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Festival: Iford Arts


June - August 2018

The internationally renowned Iford Arts Festival takes place in the exquisite Peto Garden of Iford Manor, 6 miles outside of the world heritage city of Bath in the South West of England. The award-winning garden and its intimate and unique performance spaces combine to create a magical experience.

Founded over 20 years ago the annual three-month long Iford Arts music festival stages three productions and 21 nights of world-class opera (this year includes Verdi’s Macbeth, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and a new performing version of A Fairy Queen, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream with the music of Henry Purcell). Iford attracts a loyal following globally mainly because of the captivating and intimate way the opera is performed. Performances are staged in-the-round for an audience of 90 in the miniature Italianate cloister and are all sung in English giving a rare unique intimacy ‘Not so much up your nose as in your face’ as one of the singers once put it.

Popular and informal Free flowing promenades punctuate the season always popular and with an eclectic programme expect jazz, soul, swing, rock n roll, world, Latin…with the opportunity to picnic with friends in the wonderful Grade 1 listed Harold Peto gardens of Iford Manor. The extremely popular Iford Young Artists concerts showcase the best of rising opera performers around who take part in a wonderful evening of popular operatic arias and ensembles. Seated cloister concerts complete the festival programme.

All events offer a chance to relax over a pre-show picnic, whilst enjoying the peaceful tranquillity of the Peto Garden as the river Frome gently meanders through the Iford valley. The evenings can be cool so dress for warmth and comfort for all performances.

“Iford is a gem” Hugh Canning. the Sunday Times

“Pure Magic, as though each performance is being enacted entirely for your personal benefit” The Telegraph

Visit www.ifordarts.org.uk for information about 3-to-Tea and other amateur performances, free with garden entry

Latest reviewsSee more...

A Fairy Queen at Iford

Lucy Page (Titania) © Iford Arts
An especially adapted version of Purcell's Fairy Queen, reworked by Timothy Nelson, inspires an exceptional reading from a talented young cast at Iford. 
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Jungle drums beating true

© Rob Coles for Iford Arts
John Savournin takes Mozart's Magic Flute on an exotic adventure into the Peruvian rainforest: and retrieves more than a sprinkling of Inca gold. 
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So foul and fair a day: Verdi's Macbeth at Iford

Christopher Turner (Macduff) and Eddie Wade (Macbeth) © Mitzi de Margary for Iford Arts Festival
Iford's stone cloister makes a suitably eerie setting for a fine traditional account of Verdi's Macbeth, notable for its powerful male leads, from Iford Festival Opera and the CHROMA Ensemble.
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