Thursday, August 09, 2007

Grand Opening of the 16th Anniversary Saint Hill International Arts Festival

Festival Opens with Traditional Classical Concert

On Sunday, 5th August, the Grand Opening of this year’s Saint Hill International Arts Festival took place at Saint Hill Manor, home of author L. Ron Hubbard. The Festival, now in its 16th year, has attracted participants from all over the world and Liz Ostermann welcomed the 250 guests on behalf of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation and introduced the speakers.

From left to right: Liz Ostermann from the L. Ron
Hubbard Foundation, Janet Dixon, Mayoress of East
Grinstead, Ian Dixon, Mayor of East Grinstead, Sheila
Gaiman, Festival Executive Producer and Grammy
Award winner Robin Hogarth, President of the Festival.

The President of the Festival, Robin Hogarth, himself a Grammy-winning musician in recent months, spoke of the inspiration that the Festival has sparked in artists over the last 16 years, quoting in Mr. Hubbard's own words, "a culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists."

Then Festival Executive Producer, Mrs. Sheila Gaiman, read out special messages from Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, and Priscilla Presley, both wishing the Festival the very best of success and encouraging each and every artist to persist in their goals.

Finally, the Mayor of East Grinstead Councillor Ian Dixon spoke about the importance that the arts plays in our lives and stated how much this was reflected in our own local town.

Sue Harvey and Marion Shuster – piano and soprano

Following the Grand Opening, was the traditional concert, in which Judy Norton acted as Master of Ceremonies (better known as Mary Ellen in “The Waltons”) as well as performing a medley from Jerome Kern’s “Show Boat.”

Georgina Roberts and Robbie Scandrett performing
an extract from Chekhov’s “The Proposal”

One of the most popular performers of the evening was the internationally acclaimed concert pianist Mario Feninger, who has played many times at the Wigmore Hall in London and whom the New York Times described as a "powerhouse virtuoso". He performed pieces by Chopin and treated the audience to many anecdotes on the composer’s life.

Judy Norton, actress, singer and the concert's Master of Ceremonies

Other performers included local artistes Marion Shuster and Sue Harvey – soprano and piano; Georgina Roberts, Brendan Zimmatore and Robbie Scandrett’s extract from Chekhov’s “The Proposal” and Barbara Lanik’s dance of “Lyrical Inspiration”.

Mario Feninger, Piano Virtuoso

The “Classical Night” was the first part of week-long Festival, which will include a variety of workshops and master classes in song, drama, film and dance, open to participants of all ages.

For more information, contact:

Liz Ostermann
The L. Ron Hubbard Foundation
Saint Hill Manor
Saint Hill Green
East Grinstead
West Sussex
RH19 4JY

01342 326711

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