Friday 29 July - Sunday 31 July

Box Office: 020 7955 1446|branscombefestival[at]rosenblatt-law[dot]co[dot]uk

Music from leading stars of opera and classical music

Friday 29 July - Sunday 31 July


Founded by Ian Rosenblatt

The Festival is curated by Ian Rosenblatt, BBC presenter Petroc Trelawny and renowned pianist Iain Burnside, with Petroc Trelawny presenting all concerts



Friday 29 July

7.00pm - St Winifred’s Church

The Marian Consort


Taking its name from the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Marian Consort is a young, dynamic and internationally-renowned early music vocal ensemble, recognised for its freshness of approach and innovative presentation of a broad range of repertoire. Under its founder and director, Rory McCleery, this ‘astounding’ (The Herald) ensemble features regularly on BBC Radio 3 and is a former ‘Young Artist’ of The Brighton Early Music Festival.


Known for its engaging performances and imaginative programming, the group draws its members from amongst the very best young singers on the early music scene today. Their repertoire encompasses the music of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries with a particular focus on the exploration of lesser-known works, often bringing these to the attention of the wider public for the first time. The Marian Consort is also a proud exponent of contemporary music and the group has commissioned works from several leading British choral composers, including Cecilia McDowall and Matthew Martin.


Plans for 2015/16 include performances for the Spitalfields Festival, London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and York Early Music Festival; a major Arts Council-supported tour of ‘Breaking the Rules’, a new music/theatre project with actor Finbar Lynch; and concerts in Switzerland, Finland, Germany and across the UK.


Post Concert Talk


Immediately after The Marian Consort’s performance of ‘Breaking the Rules’, the performers will join Petroc Trelawny for a brief exploration of the extraordinary, violent and bloody life of Carlo Gesualdo.  The free talk will last around 15 minutes, and will finish at least half an hour before the start of Miss Hope Springs at the Village Hall.

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10.00pm – Village Hall

Miss Hope Springs


Playing the piano and singing her award winning repertoire of uniquely catchy original songs, ex-Vegas nightclub chanteuse Miss Hope Springs brings her laugh-out-loud-move-you-to-tears one woman show to Branscombe Festival. Miss Hope Springs has garnered praise from critics such as Will Hodgkinson of the Times, ‘Springs sings of big hopes and broken dreams…The sleeper hit of the year’, and Jonathan Ross, ‘Fabulously talented…Unmissable’. Still wearing the sequins she left the Pink Pelican Casino with in 1972, and accompanied by her Hot Jazz Combo on throbbing double bass and sizzling percussion, Hope regales with hysterical tales from her ‘Ritz to the pits’ life; you’ll hear Hope’s blend of finger snapping pop, romantic rhumbas and sassy bossa novas.


Miss Hope Springs is the towering blonde creation of composer, lyricist, pianist and comic actor Ty Jeffries, son of the late great British character actor Lionel Jeffries – his formative years living in Tinsel Town lend authenticity to his multi-layered portrayal of never-say-die show business trouper Hope. Ty is a classically trained pianist (Purcell School) and a published songwriter (Elton John’s Rocket Music); he continues his hugely successful relationship, now in its 5th year, with London’s premier cabaret room, Crazy Coqs, with a once monthly Sunday evening residency.


‘One of the most important cabaret creations of the decade’ Musical Theatre Review ✮✮✮✮✮


‘A mesmerising show…Carefully scripted and beautifully delivered’ Broadway Baby ✮✮✮✮✮


‘A stellar portrayal of a jaded faded star…Quite simply Brilliant’ Fringe Review ✮✮✮✮✮


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Saturday 30 July

Midday - St Winifred's Church


Handel Trio Sonata in E minor HWV398
Monza Suite in C minor
Banister A Division on a Ground for Recorder 

Pepusch Trio Sonata in C major
Handel Trio Sonata in B minor HWV386b
Barsanti A Collection of Scots Airs

Ashley Solomon flute/recorder

Bojan Cicic violin

Reiko Ichise viola da gamba

Terence Charlston harpsichord 


Regular performances in some of the world’s most prestigious venues have confirmed Florilegium’s status as one of Britain’s most outstanding period instrument ensembles. Since their formation in 1991 they have established a reputation for stylish and exciting interpretations, from intimate chamber works to large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire, frequently working with some of the world’s finest musicians.


Among the numerous residencies Florilegium have held was Ensemble-in-Residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, from 1998 to 2000.  Since September 2008, they have been Ensemble in Association at the Royal College of Music; the group leads five string, wind and keyboard coaching sessions on 18th century baroque repertoire each term.


2015-16 will be the group’s 25th anniversary season, with concerts nationwide; from Steyning (near Worthing) in the South to Bath and Truro in the West. London dates include two concerts at Kings Place (including one with a baroque dancer), LSO St Lukes, and two concerts at the Wigmore Hall. The year culminates in the 25th anniversary concert of Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos in June.


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3.00pm - Village Hall

Harry the Piano


Harry the Piano has gained a reputation as one of the most gifted improvisers in the world and has accompanied almost everybody in the business, from Elvis Costello to Bette Midler, Rod Stewart to Charlotte Church and David Bowie to Rick Astley. Amazingly versatile, Harry has toured with the Opera Babes, played with a who’s who of British jazz musicians and plays keyboards on the latest Simply Red album.


Harry was resident pianist on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast for 5 years and Bandleader for BBC primetime show ‘Johnny Vaughan Tonight’; he’s filled the Albert Hall (2008), has over three million YouTube hits and is known for playing any tune in any style upon request (‘The best damn pianist in the civilised world’ – Jonathan Ross).


