Welcome to The Vache Baroque Festival, a fresh and forward looking organisation bringing audiences world-class Baroque music in a stunning setting. Just a stone’s throw from London, performances are held in the grounds of The Vache, an historic stately home located in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
For the inaugural Vache Baroque Festival in September 2020, Henry Purcell’s opera Dido & Aeneas played to two sell-out audiences and in early 2021, Vache Baroque became a registered charity.
With the support of our founding VBFriends, 2021 was a successful and event-filled year, featuring: Coffee Baroque, immersive performances of Bach’s comic mini-opera about coffee addiction; Paradise & Pandemonium, a dramatic rendition of Milton’s epic poetry interwoven with monumental Bach cantatas; Acis & Galatea, an exuberant, critically-acclaimed production of Handel’s tragicomic opera; and Purcell Reimagined, a competition for young composers and arrangers.
VBF believes high-quality productions of Baroque music and drama should be open to everyone. By combining contemporary artistic disciplines in performance and having pop-ups and installations away from the stage beforehand, we aim to produce vibrant events that will inform, challenge, and entertain both new and seasoned audiences. These events will be a platform for emerging artists to play, sing, dance, act, design, and create alongside some of the industry’s leading lights and to tell old stories in modern ways.
By observing and questioning the traditional access to classical music culture, we hope to nurture a sense of belonging for all our artists and audience members, regardless of age, race, financial position, or experience of music. Via the gateway of the Baroque era, we want to introduce young people to the joy of live classical music and its many benefits, to inspire their creativity, and to invite them to build bridges between our past and present.
Last Summer, our education programme comprised: a children’s choir who performed in our Bach cantatas programme alongside actors Simon Callow CBE, Evelyn Miller and Ukweli Roach; sound installations by local school children; and a scheme for Young Artist singers comprising a masterclass day, mentoring and side-by-side performance opportunities.
We also invited individuals and community groups to apply for a complimentary ticket ballot to see our opera dress rehearsal. Please see our Community page to find out more.
We have ambitious plans to grow both the festival and our education and outreach programme further. As a charity, all of our income goes straight back into our activities, so the more funding we have, the more work we can do. If you are in the position to support us, please do consider joining our membership scheme VBFriends.
“I am delighted to be Patron of Vache Baroque. It caught my imagination. First of all, the venue is wonderful; on a Summer’s night, those trees, the building – it’s got a certain magic about it. But also, there’s a wonderful atmosphere of youth and enthusiasm. There are some excellent
opportunities for young performers, which as we all know is so important at this difficult time.”
James Bowman CBE
Baroque music pioneer and world-leading countertenor
OUR BOARD & TEAM
Vache Baroque is growing! We’re thrilled to have appointed four additional trustees, a board observer, and four new team members in 2022.
James Bowman CBE
Chair of Trustees
Appearing in the Domesday accounts under the name ‘Vacca’, the beautiful Vache estate in Buckinghamshire has enjoyed a rich history.
The home of the Fleetwoods from the mid-16th century, George Fleetwood, who lived there from 1628-1660, is most famous for acting as one of the regicides for King Charles I, and on the restoration of Charles II was sentenced to death. The Vache was consequently confiscated and given to the then Duke of York, the future King James II.
The estate was later owned by Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser, a naval officer who was a close friend of James Cook. On Cook’s death, Palliser erected a monument to his memory within the grounds and it stands to this day, offering a wonderful view of the surrounding woodland.