Gearing up for Haddo Festival

Alice and Eleanor Dennis pictured together recently, before their last appearance together at Haddo House
Alice and Eleanor Dennis pictured together recently, before their last appearance together at Haddo House

With only a month to go to the opening of ‘Visions’ – Haddo Arts Festival 2016, preparations are under way to welcome visitors to the popular week-long event.

The opening concert on Saturday, October 1 features a programme of Mozart, starring pianist Martin Roscoe and Ellon soprano Eleanor Dennis, who makes a welcome return to sing the Mozart Requiem with the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society.

The Requiem will be conducted by Alice Dennis in her last concert as the Musical Director of the Society.

Alice is retiring after 26 years working for the Society, so it’s the last time she and Eleanor, on a break from rehearsing with Scottish Opera, will work together on the stage.

This year’s art exhibition, also entitled ‘Visions’, is the most ambitious yet.

Exhibition curator Paul Ritchie, a renowned artist, has brought together works from top artists which can be viewed during Festival weekends and those attending events in the Hall can pre-order their interval drinks to be served in in the Exhibition, allowing them time to view the works on display.

A song recital by Scots tenor Jamie MacDougall and a contemporary music concert by Pete Stollery in the Chapel continue the week, followed by an audience with top NE writer Stuart McBride on the Wednesday evening in the library in the House.

Fans of his crime fiction will enjoy a talk and will also get the opportunity for a book signing, with copies available to purchase on the night.

There will also be refreshments and musical entertainment from students from the NE Scotland Music School.

After her huge success last year comedienne Jenny Chalmers returns to the festival on the Thursday night with ‘Myrtle takes the Biscuit’.

Friday night is a candle-lit piano recital of Chopin by top Australian pianist, Piers Lane and the ever popular opera ‘The Elixir of Love’ will be produced by Scottish Opera on the final night.

The Festival runs from October 1-8 at Haddo House and tickets are available at or by calling 03336 663366.