Exuberant end to successful Ripon International Festival

Ripon International Festival stars Black Umfolosi after their concert with a group of children from the Ripon Cathedral Choir School.
Ripon International Festival stars Black Umfolosi after their concert with a group of children from the Ripon Cathedral Choir School.
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ZIMABWEAN performers Black Umfolosi 5 brought the 14th Ripon International Festival to an exotic and enthralling conclusion last week.

A full house at Holy Trinity Church, with a large contingent of children and young people, brought the house down with singing, waving and cheering as the performers beamed their enjoyment.

Festival director Susan Goldsbrough said she was delighted with the response to this year’s cultural extravaganza.

“With most events sold out and great word of mouth from audiences for the exemplary performances and imaginative content, the festival has chalked up another remarkable success.”

Highlights included the Hallé at the Royal Hall, conducted by Janusz Piotrowicz in a spellbinding performance of Russian masterpieces, in which he created the deep, warm, enveloping sound which is his hallmark, in the most profound and delicately nuanced interpretations. The audience was mesmerised.

David Thomas, who came from London for the show, wrote afterwards: “one could sense a touching of spirit, a reciprocity between orchestra and conductor.”

The UK’s favourite folk star, Kathryn Tickell, with her band, brought her inimitable style and immaculate musicianship to bear on fiddle, pipes and engaging narrative in a show memorable as much for its moving and intimate monologues as for its lively, foot tapping songs and instrumentals; and The Archers actors in their Wicked Women show had the audience in stitches throughout.

The festival was made possible through the generous support of sponsors Ripon Select Foods, the Thackray Quest, Lithgow Perkins, R. Stride & Co, Welcome to Yorkshire, Wolseley UK, Arts Council England, Harrogate Borough Council and many others, including the dozens of volunteers both within and outside Ripon whose commitment ensured the smooth running of every performance.

The Festival’s next event is the Spring Concert by Northern Sinfonia at Ripon Cathedral on Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Conducted by Janusz Piotrowicz, and featuring the brilliant young Russian violinist Alexandra Soumm, the programme will include Mendelssohn’s Overture The Hebrides and Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Pastorale Symphony.

l Ticket information from the Festival Office on 01765 605508 or visit www.riponinternationalfestival.com