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Festival of Chichester 2020 will offer busy online programme of delights

04/06/2020

A busy online programme will put the 2020 Festival of Chichester back on the summer calendar.

Here’s the line-up from where you can access the events page.

The festival won’t be happening for real, but a significant proportion of the festival fun is now set to go ahead virtually.

The Festival of Chichester has been an increasingly popular month-long June-July fixture in and around the city since its debut in 2013, every year attracting thousands of people to more than 200 events right across the arts and community spectrum. But, on a sad day in March, amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the festival’s organising committee concluded they had no choice but to cancel this summer’s festival – for the sake of the safety of performers and audiences alike.

The Virtual Festival of Chichester will launch on June 13 as Chichester celebrates music, literature, talks, art, theatre and more. The plan is that for every day of what would have been the festival, a new event will be posted on its website ready for audiences to enjoy from Saturday, June 13 to Sunday, July 12 at 7pm, so that they can look forward to something new each day.

The performers

A huge range of events has been lined up, beginning with the jazz band which would have launched the festival on Cathedral Green, the Stardust Sussex Syncapators, who will perform jazzy versions of The Isle of Capri and I Get the Blues to kick off the virtual festival. There are some spectacular concerts arranged, including a video of cellist Emily Burridge performing in Chartres Cathedral – which highlights the twinning link between the cities – and from Kings Place, the lively Greek band Plastikes Karekles.

This will be just one of three contributions from festival regular, Pavlos Carvalho, who will also be performing a mix of Cypriot and Greek tunes and songs with a select band of virtuoso musical friends. In addition, Pavlos will be performing one of Bach’s celebrated Solo Cello Sonatas. Another regular, cellist Ben Rogerson, will also be performing solo with a different Bach piece as well as joining up with the Minerva Ensemble for the Gadfly and other pieces. The Cathedral will be represented by the Choristers singing a Litany by Peter Hurford plus a Remote Artview of some of the Cathedral’s treasures.

All That Malarkey are one of the regular highlights each summer and they are returning virtually to the city to sing an enjoyable Beach Boys medley. An alternative take on cabaret will be presented by performer Dawn Gracie, whose lively shows always attract attention. Jazz and blues guitarists Rob Johnston and Geoff Robb have exciting selections to share, including Geoff’s self-penned Music of Trees. Classical guitarist Linda Kelsall-Barnett, who delighted audiences with her Cathedral performance last year, will return with a new recording for audiences to enjoy.

Chichester regularly welcomes top-class international pianists to the festival and 2020 is no exception. Reiko Fujisawa is performing a Beethoven tribute in his 250th anniversary year, while Russian maestro Victor Ryabchikov celebrates the music of Tchaikovsky with the Seasons. Ensemble Reza were one of the big hits of the 2019 festival and they are returning with a wonderful Brahms Sextet.

Song is celebrated across the genres with contributions from indie/folk singer Tobiah with We Are Angels, soprano Tamzin Barnett and bluesy Ruby Tyger and the Revelators, who sold out their festival gig last year. Poetry and books will be represented by local author John Haynes, the winner of the prestigious Costa Poetry Prize, together with stimulating new poetry posted online by Chichester Poetry.

The artist responsible for the Keats sculpture in Eastgate, is featuring two new projects – his monumental Nelson and Murray sculpture as well as a brand new piece inspired by Major Tom Moore’s heroic fundraising effort collecting money for the NHS to fight the pandemic by a sponsored walk round his garden.

Read more at the link below.

Author: Phil Hewitt
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