Haddo Arts Festival gets under way

Organisers are putting the finishing touches to the Haddo Arts Festival which opens on Saturday.

They are hoping for a large turn-out for the first weekend, which features an important concert by the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society (HHCOS) and a visit from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

HHCOS are presenting a concert of exciting choral and instrumental music, led by respected conductor Ben Parry. The choir will sing the Dixit Dominus by Handel, a fiery and dramatic short work, with difficult choral passages normally tackled only by professional choirs.

HHCOS have been working hard and have mastered the work to great effect. The loveliest two movements of the work feature duets from two soprano soloists, on this occasion Natasha Day and Haddo’s own soprano Louise McGregor.

Supported by Subsea7, the programme also features four of Handel’s best operatic arias, sung by four soloists, all established professionals who are travelling from London especially for the concert.

The choir will also perform a short unaccompanied choral work by Benjamin Britten, the beautiful and atmospheric Hymn to St Cecilia, which will again demand the highest standard from the choir. The concert will conclude with the Simple Symphony by Britten, which is a playful and light-hearted work for orchestra.

On Sunday, the RSNO are travelling from Glasgow to present a chamber concert of music for piano quintet and string quartet. The two pieces to be performed are by Dvorak and Suk, both being melodious and beautiful and perfect for a Sunday morning.

As the concert will end at lunchtime, it can be combined with Sunday lunch afterwards at the NTS tearoom or Formartine’s.

After this, the RSNO are presenting two of their extremely popular children’s concerts. Suitable for children of all ages, the concerts are on a teddy bears picnic theme.

Both RSNO events are generously funded by TOTAL E&P UK Ltd.

The HHCOS concert is at 7.30pm on Saturday. The RSNO chamber concert is at 11am on Sunday and the children’s concerts are at 3pm and 4pm on the same day. All three events are in Haddo House Hall.

Tickets are available from www.haddoartsfestival.org.uk or by calling 08448 700887.