On song for the start of Summer Festival

Helen Massey
Helen Massey

Members of the Orchestra of Stowe Opera will be joined by soprano Helen Massey for an evening of music to banish the winter blues tomorrow, Saturday.

Winter Flowers is the Buckingham Summer Festival’s winter concert, and wielding the baton will be the festival’s artistic director and co-founder, Robert Secret.

Founded in 1989 by Mr Secret and the late Prof Alan Brook MBE, the Buckingham Summer Festival has become an eagerly anticipated cultural event, bringing top-quality musical performers to the town for a packed week of performances every July.

Prices are kept affordable thanks to a mixture of volunteer effort, sponsorship, donations and grants.

This year’s festival takes place from July 3 to 10 – but but you don’t have to wait until then for some fabulous music.

Winter Flowers, at 7.30pm at the Radcliffe Centre, will feature songs such as the sumptuous Tristes Apprêt’ by Rameau and When I Am Laid To Rest from Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, as well as orchestral pieces including Elgar’s Serenade for Strings and Grieg’s highly romanticised version of 18th century music, the Holberg Suite.

Helen Massey studied at the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music, where she won the Peter Pears Duo and English Song prizes and was chosen as soloist for Sir David Wilcock’s 80th birthday concerts. Among her many operatic performances, which have taken her across the world, she performed the role of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro at Winslow Hall Opera in 2012.

Tickets are £15 (under-18s £5) from the Tourist Information Centre at the Old Gaol or online at www.buckinghamsummerfestival.org by clicking on the Buy Tickets buttons.