Supporters new and old of Northern Aldborough Festival were treated to champagne, nibbles and some excellent live music last night as its 20/20 Club was launched amid the glitter of a leading jewellers in Harrogate.
The aim was to reach out to the business and corporate community in a new way as this high quality event looked to strengthen its foundations for the future.
Taking place at Ogden Jewellers in its stunning Regency Room, artistic director of Northern Aldborough Festival, Robert Odgen was on hand to welcome guests.
He said: “We’ve always had fantastic international class acts, mainly in classical music, but with a wide range of other disciplines, too.
“Now we want to establish good and mutually beneficial relationships with our corporate members which will stand the test of time.
“Among the opportunities the Festival is able to offer are client entertainment and networking in some of Yorkshire’s most distinctive and often inaccessible venues with world-class artists in attendance.”
Guests were treated to live music by young, innovative and versatile Oxford classical guitarist and Royal Academy of Music graduate Manus Noble who played a couple of tracks from his debut album Oxford Nightshade including Gary Ryan’s forthy, Django Reinhardt-inspired Hot Club Français.
Festival chairman Sir Andrew Lawson-Tancred emphasised that, with close links to both Leeds International Piano competition and Opera North, the NAF may be a small festival but it was one which punched way above its weight in terms of its world class line-up in classical and jazz music.
The festival's new 20/20 Club will offer corporate sponsors a wide range of hospitality facilities, as well as a host of other benefits.
Northern Aldborough Festival always utilise intimate and picturesque venues in the lovely village of Aldborough near Boroughbridge.
This year's festival will open in June with with a new production of Bizet's Carmen.
Overall, the programme for 2016 is, perhaps, the most varied to date, with an eclectic offering encompassing classical music, jazz, theatre and the spoken word.
Internationally-renowned acts include jazz pianist and singer Liane Carroll, tenor James Gilchrist and the winner of the 2015 Leeds International Piano Competition Anna Tsybuleva.
Far from po-faced, there’s usually a fun side to the programme. This year’s line-up includes Norman Lebrecht, former deputy editor of the Evening Standard and founder of slippeddisc.com, the world’s most-read cultural blog in English.
There’s an appearance by the hilarious Three Inch Fools in a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
Providing a roguish spin on Yorkshire’s ‘national’ music, Aldborough will also present brass band comprising section leaders from the major London orchestras!
Robert Ogden said: “As well as being great fun, the festival is a good way for businesses to engage with the local community in the fulfilment of corporate social responsibility.”