Belfast Telegraph

Classical Music 05/06/09

By Rathcol

Last week, I wrote about Castleward Opera. This week it’s opera again with news of a most exciting and innovative series entitled “Opera Fringe”.

Italian-born Rosa Solinas, now living in Northern Ireland and artistic director of the festival, has brought together an imaginative and intriguing collection of people from the opera world, including a special Handel weekend in Downpatrick and environs from June 12-28.

The festival was founded a decade ago originally as a “fringe” enhancement to Castleward’s season. As the programme will show you, (www.operafringe.com), there’s nothing fringe about it.

For Downpatrick to be playing host to the Opera Fringe Festival shows that there is tremendous potential for small local centres to add something significant to all sorts of artforms as long as excellence is the aim of the organisers.

Over two-and-a-half weeks you’ll enjoy a programme that includes a rarely-performed dramatic work in Down Cathedral, a full-scale choral concert in St Patrick’s Church, intimate lunchtime opera recitals, memorable film nights and two very different fully-staged opera productions.

phammond13@hotmail.com

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