Making their first appearance in Barons’ Hall are award-winning classical vocal quartet Blake for the Arundel Festival opening concert on Monday 20 August at 7.45pm.
They released their debut album "Blake" in November 2007, which won the Album of the Year Award at the Classical BRIT Awards in 2008. The album contains covers of popular classical songs and themes from the movies, creating a more commercial classical-pop crossover sound.
Since then Blake have produced two further successful albums, toured with Katherine Jenkins, performed at Shirley Bassey’s 70th birthday party and in front of 80,000 football fans at Wembley Stadium. Blake, comprising Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney, Jules Knight and Stephen Bowman, is greatly looking forward to their first performance in the Arundel Festival.
Making a return visit to Arundel Castle after more than 10 years is the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. On Tuesday 21 August Festival fans will be treated to an al fresco performance in the Collector Earl’s Garden.
Originally founded in 1967 by trumpeter and arranger Syd Lawrence, the Orchestra has been thrilling audiences in concert halls, theatres, TV shows and music festivals all over the UK and Europe for more than 40 years. Renowned for its blend of high octane “big band swing” and classic dance music, the Orchestra’s repertoire ranges from the legendary Glenn Miller through the era of the great Count Basie Orchestra to the hit songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. It has been voted “Best Big Band in the Land” on numerous occasions.
The Orchestra, directed since Syd’s retirement in 1996 by Chris Dean, has a repertoire of over 1,200 classic Big Band titles including hits from the Great American Songbooks of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin and singers Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Sammy Davis Jr, Bing Crosby, Tony Bennett, Matt Monro, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Barbara Streisand and others.
Concert goers can toe-tap to the tunes of the fabulous forties and sing-along to the strains of the Glenn Miller sound.
Back by popular demand are the GB Theatre Company with two of Shakespeare’s classics - The Tempest and The Taming of the Shrew. Both will be staged in the Collector Earl’s Garden for open-air performances between 23 and 25 August.
Esteemed actor and director, Jack Shepherd will direct the production of The Tempest. Jack is probably best known for his role as Superintendent Wycliffe in the Police series of that name, which is currently re-running on ITV3. He has a great love of the Bard and has directed a number of productions both at the Royal National Theatre and The Globe.
Jenny Stephens of Birmingham Rep and Bristol Old Vic, who is also one of the directors of The Archers will stage The Taming of the Shrew. Jenny was responsible for the fabulous production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at Arundel in August 2010, so her new Shakespeare interpretation is eagerly awaited.
The casting has not yet been finalised, but GB Theatre Company Manager David Davies said: “It is very exciting to have another opportunity to bring our productions to the Collector Earl’s Garden which is a magnificent and idyllic open air setting for Shakespeare.” We hope to cast a number of well known actors from stage and television in both these productions.
Tickets are already available on-line – www.arundelcastle.org
Published 4th April 2012
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