Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
Baroque music in the splendid surroundings of The Vache, Chalfont St Giles.
Launching a music festival featuring baroque music is a brave undertaking at the best of times but doing so last summer deserves some kind of medal.
We really enjoyed the performances at the inaugural Vache Baroque Festival, a two-day outdoor celebration of the music of Henry Purcell featuring his tragic opera Dido and Æneas. In the brief window of opportunity for live performances that opened up in 2020, the audience was able to wander around the grounds, picnic and watch the fabulous productions unmasked…and then everything shut down again.
Following last year’s successful debut, The Vache Baroque Festival is back in 2021 for a full season of baroque delights in their charming, outdoor Chalfont St Giles venue. The season runs from 28 August to 5 September with a varied programme of opera, dance, drama and much more. There will also be a spring event on 29 May entitled Coffee Baroque, a coffee-themed event of witty music, poetry and refreshments at Milton’s Cottage, the home of visionary poet and political writer, John Milton.
Highlights include Bach and Milton: Paradise and Pandemonium, a dramatic reading of extracts from John Milton’s epic poems punctuated with the music of J.S. Bach, and two staged performances of Handel’s popular pastoral opera, Acis & Galatea. Along with the music will be the return of dance group BirdGang Ltd for an evening of contemporary dance to the sound of traditional baroque dance music.
If you haven’t been to an open-air performance before the drill is quite simple. The grounds at The Vache are open from mid to late afternoon depending on the performance so bring a picnic (hampers are also available to purchase online), enjoy a drink from the onsite bar and explore the beautiful gardens before the show starts. At The Vache, because everything is staged outdoors, if there’s a risk of rain, they will start a little earlier than planned. So arrive in plenty of time and make the most of it by relaxing in the grounds while you wait.
The festival dates for 2021 are as follows:
Bach and Milton: Paradise and Pandemonium – Saturday 28 August 2021 6.45 pm
Dance Suites featuring BirdGang Ltd – Monday 30 August 2021 6.30 pm
Acis & Galatea – Friday 3 and Sunday 5 September 2021 6.30 pm
To book tickets and for further information please visit the Vache Baroque Festival Website – Under 35 discounted tickets are available across all performances
Chalfont St. Giles,
Vache Baroque Festival runs a regular complimentary shuttle bus service from Chalfont & Latimer station for those who prefer not to drive
Don’t want to leave town? check out our preview of the Sadler’s Wells programme for Spring/Summer 2021