Celtic concert at Castleton with Barnes & Hampton

Barns Celtic quartet

Celtic musicians Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton perform springtime-inspired selections at the Castleton Theatre House on Saturday, May 26, at 4 p.m.

Renowned Celtic musicians Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton will perform their “Spring Celtic Consort” Saturday, May 26, at 4 p.m., at Castleton.

Joined by WETA television and radio personality Robert Aubry Davis and musicians Joseph Cunliffe, wind instrumentalist, and Steve Bloom, world-renowned percussionist, the Castleton in Performance (CiP) concert series welcomes back the Washington-area duet, who will perform music from 16th-century France, Celtic Ireland, Scotland, and Galician Spain, as well as John Hurt’s Mississippi Blues and the Consort’s own compositions. Local actors will be featured in the premier dramatization of English 19th-century poet John Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci, created and scored by Barnes. Other players will include locals David and Edie Tatel, Bill Walton and Al Regnery. Davis and famed DC based actor and CiP alum John Lescault will be featured reading poetry celebrating the glories of the spring season in Ireland, England, and America. The Celtic Consort has been described by The Washington Post as “a Washington institution. With a musical partnership spanning four decades, the Barnes and Hampton Celtic Consort offers a rare combination of styles and instrumentation. Tickets for this CiP concert range from $20 to $40, and the performance will be held in the Theatre House at Castleton (663 Castleton View Road, Castleton, Va.), an intimate, state-of-the-art 140-seat proscenium theatre. Call Connie Payne at 540-937-3454 for more information and visit www.CastletonFestival.org to purchase tickets.

Barnes and Hampton began performing and recording as duo-lutenists playing 16th-century Renaissance court music. Later, inspired by the 18th-century Irish composer Turlough O’Carolan, their musical interests moved toward Celtic compositions, proving the need for a broader range of instrumentation—Hampton focusing exclusively on a variety of nylon and wire-strung Celtic harps, and Barnes focusing on an assortment of steel-stringed instruments, including the guitar, harp-guitar, and cittern. Barnes also plays the Irish (Uillean) pipes.

Barnes and Hampton are regulars on the Washington, D.C. music scene. For 35 years, they have been part of the acclaimed Dumbarton Concert series in Georgetown, famously performing their annual holiday program, “A Celtic Christmas,” now on CD through Oak Leaf Records. They have appeared at the Kennedy Center, the Folger Shakespearean Library, the Smithsonian Institution, many of the Washington Embassy series, and have held extensive performances at colleges and universities on the East Coast. They have made five successful European concert tours, which included 1988, 1990, and 1996 appearances at the prestigious Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient, Brittany, France. Barnes and Hampton have made frequent appearances on both Washington and national radio and television.

Robert Aubry Davis, television and radio personality, is a native Washingtonian and an active member of the area’s cultural community.  Davis is the creator and host of “Millennium of Music,” a program dedicated to music from the thousand years before Bach. The program now in its 39th season, is carried by more than 120 public radio  stations nationwide, internationally, and on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. He has been host and moderator of WETA TV’s Emmy Award-winning weekly arts discussion program, “Around Town,” since its inception in 1986. Davis can also be heard on SiriusXM’s classical music channel. In 2011 and 2012 he performed as Edna Turnbad in John Waters’ Hairspray with Signature Theatre, which won the Helen Hayes Award for Best Ensemble. Robert has been awarded knighthoods by the Republic of France and the Kingdom of Belgium for service to the arts; and in was recently named a Knight of the Order of the Lion by the Republic of Finland. Davis graduated with a degree in literature and art history from Duke University and American University.

Lescault recently appeared in Galileo’s Torch at the Folger and has played Tecumseh Sherman in Reston’s Sherman the Peacemaker at Stone Hill. Lescault has also performed at the Kennedy Center, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Lincoln Center in New York, and in numerous plays throughout the Washington, D.C., region, including at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Folger Theatre, Arena Stage, and Ford’s Theatre. Lescault has been a narrator of audiobooks for the Talking Books Program for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress since 1992.

“We love having Linn and Allison perform, so it’s a treat to have them here for a special springtime Celtic celebration and Linn has decided, after a 5 year hiatus, to play the Uilleann (Irish) pipes on the Castleton stage again. This marvelous instrument captures the Celtic spirit like nothing else.,” said Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel.” In 1997, she and her husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, created the Castleton Theatre House, one of the most exquisite performance spaces in the world. “Having Davis and Lescault perform the literary works will only enhance the musical selections,” she said.

Castleton is ideally suited for a weekend trip and a variety of accommodations are available on the idyllic grounds of Castleton Farms. Cottage and home rates begin at $100/night and include access to amenities such as the spa (large heated lap pool, Turkish steam room, Finnish sauna), petting zoo, six miles of hiking trails, and tennis courts. To inquire about booking, please contact Connie Payne at 540.577.8820 or castletonfarmretreat@gmail.com.

The grounds of Castleton Farms have been home to a prestigious performance series since 1997, when the late Maestro Lorin Maazel inaugurated the Theatre House, a “mini-Globe” European-style pocket theatre with unparalleled acoustics. Since then, CiP has given audiences in Rappahannock County multicultural experiences of the highest caliber bringing internationally acclaimed artists into our own backyard. Artists have included Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, José Carreras, Emanuel Ax, Sir James Galway, Gil Shaham, the Paris Piano Trio, Mariachi Los Camperos Group, Chinese traditional soloists Wu Man and Ma Xiaohui, classical guitarists Pepe Romero and Berta Rojas, Indian dance companies, and famous actors such as Alec Baldwin and Claire Bloom.

In 2009 Maestro Maazel and his wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel established the Castleton Festival, a combination of music festival and summer academy for young artists. During this period, Dietlinde developed a wildly popular acting training studio for opera singers. Ranked by The New York Times as one of the top 10 festivals in the country, the Castleton Festival formed an educational partnership with Wynton Marsalis, his Summer Jazz Academy, in 2015. The monthly CiP (Castleton in Performance) events continue throughout the year as well as the Educational Community Outreach programming that furthers Castleton’s mission of nurturing the arts in the lives of children through in-school programs.

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