Tom Randle, Hilary Summers & Andrew Watts Lead Dartington International Summer School & Festival’s 2019 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Dartington International Summer School & Festival has announced its 2019 concert program. The festival will take place from July 27 – August 24, 2019.

In her fifth and final year as Artistic Director, Joanna MacGregor “is gifting Dartington audiences a personal and intimate series of performances” featuring composers and music that she has found “profoundly influential.” For the purposes of this article, we will focus only on vocal performances.

The festival will kick off with “Breaking the Habit: Music by and for Women in Renaissance Europe,” featuring the early music vocal ensemble Stile Antico. The group aims to shine light on neglected repertoire and bring life to Renaissance women through song. They will perform works by Raffaella Aleotti, Maddalena Casulana, Pierre de la Rue, Alexander Agricola, Sulpitia Cesis, Thomas Tallis, John Sheppard, Leonora d’Este, William Byrd, John Taverner, John Bennet, Richard Carlton, and Joanna Marsh.

Performance Date: July 27, 2019

Moon and Sun” will feature Egyptian-German singer Merit Ariane, Baha Yetkin (oud), Antonio Romero (percussion), and Jon Banks (harp, santur, qanun, santouri, percussion). Ariane’s program will draw on Arab and Western culture.

Performance Date: July 28, 2019

Soprano Emma Kirkby’s “Birthday Concert” will feature her alongside countertenor Nicholas Clapton, David Miller (lutes and theorbo), and students of vocal and lute masterclasses in an “old-meets-young” performance of works by Dowland, Lawes, Strozzi, and Caccini.

Performance Date: July 31, 2019

Stile Antico returns for “Baroque Laments for Female Voices,” performing works written for women by Monteverdi and his contemporaries.

Performance Date: August 1, 2019

The “Masterclass Concert” will feature a mixed program of “the week’s liveliest young students” performing all kinds of music.

Performance Date: August 2, 2019

Conductor Andrew Griffiths will lead “A Venetian Vespers,” featuring soloists from Stile Antico, Advanced Renaissance Wind Band, The City Musik, and Dartington Choir. William Lyons will direct this concert “overflowing with Venetian psalms and motets” by Croce, Andrea Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Bassano, Giovanni Gabrieli, and Vecchi.

Performance Dates: August 2, 2019

Director and harpsichordist Robert Howarth will lead “Baroque Masterpieces: Pleasures and Passions,” a program of works by Monteverdi, Fontana, Castello, Purcell, Eccles, and Matteis. Featured performers will include soprano Lisa Howarth, contralto Hilary Summers, countertenor Andrew Watts, violinist Adrian Butterfield, cellist Richard Tunnicliffe, Jill Kemp (recorders), and Howarth (harpsichord and organ).

Performance Date: Aug. 3, 2019

“Emily Portman and Rob Harbron: Folk” will feature BBC folk award nominee Emily Portman (voice and banjo) and sought-after multi-instrumentalist Rob Harbron (folk fiddle, concertina, and guitar).

Performance Date: August 4, 2019

During “Old, New, Borrowed and Blue,” countertenor Andrew Watts will perform traditional works by Handel, Dowland, Quilter, and Howells, as well as new works from his recording “A Countertenor Songbook.”

Performance Date: August 4, 2019

Contralto Hilary Summers will perform during “Sigh No More, Ladies.” The program, “inspired by Lady Macbeth, Ophelia, and Desdemona,” will include works by Purcell, Korngold, Alison Bauld, Elizabeth Machonchy, Jonathan Dove, George Crumb, and Shostakovich. She will be joined by pianist Joanna MacGregor and James Runcie, who will read passages from Shakespeare.

Performance Date: August 7, 2019

A semi-staged performance of Handel’s “Agrippina” will be directed by Richard Williams. Robert Howarth will lead the Dartington Baroque Orchestra. Singers from the Advanced Course will be featured. Casting details are TBA.

Performance Date: August 8, 2019

As I Walked Out One Morning: Folk” will feature Emily Portman, Alistair Anderson, Dave Harbottle, Freya Jonas, Alexis Bennett, and Dartington Folk Choir and Instrumentalists.

