4 of the best: Outdoor concert venues

We’re getting very excited here at the Two Moors Festival, because it’s only a matter of two short, short weeks until our garden party gets under way – one of the most eagerly-anticipated spots on the Two Moors calendar (apart from our main two-week event in October, obviously). On June 23rd and 24th, lots of musicians will be coming down to Barkham for two days of classical fun and frolics in the sunshine (hopefully), giving impromptu performances to audiences on the croquet lawn and in the apple orchard.

To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of four of the best outdoor concert venues around the world. Take a look!

1) Burghley House, Lincolnshire

This Elizabethan house was built and designed between 1555 and 1587 by William Cecil, lord high treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I and is the perfect place for outdoor performances of all kinds. Nestled in beautiful parkland, Burghley House is home to several gardens, a deer park and a sculpture garden, so whether you’re interested in art, classical music or architecture and history, this is the estate for you. You might even recognise the grounds as they’ve certainly had more than their fair share of Hollywood moments, being used in Pride and Prejudice, The Da Vinci Code and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

What’s on: The Battle Proms, July 7th. A programme of Massenet, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky – played by the New English Concert Orchestra – is being put on. The mounted cavalry, the Blades Aerobatic Team and lots of fireworks will also wow crowds.

2) Red Rocks Park, Colorado

An outdoor concert at Red Rocks is really like no other – a completely unforgettable experience. This geologically-formed amphitheatre has no one to thank for its existence but Mother Nature, with the design consisting of Ship Rock and Creation Rock – two 300-ft monoliths that provide the perfect acoustics for any classical concert. In fact, at 6,450 ft above sea level, the amphitheatre is the only naturally-occurring acoustically perfect one of its kind in the world. Not only will you be able to enjoy your favourite classical pieces, you’ll also be able to indulge any historical interests you may have, since dinosaur tracks and fossil fragments of plesiousaurs, flying reptiles and the Mosasaurus can all be seen here. After you’ve got to grips with music and history, you can head off into the surrounding 868 acres of countryside, exploring the prairies and discovering the plants, bids and animals that can be found in both the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Could there be anything better?

What’s on: Symphony on the Rocks – The Music of John Williams, July 8th. The Colorado Symphony will play the music of American composer John Williams, featuring the scores from films including Harry Potter, ET, Indiana Jones and Star Wars.

3) The Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Many believe that Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt – home to the French and German cathedral, as well as the Concert House – is the most beautiful place to be found in Germany and, indeed, the whole of Europe. Originally called Lindenmarkt, it was built in 1688 and was later used to house the military and its horses, when it became known as the Gendarmenmarkt. The Concert House itself was built as a replacement for the National Theatre, but was later destroyed during World War II. It was initially preserved and restoration work was started in 1979.

What’s on: Classic Open Air, July 5th-9th. This festival has been running since 1992 and features some of the best modern, popular and classic pieces.

4) The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

If you’re looking for an outdoor concert venue that’s a breed apart from the typical park of a stately home, then the Minack Theatre in Cornwall should be right up your street. This world-famous open-air theatre was carved out of the granite cliffside in Porthcuno around 80 years ago, all thanks to one very determined woman – Rowena Cade. After the first world war, she built a house for herself and her family in Cornwall, which became the setting for various productions and performances. This helped form the idea of an open-air theatre in Rowena’s mind and in 1932 – after a lot of building work – the first performance at the Minack Theatre (Shakespeare’s The Tempest) was put on.

What’s on: Die Fledermaus, July 16th-20th. Surrey Opera returns to the Minack for the eighth time, bringing a new production by Alexander Hargreaves of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, with a contemporary twist.

Which is your favourite outdoor concert venue?


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