2022 saw Haddo Arts Festival return to a week of live performance, and what a tremendous week it was. Audiences and the Festival team alike were delighted to be back in Haddo’s wonderful venues enjoying live events once more.
Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society made a welcome return to the opening night with their performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. This year’s Festival programme had a feast of chamber music, with the Maxwell Quartet and pianist Alasdair Beatson in residence for four days culminating in the World Premiere on Friday 14th October of “We Are Collective”, the piano quintet commissioned by Haddo Arts from Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan. The highlight of the Festival, the concert was recorded by BBC Radio 3 and will be broadcast as Radio 3’s lunchtime concert on 29 December.
Our programme included music for the young and young at heart as well. On Sunday afternoon, families thrilled to the RSNO’s new piece for early years children, “Yoyo and the Little Auk”, commissioned as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories, then on Thursday Haddo was filled with the sound of over 100 primary age singers and 30 secondary age string players, supported by McOpera’s professional string players and baritone Arthur Bruce, all under the baton of Andy McTaggart, in the live performance of “A Song for Haddo: A Place to Play”.
In Scotland’s Year of Stories, we were delighted to spend an evening in the company of Sheena Blackhall, Doric Makar, who enthralled her audience with ballads, poems and stories from Aberdeenshire. We rounded off the Festival in fine style on Saturday 15th October with an evening celebrating the words, music and song of Scotland with fiddle players Rae Jappy and Shannon Stevenson, story teller Jim Broad, pianist Mo Rutherford and award winning folk singer Siobhan Miller, hosted by Dr. Robert Lovie.
Once again this year, there was a visual arts trail in the Country Park. Create-Regenerate-Rebuild, curated by Sarah Calder, brought together local artists, school children and community groups in response to the devastation wrought by Storm Arwen, bringing colour and life back to the Park through installations and new homes for animals uprooted with the trees. The photography exhibition in the Pheasantry was open during Festival week, and the trail remained in place to the end of the October holiday on 29 October.