Performance Date: August 9, 2019

Conductor Laurence Cummings will direct Handel’s “Saul” oratorio, and Adrian Butterfield will conduct the Dartington Baroque Orchestra. The Dartington Choir will be featured. Casting details are TBA.

Performance Date: August 9, 2019

American tenor Tom Randle will perform during “The Diary of One Who Disappeared.” He will be joined by pianist Joanna MacGregor and singer from the Advanced Opera Course. The program will include Randle’s own A.E. Housman setting “From Dreams and Turning,” Britten’s “Folk Songs,” and Janáček’s “The Diary of One Who Disappeared.”

Performance Date: August 11, 2019

Richard Williams will direct the “funny, atmospheric play-with-music” “A House on Middagh Street,” starring soprano Sarah Gabriel. She will perform works by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Igor, and Vera Stravinsky, Lotte Lenya, and Kurt Weill, and will be joined by pianist David Gray and students from Drama Centre London.

Performance Date: August 14, 2019

Jonathan Palmer Lakeland will direct “Opera Gala: Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and Bizet,” which will showcase students of the Advanced Opera Course with show-stopping arias.

Performance Date: August 15, 2019

Students from the Music Theatre Course and Drama Center London will perform “Scenes from ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ & ‘Calamity Jane.'” The “boisterous musical jounrney through the Wild West” will be directed by Richard Williams and Sarah Gabriel, with choreography by Sara van Beers. The students will be joined by pianists Stephen de Pledge and Joanna MacGregor.

Performance Date: August 16, 2019

Tenor Tom Randle will return for “Britten’s Saint Nicolas & Adriano Adewale’s Percussion Concerto,” led by conductors Steuart Bedford and Steve Dummer. The Dartington Choir and Dartington Festival Orchestra will be featured.

Performance Date: August 16, 2019

Carol Pemberton will lead “Black Voices,” the a cappella ensemble featuring Calia Wickham-Anderson, Evon Johnson-Elliot, Genevieve Sylva, and Jennifer Wallace. Their repertoire includes “spirituals, traditional African, Caribbean and English folk songs, jazz, pop, and reggae.”

Performance Date: August 17, 2019

“Messiaen’s Harawi” will be a “rare chance to hear [his] epic, Wagner-inspired ‘Tristan’ song cycle.” Australian soprano Lotte Betts-Dean will be accompanied by pianist Joseph Havlat.

Performance Date: August 19, 2019

Soprano Sarah Gabriel, clarinetist Steve Dummer, and pianist Stephen de Pledge will perform works by George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Dorothy Field, Noel Coward, Kurt Weill, Marguerite Monnot, and Edith Piaf during “Songs of the Jazz Age: These Foolish Things.”

Performance Date: August 19, 2019

Celebrate the 85th birthday of Sir Harrison Birtwistle during “Happy Birthday Harry,” showcasing several of his “short, spicy chamber pieces” along with works by his favorite composers, Stravinsky and Dunstable. Featured performers will include sopranos Sarah Gabriel and Gillian Keith, tenor Tom Randle, clarinetist Jernej Albrecht, cellist Lydia Hillerudh, trumpeters Paul Archibald and Lucy Humphries, trombonist Brett Baker, pianists Joseph Havlat and Stephen de Pledge, the Gildas Quartet, and the Dartington Brass Ensemble.

Performance Date: August 20, 2019

Graeme Jenkins will lead the Dartington Festival Orchestra through Britten’s chamber opera “The Turn of the Screw,” featuring Tom Randle as Peter Quaint and students of the Advanced Opera and Conducting Courses.

Performance Dates: August 21 & 24, 2019

Conductor Stephen Barlow will lead “Beethoven, Tippett, and Eleanor Alberga” in celebration of Joanna MacGregor’s last Summer School concert. MacGregor, a pianist, will be featured along with soloists from the Advanced Opera Course and Dartington Choir during Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.” First, however, they will perform spirituals by Tippett and a new choral commission from Alberga, setting poetry by Alice Oswald.

Performance Date: August 23, 2019