Harrogate soprano stars in Grassington Festival

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By Graham Chalmers

Among the names at this year’s Grassington Festival are a few which will be familiar to music lovers in the Harrogate district.

Running from June 12-27, the 35th year of this popular, broad-based arts festival will see up-coming singer Alexandra Lowe performing songs from her debut album on Sunday, June 14.

The magic of the Last Night of the Promson wednesday, June 24 will see Harrogate-based soprano, Sarah Fox join highly-acclaimed professional orchestra, Skipton Building Society Camerata.

Fox is acknowledged as one of the top English sopranos of the moment. Her headline slot at the festival fits neatly into her hectic international tour schedule which sees her play at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra just days before.

Sarah has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras – the Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonia and Vienna Tonklunster Orchestra but to name a few.

Sarah said: “I can’t wait to sing in this year’s festival. I have done two ‘Last Night’s before, the most recent was with the fantastic Halle orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall.

“It’s always such a great celebration of great music and who we are as people. It will be even more special for me too seeing as it’s on home turf.”

The programme for what is expected to be an exhuberant Last Night of the Proms will feature famous songs from the world of opera alongside numbers from West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and Les Miserables and, of course, Last Night favourites, such as Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

Other events lined up for this year’s Grassington Festival include Bellowhead, Al Murray, Pam Ayres, Barbara Dickson and the Last Night Party with Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals fame supported by Heaven 17.

Former singer in folk rock band Magna Carta, Linda Simpson will be appearing in the Grassington Festival Fringe with pianist Ian Diment at The Octagon on Friday, June 19.

And a rising young star, Ilkley’s Alexandra Keeley who is just 11 years of age will be performing her first local concert in nearly two years, at St Margaret Clitherow in Threshfield on Saturday, June 13.