We strongly believe in support for serious arts, particularly music.
Johnny is Deputy Chairman of the Ryedale Festival, one of the foremost classical musical festivals in Britain. It is a two week programme of more than forty events, including an opera, held across the Ryedale area in North Yorkshire each July; unique as the venues range from cosy medieval churches to great stately homes of the area such as Castle Howard, Duncombe Park and Sledmere House. The Festival attracts professional musicians of the highest calibre from across Europe and beyond, such as Stephen Isserlis, Alison Balsom, Charles Owen and Charlotte Barbour-Condini.
Johnny also has his own choir, Far Flung, a choir of about 20 amateur singers from across Yorkshire. Under his musical direction they perform classical works often with a modern twist, specialising particularly in finding work by new and living composers, often as yet not well known. Expectation of boredom is a huge block to people’s enjoyment of ‘serious’ music, and the choir has a goal of bringing this music to a wider audience through its approach to performance, using variety, different textures of sound, and the performance space itself to connect.
The choir is often accompanied by Christopher Glynn, one of the foremost pianists in the UK and artistic director of the Ryedale Festival (and a professor at the Royal College of Music in his spare time), and joined by renowned soloists such as soprano Sinead O’Kelly, the ‘Opera Voice of Northern Ireland’, and Soraya Mafi, the soprano who opened the ‘new’ Wembley.
One of these days we will produce a ‘garden’ opera in the office car park, something small, like the Ring cycle.
Now, who to play Alberich …..?