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Hampton Court Palace Festival 2008: Rufus Wainwright and Jools Holland on bill

Rufus Wainwright

Story by Jack Foley

A DIVERSE range of artists from the worlds of rock, pop, opera and classical music have been unveiled for the annual Hampton Court Palace Festival (2008).

Primary among this year’s line-up is Rufus Wainwright, regarded as one of the best singer-songwriters of his generation, as well as legendary jazz performers Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth, performing with acclaimed American jazz artist Curtis Stigers.

Ray Davies, frontman of the legendary British rock band The Kinks, is also playing, as is BBC Classical Star winner, Sophie Cashell.

The Festival also includes performances from Katherine Jenkins, Jools Holland, Buena Vista Social Club ™, Van Morrison, Michael Ball and Nicola Benedetti.

And the great performances are not confined to the stage this year…

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay will create an exclusive menu in association with Absolute Taste for Festival Hospitality and guests will dine in the Palace’s elegant State Apartments, while those who prefer to dine ‘al fresco’ can enjoy a delicious Carluccio’s picnic in the magnificent gardens of the Palace’s East Front.

The line-up is as follows (all 2008)…

Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 4, at 9pm
Rufus Wainwright – Solo, Up Close and Personal

Thursday, June 5, 7.30pm
Carmen in Concert featuring specially-created concert versions of Bizet’s tragic and romantic opera Carmen.

Friday, June 6, and Tuesday, June 17, 9pm
Katherine Jenkins, one of Britain’s favourite Opera singers

Saturday, June 7, 9pm
Curtis Stigers + Dame Cleo Laine + Sir John Dankworth

Tuesday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 11, 9pm
Jools Holland & his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis and special guest vocalist Marc Almond, as well as guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall

Thursday, June 12 and Friday, June 13, 9pm
Van Morrison

Saturday, June 14, 9pm
Michael Ball returns to Hampton Court in the midst of his extremely successful run in the hit West End production of Hairspray.

Wednesday, June 18, 9pm
Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club™ featuring special guest guitarist Eliades Ochoa.

Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20, 9pm
Ray Davies & 100 Musicians perform Kinks Classics and more.

Saturday, June 21, 7.30pm
Tchaikovsky Festival Finale featuring Nicola Benedetti and Sophie Cashell