Roman River Festival Line-Up

Starring over 80 world-class performers, Roman River Music presents a spectacular array of theatre, talks, music and debates, throughout a fun filled 10-day festival – taking place within unusual buildings across Colchester and the surrounding areas, between Thursday 20th and Sunday 30th September 2018.

This year, the festival will begin with charm and the white-tie elegance of vintage Hollywood, as the superlative Alex Mendham and his Orchestra takes the stage at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester; showcasing classics from the 1920’s, including, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Rodgers & Hart. This Roman River Music @ the Mercury series concert is a fantastic way to kick off the Roman River Festival!

Throughout the 10-day festival, there will be a variety of concerts and workshops for everyone – even the children! Come along and help Gerald find his own special music with Vanessa King and her musical friends, during Giraffes Can’t Dance on 21st September. Or why not visit the family workshop the following day and get creative with our Festival Artist, Julie Cuthbert.

On the evening of Saturday 22nd September, a truly rare opportunity has arisen; within the beautiful surroundings of St. Martins Church in Colchester. Seckou Keita, one of the world’s leading Kora players will be performing in the Roman River Festival 2018. Come and experience the master of Kora at work!

During the festival, Nika Gorič, a rising star soprano, will be flying in from Slovenia to join us for two concerts this year; Opera Arias and Elgar Cello Concerto. Get ready for an evening of dazzling Opera Arias on Tuesday 25th; including Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, and Handel.

On Friday 28th, Nika will join forces with Orlando Jopling and the festival orchestra to sing the radiant solo part in Mahler’s 4th symphony. Stunning young cellist Jamal Aliyev will be performing Elgar’s heartfelt cello concerto in the same concert.

A thrilling opportunity has emerged ready for this year’s festival – our first ever Wagner. Our Artistic Director, Orlando Jopling, will be conducting the spectacular orchestral highlights from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung; following the tale of the downfall of the old world order. Come and join us for this unforgettable performance in Stoke-by-Nayland on Saturday 29th September.

The festival will be showcasing extremely talented, young musicians, alongside world-class professional musicians to end this year’s festival on a high! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the wonders of theatre, music and debates throughout this year’s festival.

The 2018 Roman River Festival – a festival for everyone. Tickets can be purchased online at:, plus you can find the full line-up.