Ripon International Festival’s epic weekend

poet Simon Armitage... new book about Pennine way walk seen at Yorkshire Sculpture Park  See story  CHRIS BOND Picture Chris Lawton  1th June  2012

poet Simon Armitage... new book about Pennine way walk seen at Yorkshire Sculpture Park See story CHRIS BOND Picture Chris Lawton 1th June 2012

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The current Ripon International Festival reaches one of its highpoints this weekend with a performance by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.

Saturday’s concert, conducted by Janusz Piotrowicz, promises a truly epic programme of symphonic masterpieces.

Featured will be Beethoven’s explosive Fidelio overture, Schubert’s powerful and poignant Unfinished symphony, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

But there’s far more to the festival than music; its 15th year is delivering a wider range of high quality arts. There are solo dramas in the shape of Truly Yours – the story of Charlotte Bronte (tonight, 7.30pm, Bishop Monkton village hall); Concert by Candlelight with the prize-winning flute and harp duo Aquilae (tomorrow, Friday, St Nicholas Church, West Tanfield); Cabinets of Curiosity present Stories in a Secret Garden (Sunday, September 16, The Walled Garden, Palace Road); the Jazz Repertory Company (Wednesday, September 19, Ripon Spa Hotel; the exciting early music group Red Priest (Thursday, September 20, Holy Trinity Church), Eve Loiseau in Piaf: The Songs (Friday, September 21, Ripon Leisure Centre); the fantastic black-light theatre International Purves Puppets bring their imaginative show Nessie The Loch Ness Monster (Saturday, September 22, Ripon Leisure Centre) and the grand finale with the Rhos Male Voice Choir (Saturday, September 22, Ripon Cathedral).

The literary strand is provided by comic writer Mike Pannett (Sunday, September 16, The Old Deanery); crime writer Andrew Martin (Monday, September 17, The Old Deanery) and the award-winning Simon Armitage. Armitage is one of Britain’s most beloved writers.and for this event at Ripon Spa Hotel next Tuesday, September 18, he will be reading from his new book Walking Home about walking the Pennine Way as a modern troubadour.

The 15th Ripon International Festival will come to a rousing finale with The Rhos Male Voice Choir at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, September 22.

For tickets , call 01765 603994 & 01423 502116 or book onlineat www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or visit www.riponinternationalfestival.com