Changes for 2021 Programme
Just prior to sending this brochure to print the Trustees and I were faced with the dilemma of how we should present the programme for this year’s festival.Although the signs were that things were beginning to look more hopeful, it was by no means certain we would be able to operate as usual, with the church full to capacity. Even if regulations allowed us to proceed in that way, the complete unknown was – how happy would people be sitting very close together in a crowded space?Also, because of the nature of the building exiting and re-entering during intervals cannot be done without large bottle necks forming.
If we sold tickets as usual with most concerts selling out, and then at the last minute had to observe social distancing, how on earth would we decide who can use their tickets and who has to surrender them and accept a refund. If we sold based on a socially distanced plan, we could only get about a third of the usual number in for each concert. We could have live-streamed for everyone else but, whereas some might be happy watching the occasional concert, how many of those who come to a great number, or even the whole festival would want to sit in front of a screen for 13 consecutive evenings?
In the end we felt the only satisfactory and most sure way to proceed was to have a socially distanced seating plan, ask most of the artists to shorten their programmes slightly, and perform them twice on the same day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. That way we can give about 300 people per day the chance to attend a ‘live’ concert, seated in a way the majority, hopefully, will feel very comfortable with, and the shorter concerts remove the need for an interval and all the problems that gives us.
Although limiting sales to a maximum of 150 per concert will have a fairly large financial impact, we have decided that, where the programmes have been shortened, we will reduce the cost of the tickets for those concerts. We feel we want to extend this gesture of goodwill to everyone as a way of thanking you all for the amazing support you gave us and the musicians over the cancellation of the 2020 festival. The trustees have decided that the shortfall caused by the smaller numbers and lower prices can be covered by our reserves.
Changes to Ticketing
We have made the decision to move away from physical tickets. This is something we had been considering for a while but the Covid19 crisis prompted us to finally make the move. We feel that the more we can to do eliminate the handling of tickets and programmes etc the safer it is for everyone. To enable the new system to work, all bookings will be processed electronically and you will automatically receive an email confirming payment and listing the tickets allocated to you. All you need to do is to print out the email and that will be your ticket. If you prefer, you can just keep the email on your phone and present that on the door. We will have a list on the door of all bookings for each concert. This system also ensures that, should the need arise, we automatically have contact details for all attendees. NB – for those of you who do not have an email address, we will post you confirmation of the tickets allocated. This will be a time consuming process so please avoid us having to do this if you possibly can. Payment – we understand that some of you still like to use cheques but processing sales electronically will be far simpler for us if you put your credit or debit card numbers on the booking form.
Changes to Unreserved Tickets
Finally, we have done away with unreserved tickets. All the seats that were previously in that category will now be numbered but priced at the same level as the unreserved seats used to be. We think this will be an aid to getting everyone seated quickly.
20th Anniversary Festival
Although the 2020 festival, along with just about every event last year, was cancelled, 2021 is our 20th year of putting on (or attempting to put on) a festival. So, given that we all need something to celebrate, we
are calling this year our 20th anniversary festival.
With the level of uncertainty in the early part of this year we took the decision to move to September for this year’s festival. All things being equal we will return to our usual time of May for the 2022 festival. Given the quite extraordinary level of generosity shown by our supporters over the cancelled 2020 festival, we go into 2021 in a sound financial state which means that, although we of course still need financial support to put on the 2021 programme, we have not had to lower our sights at all over the artists programmed. In fact, I believe this year’s line-up is one of the strongest we have ever presented.
Because the 2021 programme was all confirmed by the end of 2019, it meant we weren’t able to invite back for this year many of the cancelled 2020 players, but where an artist original booked for May 2021 was unable to offer a September date, we have taken the opportunity to replace them with an ensemble from the 2020 programme, and so we are able to have the delayed Festival debuts of Camerata RCO, and La Serenissima. Also making festival debuts this year are the Cuartetto Casals with a wonderful programme of Haydn & Mozart. and Ex Cathedra, who will be closing this year’s festival with a beautiful programme entitled Baroque Passion. For logistical reasons the move to September means that the Festival Academy Orchestra will be with us for all of week one rather than week two.
I look forward to seeing many of you in September.
Weekday lunchtime concerts
Due to presenting two main concerts each day it is with much regret that we have to cancel the lunchtime concerts and the masterclass this year due to pre-concert rehearsals. We know many of you will be very disappointed by this but can assure you they will return in May 2022.
A message from Craig Bishop, vicar of St James’ Church
We have lived through strange times. The past year has given us the opportunity to reflect; we have had to let go of some things but have held onto others. I am grateful for the resilience, tenacity and hard work of the Music Festival. How wonderful to once again sit back in this ancient building, built for the glory of God, and allow beautiful music to wash over us reminding us of what is important and good. Every blessing.
We are indebted to the vicar and churchwardens of St James’ church for allowing us to use their glorious venue for our concerts.
Our magnificent Steinway D concert grand is maintained by Jeffrey Shackell email@example.com
Our festival piano tuner is Dan Carney firstname.lastname@example.org
Brochure design by Arthur Cunynghame email@example.com
Registered Charity No 1109991
Cuarteto Casals David Ruano Jeffrey Skidmore www.operaomnia.co.uk La Serenissima Amy Ryan Media Mark
Padmore Marco Borggreve Richard Watkins Keith Saunders Steven Osborne Ben Ealovega
We now have three categories of season ticket. Season A ticket, which gives a top priced reserved seat for all concerts, Season B ticket which gives a second priced reserved seat for all concerts, and the Season C ticket which gives a third priced reserved seat for all concerts. Patrons’ and Friends’ season ticket applications will be processed in the appropriate priority period and General season tickets will be processed just prior to other General bookings. NB Some third priced tickets have restricted sightlines.
The number of people signing up for the priority booking schemes grows every year and, increasingly, it is the only sure way of obtaining tickets for the most popular concerts. To ensure that all members of these schemes benefit from joining we put a maximum on the number of tickets that can be purchased for the orchestral concerts, which this year will be on the 7th 9th 10th 11th 14th 16th. Full details are on the Patrons, Friends, & Sponsors page at the rear of this brochure. As always, we will operate the traditional postal system for the Patrons’, Friends’ & Season priority booking periods, and for those who like to get their General booking form in early. As soon as all the postal bookings have been processed we will then activate, in early August, the online booking system.