“ANGELS and Archangels” is the theme of this year’s Brecon Baroque Festival weekend organised by classical star violinist Rachel Podger starting next Friday October 19.

The divine, the maverick and the diabolical, will feature in five concerts with Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque, vocal ensemble VOCES8, The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments and lutenist James Bramley plus a pop-up café with live chamber music, Caffé Paradiso, Baroque dance events and guided walks in the Brecon Beacons National Park exploring the landscape that inspired 17th-century poet Henry Vaughan.

The opening Friday, October 19, includes Rachel and VOCES8 presenting “A Guardian Angel” at Brecon Cathedral, the current touring show which inspired this year’s festival theme.

“Inspired by the current tour I came up with the idea of angels as an overall theme for this year’s Festival. The music is gorgeous and broader than ever before at the Festival, ranging from Bach to a brand new work by Owain Park,” said Rachel

VOCES8 make their Festival debut joining Rachel and Brecon Baroque in this programme interweaving music for violin together with choral masterpieces by composers including Thomas Tallis, JS Bach, Heinrich von Biber, Nicola Matteis and a new work by Owain Park.

The Friday concert follows the opening Festival Evensong at the Cathedral with the Cathedral Choir, directed by Stephen Power at 6pm.

Saturday, October 20, includes the big evening concert at Theatr Brycheiniog, with Rachel and her multi awardwinning ensemble, Brecon Baroque, performing “Bach’s Angels” with VOCES8 including singers Zoe Brookshaw and Rachel Redmond (sopranos), Mark Chambers (counter-tenor), Thomas Herford (tenor) and Giles Underwood (bass). Music includes JS Bach’s Magnificat in D major and JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto for two violins.

Three outstanding young professionals Hannah Medlam (soprano), James Bramley (lute) and Kate Conway (viola da gamba) will be performing English devotional songs and Italian sacred music at 1pm at the Plough Chapel. and Caffe Paradiso stage a pop-up performance at The Muse between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

There will also be a Baroque Tea Dance with afternoon tea at the Subud Hall at 3pm with Peter Brock provided a free dance workshop in the hall earlier at 10am.

Events continue on the Sunday and Monday through to the closing “Archangelo Corelli and Other Angels” concert at Theatr Brycheiniog at 7pm on Monday, October 22, with the Festival Orchestra , the South Powys Youth Orchestra, and harpist Kathrine Thomas.

Following a complete sell-out for the last two years, visitors are advised to book early to avoid disappointment for this year’s events

For more information and bookings visit: www.breconbaroquefestival.com and www.theatrbrycheiniog.co.uk or call 01877 611622.

PICTURED is Rachel Podger with the VOCES8 vocal ensemble in a performance of “A Guardian Angel” which will be staged on Friday, October 19 as one of the openign events of this year’s Brecon Baroque Festival weekend,.