Most of our main musical events have been scheduled. Please come back often as we update the site and complete our plans for the best Church Stretton Arts Festival ever!
London Festival Opera
Our gala opening for 2015 was on Saturday, the 25th of July and starred Guy Johnston – cello: (BBC Young Musician of the Year, opening night of the Proms with the Elgar Concerto) and Katya Apekisheva.
Our closing night was Saturday the 8th of August, when we had a full house to enjoy the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra. We’ve had a variety of jazz in recent years, also brass bands, but nothing quite like this. Toes were tapping, heads were bobbing and it was all we could do to stay sitting in our seats!
In between we had something to please everyone. Return engagements from the Aurora Ensemble as well as Huw Wiggin were amazing, while Rock and Roll fans were delighted by a concert by Ultimate Elton. The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet gave us a very exciting evening and there were fireworks from violin duo Retorica. Piano duets in the church, from Susie Allan and Rosalind Jones were a complete delight, while Michael Bochmann brought some of his young students to play along with him at the tea-time concert.
But there was more. Dramatic performances included the gripping stage presence of Guy Masterson with stories and poems by Dylan Thomas; Heartbreak Theatre’s production of Jane Austen’s “Emma”, which was great fun and “My Dearest Girls” – created and performed by Francesca Millican-Slater – a moving one woman show exploring the lives of rural women during World War I.
And then there was even more! school’s out @ the arts festival (a 4 day workshop for children) culminated in a talented and high energy public performance. Free coffee concerts or organ recitals were on tap during the day and, of course, the Art, Craft and Photography exhibition ran throughout the festival with almost 800 pieces of art on display and for sale – the biggest such show in Shropshire.