One of the most sought after cabaret acts in the UK, Harry has headlined at festivals from Adelaide & Barbados to Henley and Bestival; he has performed for over 250 corporate institutions and private clients as diverse as Prince Charles and Kate Moss.


Harry is currently Musical Director for Alexander Armstrong and has also recently formed a partnership with comedian Jake Yapp – subsequently becoming regulars on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Now Show’. Martin Roscoe, recently voted the UK’s favourite concert pianist said of him ‘You practice all your life and think you can play the piano. Then you hear Harry’.


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Optional cream tea will be served from 2.15pm


Hog roast available from 5.30pm

7.30pm - Village Hall

Serena Gamberoni soprano, Luca Salsi baritone & Michele Gamba pianist

Duets and arias from Italian Opera

Serena Gamberoni is a Soprano on the ascent; an opera graduate of the Trento School of Music, Gamberoni’s career began to blossom when she placed first at several international competitions, including the prestigious As.Li.Co Annual Competition for Young Opera Singers of Europe in 2004. Bachtrack points to her “… light yet well-rounded” style, a trait that has made her popular on the continent and in demand at renowned venues such as Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Gamberoni features on several major recordings, including a film of Orfeo ed Euridice released by Deutsche Grammophon. Her extraordinary rise to operatic acclaim is only expected to continue – look out for her solo debut at the Royal Opera House and La Scala, Milan later this year.


Praised by L’Opera for his “…authentic baritone voice and exquisite timbre”, Luca Salsi was born in San Secondo Parmense. He graduated as a singer at Parma’s Conservatory Arrigo Boito under the guidance of soprano Lucetta Bizza; he subsequently mastered his technique with baritone Carlo Meliciani. Thanks to the rapid ascent of his career, Salsi has already graced the stages of the main opera houses worldwide, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Berlin’s Staatsoper and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. He has worked with important conductors such as James Conlon and Riccardo Muti, as well as prestigious stage directors such as Robert Carsen and Hugo De Ana. Salsi’s recent and future engagements include Ernani (Don Carlo) at the Opera di Roma, Macbeth at the Liceu de Barcelona and Il Templario at the Salzburg Festival.


Michele Gamba was born in Milan, where he studied piano and composition at Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory; he perfected his piano technique with Maria Tipo at the Fiesole School of Music whilst simultaneously developing his conducting skills at the Musikhochschule in Vienna, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and the Royal Academy of Music in London. After beginning his career as a solo pianist, Gamba made his debut as a conductor at the Royal Festival Hall in 2009. In 2012 he began his collaboration with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, first as Conductor and coach to ‘Jette Parker Young Artists Programme’, then, by personal invitation of Sir Antonio Pappano, as Jette Parker Associate Conductor and as Pappano’s assistant. In 2015, Gamba was invited by Daniel Barenboim to join the Berlin Staatsoper as Kapellmeister and as Barenboim’s assistant, and there, in November 2015, conducted Le Nozze di Figaro. Future engagements include Nozze in Hamburg with Stefan Herheim.

10.30pm - Village Hall

The Leo Green Experience & Danny Toeman


Clear the table, stock up the bar and turn up the volume. The annual Saturday night appearance of The Leo Green Experience is now a key part of the Branscombe Festival; joined once again by soul singer Danny Toeman, we are thrilled that these incredible musicians will join forces for the 2016 Festival.


Founded by the son of the late, much loved, BBC Radio 2 broadcaster, writer and musician, Benny Green, The Leo Green Experience are one of the world’s most celebrated dance bands. Frontman Leo Green has performed with some of the biggest names in music, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Van Morrison, Sting, Eric Clapton, James Brown, Tom Jones and many more…


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Rhythm & Blues singer Danny Toeman has been making a name for himself on the London soul scene with his gravel-toned voice, energetic live shows, and flamboyant stage persona. Since appearing at last year’s Branscombe Festival, Danny’s stock has continued to rise; performing at the o2 Arena; having his songs featured in prime time UK and USA TV shows; and getting a mini German tour under his belt. While all significant milestones, he looks forward to being a part of the festivities at Branscombe for the third year in a row.

Sunday 31 July

12.00pm – Branscombe Beach

Lifeboat Display – free event

From around midday onwards, watch the Sidmouth Lifeboat from Branscombe Beach

Sidmouth Lifeboat, coordinated by Her Majesty’s Coastguard, is responsible for covering approximately 150 square miles of sea between Axmouth and Budleigh Salterton; on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, all members of the crew and support team are volunteers.


Whilst maintaining close links with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Sidmouth Lifeboat is an independent service. Operational costs are covered by a combination of bequests and revenue from visitors to the lifeboat station and its shop.


To find out more, click here.

1.00pm – Branscombe Beach

Camborne Town Band – free concert

With beer tent provided by Branscombe Vale Brewery and BBQ on the beach

Kevin Mackenzie LRSM, BA (Hons) musical director


2016 marks the 175th Anniversary of the Camborne Town Band – Cornwall’s most successful and celebrated brass ensemble. The band has been competing in contests since the late 1800s and is unsurpassed by any other in the region. Having represented Cornwall and the West of England at the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain on over 40 occasions, the group returned to the Royal Albert Hall in 2015 and placed sixth at the National Finals whilst competing against some of the most accomplished bands in Britain.


The reputation of the group has led to a busy schedule of audio recordings, broadcasts and international tours; the band has featured on BBC National Radio and in 2013 appeared on the popular ITV series ‘Ade in Britain’. Recent schedule highlights include being chosen to represent Cornwall at the prestigious International Celtic Festival in Lorient, Brittany and a stage adaptation of ‘Brassed Off’, the 1990s film that starred Ewan McGregor and Pete Postlewaithe.


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Ticket Prices

£19.50 per concert

£100 for all concerts

50p from each ticket sold will be donated to St Winifred’s church