Sarah Connolly, one of the country’s finest and most celebrated mezzo-sopranos, is to feature in a Song Recital at St John the Baptist Church on Sunday 18 October at 7.30pm. The recital is part of the Two Moors Festival which runs from 15 to 25 October, one of an extensive programme of concerts taking place in churches across Exmoor and Dartmoor. This is the first time the town has been involved in the Festival.
Sarah Connolly is known for her baroque and classical roles as well as works by Wagner and 20th-century composers. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours. Her career began with the BBC Singers before she became a soloist and opera singer. She has sung with the English National Opera, at Glynebourne, La Scala, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera and The Royal Philharmonic Society and many of the world’s most prestigious musical venues.
Amongst her many honours she is an Olivier Award nominee, was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Musician Award from the Incorporated Society of Musicians, the Silver Lyre 2012 from the Royal Philharmonic Society for Best Solo Singer and was nominated in the Best Female Singer category in the inaugural International Opera Awards held in London in 2013. She was also the recipient of the 2013 Most Outstanding Achievement in a Main Role for WhatsOnStage Opera Poll as “Octavian” in “Der Rosenkavalier” with the English National Opera. In September 2009, Connolly made her first appearance as a guest soloist at The Last Night of the Proms, singing Rule, Britannia! while wearing a replica Royal Navy uniform of Lord Nelson.
This year’s Two Moors Festival is the fifteenth anniversary of its inauguration. In 2001 Devon locals, John and Penny Adie, recognised the need to help regenerate the local economy devastated by Foot and Mouth Disease. They felt that a week of stunning music-making in churches across Exmoor and Dartmoor would be a suitable way to marking the end of this tragic outbreak and so founded the Festival.
Since 2001 the Festival has attracted some of the country’s finest musicians to perform in concerts and recitals. Schools have been involved in workshops and in 2010 Christina Williams designed a Two Moors Festival garden which won Best Courtyard Garden and a Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show. Recordings of the events have been made by BBC Radio 3 and concertgoers from around the country, Europe, America and Canada regularly come to the region to enjoy sensational chamber performances.
Tickets for the recital and all other events during the Festival can be found on firstname.lastname@example.org.