Arcola Theatre today announces the full programme of productions in the 2021 Grimeborn Opera Festival, which is
returning for its 14th year.

Grimeborn 2021 opens with a new staging of Die Walküre for three performances at Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ, from Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 August. Following Julia Burbach and Peter Selwyn’s thrilling version of Wagner’s ‘Das Rheingold’ in 2019, Arcola is producing the first London performances of Jonathan Dove’s acclaimed reduction of
‘Die Walküre’ since its Birmingham premiere in the 1990s, when it caused a sensation.

It features an exceptional cast of singers, led by Mark Stone, who will be singing Wotan in this country for the first time, Finnur Bjarnason (Siegmund), Natasha Jouhl (Sieglinde), Simon Wilding (Hunding), Harriet Williams (Fricka), Laure Meloy (Brünnhilde), Elizabeth Karani (Helmwige), Bethan Langford (Waltraute), Katie Stevenson (Rossweisse). With 18 live
musicians from the Orpheus Sinfonia. Julia Burbach (Director), Peter Selwyn (Conductor).

The other Grimeborn productions at Arcola Outside are:

25 – 29 August Alcina, Music by George Friedrich Handel

1- 4 September Hopes & Fears, Music by Claude Debussy

5 – 8 September Orfeo ed Euridice / Zanetto, Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and Pietro Mascagi

11 September The Tango Collective: The Piazzolla Project

Tickets can be booked at

Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra Open Doors

The Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra has organised a series of free classical music events entitled ‘Open Doors’ which has something for everyone. The orchestra’s survival through Covid and its ability to perform for free owes much to the generosity of its sponsors, Fairlight Arts Trust and Penn Elcom, with further funding from the Lottery and the approval of the Arts Council.

Live classical music was endangered by the length of Covid lockdowns, but the Orchestra is pleased to be able to contemplate a full new 2021/22 Season with confidence, of which more details will be available soon. Meanwhile, try and take in one or more of these free events and show your support for live classical music in Hastings by joining the HPO mailing list to be kept informed of future events:

HPO String Quartet – Wednesday 14 July, 2pm at Priory Meadow, Queens Road, Hastings TN34 1PH. HPO’s princial string players offer this exciting, free of charge summer highlight – an opportunity for you to listen to their wonderful rendition of two chamber music gems: Haydn’s Emperor Quartet, and Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (Vespers) Thursday 15 July, 8pm, in
Christchurch, Silchester Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6AY. Sung by HPO Singers and Cantemus Choir conducted by Marcio da Silva, running time 75 minutes including interval. Free performance.

HPO Songbirds inaugural concert Friday 16 July, 7pm at Christchurch. Children aged 5–11 perform their first brilliant repertoire!

Masterclass and Workshop Day. Saturday 17 July, from 11am, with an informal student performance at 3:15pm. Principal HPO players will host East Sussex Music Students, working at approximately Grade 5 and above, and invite them to play their current repertoire at Christchurch.

HPO Wind Quintet. Saturday 17 July 7:00pm at Christchurch. This includes the world premiere of a work by local composer Keith Beal; some people may remember his opera Merlin shown at St Mary in the Castle in 2018.

Concert in the Park Saturday 14 August, 3pm, at the bandstand in Alexandra Park, Hastings TN34 2LQ. A glorious celebration of short, well-known and greatly loved pieces of classical music, perfect for a family picnic!

This ‘outdoor’ concert is guaranteed to be a family favourite with something for everyone to enjoy!

Christopher Cormack