Harrogate coup - G&S Festival to run for whole month

NADV 1306192AM1 Gilbert & Sullivan Society presentation. Simon Kent of The Harrogate International Centre and founder of The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival Ian Smith sign the contract to bring the festival to Harrogate witnessed by Vince Johnson of The Majestic Hotel, Howard Hughes (Royal Hall Restoration Trust ) and David Ritson of The Old Swan Hotel. (1306192AM1)
NADV 1306192AM1 Gilbert & Sullivan Society presentation. Simon Kent of The Harrogate International Centre and founder of The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival Ian Smith sign the contract to bring the festival to Harrogate witnessed by Vince Johnson of The Majestic Hotel, Howard Hughes (Royal Hall Restoration Trust ) and David Ritson of The Old Swan Hotel. (1306192AM1)
1
Have your say

The arrival of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate next year may be even more exciting than music fans expected.

Organisers’ plans mean the town will be hosting the world’s biggest Gilbert and Sullivan festival for an entire month.

When combined with the return of CLASSICFest which finishes this weekend, it means Harrogate will be hosting a feast of musical theatre from G&S to Broadway shows throughout August 2014.

Bernard Lockett, trustee of The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, said: “CLASSICFest has been very successful and will return next year. We will also be presenting at least one G&S event held every day in the Royal Hall. It’s very exciting.”

It will be the first time Harrogate has played host to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival which has built a global reputation in its 20 years at Buxton in Derbyshire.

As well as professional companies, it is expected that there will be shows from schools and universities from Britain and abroad.

The end result should see an extra 30-40,000 visitors come to the town with some coming from as far away as America and Australia.

The organisers have always been keen to promote the idea that G&S appeal to more than just fans of opera or operetta.

Bernard said: “I’ve never regarded Gilbert and Sullivan as operatic at all, it’s musical theatre. You can draw a line all the way from them to today’s West End musicals.

“Leonard Bernstein once said that he couldn’t have done West Wise Story without the influence of Gilbert and Sullivan.”

Organisers have been delighted with the reaction to this year’s CLASSIFest which ends on Saturday night with a performance of La Boheme at Harrogate Theatre.

The only setback was when The Ferenc Listz Music Academy from Hungary had to cancel their visit.