Bampton Classical Opera


Deanery Garden, Bampton

Friday & Saturday, 7.30pm

Tickets: 01993 851142 or www.bamptonopera.org

Always a highlight of the summer, Bampton Classical Opera is back with another resurrected 18thcentury masterpiece, this time the two-act opera buffa Bride & Gloom (Gli sposi malcontenti) by English composer Stephen Storace and librettist Gaetano Brunati. The plot is a web of deceit, intrigue and marital disharmony, and clearly influenced Mozart when he came to write Cosi fan tutte and Marriage of Figaro. 

Sadly, it looks as though rain is going to force Friday’s performance into the church, where it will be semi-staged, but don’t let that put you off – and don’t forget your picnic!

Charivari Agréable


Exeter College Chapel

Friday, 8pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Summer wouldn’t be complete in Oxford without Charivari Agréable’s candlelit concerts in the glorious setting of Exeter College Chapel.

Kah-Ming Ng is at Exeter College Chapel

Tonight you can catch the group’s founder and director, Kah-Ming Ng, in a recital of Italian harpsichord music from Lisbon to London, featuring works by Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Storace, Paradisi and more.

The festival continues to 18thAugust with a variety of themed concerts; visit www.charivari.co.ukfor full details.

Oxford Coffee Concerts


Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 11.15am

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

The Oxford Coffee Concert series – which was founded in 1986 – continues to bring some of the UK’s finest musicians to the city. This Sunday’s recital is a particular treat, with the Adderbury Ensemble being joined by outstanding pianist Viv McLean. The programme includes Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat major, op.44and Dvorak’s Sonatina, op.100.Treat yourself to a pre-concert coffee (included in the ticket price) at The Vaults and Garden Café from 9am or The King’s Arms from 10.30am.

You can catch Viv again in the evening at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Deddington, in a recital of piano music by Beethoven, Ravel and Chopin. Tickets are again from TicketsOxford, and the concert starts at 7pm.

Opera Anywhere


Cherwell Boathouse

Sunday, 5pm

Tickets: www.operaanywhere.com

For a summery operatic treat with a difference, join Opera Anywhere for their unique Opera on Punts. After an opening show at Cherwell Boathouse, climb aboard a punt and enjoy some more opera along the river, followed by a picnic and another dose of opera at the University Parks before returning to the Boathouse. Picnics need to be booked by Saturday 12 noon at the latest. Visit Opera Anywhere’s website for full details.

Cathedral Singers of Christ Church Oxford


Christ Church Cathedral

Sunday, 8pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

James Morley Potter conducts a lovely programme featuring works by composers with Oxford connections. These include anthems by the early 17thcentury composer Thomas Weelkes, who studied at New College, and Edward Bairstow, an organ scholar at Balliol in the late 19thcentury. There are also contemporary works by James Whitbourn and Howard Goodall. The ticket price includes a glass of wine in the interval. 

Jack Gibbons, Piano


Holywell Music Room

Sunday, 8pm

Tickets: 01865 305305 or www.ticketsoxford.com

Always popular in Oxford, pianist Jack Gibbons is back for an incredible 32ndseason at the Holywell, his favourite stomping ground.

Jack Gibbons and his Musical Menagerie

This fun programme of animal-inspired music includes Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf(with narration), Chopin’s Waltz in F Op.34 No.3 (‘Cat Waltz’), Gershwin’s Walking the Dog, Saint-Saens’ The Swanand more. Tickets for Jack’s concerts always get snapped up quickly, so don’t delay – and turn up early if you want a good seat! There are four more concerts coming up, ending on 14thAugust with Jack’s traditional Farewell Piano Party. Visit www.jackgibbons.comfor full details.

By Nicola Lisle – classical music specialist and writer