppressed desires of the period.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company perform all 37 of Shakespeare Plays in 97 Minutes! An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy having clocked a very palpable nine years in London’s West End at the Criterion Theatre! Join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter.
Other gems in the Festival programme include “Nocturne - The Romantic Life of Frédéric Chopin”
with Lucy Parham, Dame Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman. "A passionate, humorous and deeply moving portrait of the relationship between Chopin and Sand" Music Web International 2010. There will also be a visit from the Primavera Ensemble, who will perform Schubert - Quintet in A major D 667 (Trout) and Saint-Saëns - Carnival of the Animals.
ArTay makes a welcome return to the streets of Perth. The large tented gallery will be packed full of contemporary Scottish art with over 300 works on display. It will be sited outside Perth Concert Hall. It will be free and many of the works will be for sale curated by Frames Gallery.
Festival Chairman Peter Rutterford said "We are very much looking forward to an exciting year at the Festival with a number of international stars, particularly Vasily Petrenko and Milos Karadaglic. There will be some new commissioned works and lots of traditional favourites."
There are many free events including daily lunchtime concerts by Perthshire Schools and by Perth Youth Orchestra, Art on the River and lots of local exhibitions. The Festival is a registered charity now in its 43rd year. Over the years it has grown from its classical and opera roots to embrace a wide range of art forms
The Festival runs from 22nd May to 1 June. Tickets are now on sale at Perth Concert Hall and online at www.perthfestival.co.uk