Wide-ranging joys of the Rye Arts Festival

After 17 days and 67 public events the Rye Arts Festival closed on Sunday September 17 to great acclaim and satisfaction at how the event had unfolded.

The 44th annual Rye Arts Festival was described by many as the most wide ranging in many years.

Andy Stuart of the organising committee said this week: “With the addition of four cinema events at the Kino Digital year, which has been such a great cultural boost to the town, plus for the first time an artist in residence, this year is probably the most varied Festival ever.”

He added: “There have been so many highlights it is hard to pick any events out, but I have to say the opera, Don Giovanni, which was once again produced exclusively for Rye. You wouldn’t see it anywhere else.

Euphonia is a company of young professional, and already major award-winning, singers and musicians from all around the world , and their production of Don Giovanni was of the very highest standard.

“But of real pleasure for those involved has been the number of performances and masterclasses that have been put on by the Festival in the town’s three school, exclusively for the students.

“The young classical guitarist Manus Noble, for example, played in Rye Primary School to the 350 students – the biggest gig in terms of audience numbers of his career.”

Other festival delights included artist in residence Charlie Cobb sketching a performance of the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble concert.

Andy commented: “Super fan Keith Barwood drove backwards and forwards from his home in Reigate to Rye in order to see 17 events over 14 days. He clocked 2,100 miles in his car and many hours of driving at nightime on the M25! And Keith came to a wide range of events, including classical and contemporary music concerts and literary talks and film, explaining he loved the variety and high quality on events on offer.”

Planning has already started on the 2016 Rye Arts Festival.