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Ian France – (Music Appreciation: Opera & Classical)


Former Head of Music at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith. Celebrated Lecturer in music on the adult circuit

Ian describes himself as “forever lost in a sea of 19th-century Romanticism!” so he lectures on topics such as Bruckner symphonies, Richard Strauss Tone Poems, Mahler Symphonies, Puccini,Verdi and Wagner operas, etc.



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“Ian’s amazing enthusiasm was very infectious, enjoyed his entertaining manner and tremendous knowledge”
“Many thanks for a lovely course on Tchaikovsky. It was such an interesting and stimulating course well prepared with professional expertise .. quite special and inspiring…. we are following it up at home now listening to the symphonies again.  Also thank you for lovely food all the time.”
“1st class lecturer”
“Very enjoyable and informative course with well-prepared hand out sheets.”
“Excellent – exactly what I wanted and more than I hoped. Tutor passionate, knowledgeable, but able to engage us with a light touch.”
“Mr France is an excellent lecturer.”
“Friendly and approachable tutor.”
“Relaxed and informative. Delightful.”
“Ian is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic.”
“Ian France is a definite “good find”. I thoroughly enjoyed his delivery, style, content and enthusiasm. I look forward to attending another course run by Ian.”
“Liked the balance of humour and seriousness in the way the course was presented.”
“Very informative and enjoyable. Ian was extremely well prepared and knowledgeable and presented the material in a very accessible and fun way.”
“Excellent tutor.”
“Undoubtedly the best of the previous 47 attended. A versatile presentation and one to be remembered. The best lecturer I have ever come across. Beautiful baritone, conductor, pianist, ab libs – well balanced.”
“I was passionate about Puccini before I came but now am even more! Wonderful! 1st Class lecturer.”
“Ian so knowledgeable and entertaining and enthusiastic.”
“Ian spoke with enthusiasm and knowledge. He was lively and entertaining. We hope he continues to do course at Higham hall for many years.”
“Very good in both content and presentation.”
“Ian’s amazing enthusiasm was very infectious, enjoyed his very entertaining manner and tremendous knowledge. Its been a great experience. Best tutor we’ve had at Higham.”
“Absolutely first class! Well prepared and most entertaining and interesting.”
“Excellent – Ian is an inspiring lecturer.”
“Wonderful weekend – lovely manner – telling the story with humour. Engaging with the course members while still keeping to the schedule to finish on time. It is always a joy to have someone share their knowledge and love of a subject thank you Ian for showing the Ring Cycle and so passionately.”
“Wonderfully presented – please let us have more of Ian France.””Thank you so much for the wonderful course at the beginning of the week – your breadth and depth of musical knowledge is extraordinary, plus excellent handouts and lovely humorous presentation. I find these symphonies, of which I had only heard two, very moving and am listening to all again with your notes in front of me.””Thanks for the intense and powerful course and for asking how “Brucknered” I was by the end-a new descriptive word for me, which I rather like-I was well and truly that!!”

“A great course, great visit – as usual. Food excellent as always. Staff pleasant and helpful as always.”

“As usual, Ian’s music has been wonderful. He brings music to life! Facilities are excellent, staff are so helpful and happy.”

“Mention must be made of the heart-breaking choral section of the Mahler Resurrection. You set the scene, the atmosphere in the room was electric as we waited for “the moment”-it”


December 2020


December 8th at 18:30 to December 10th at 13:30
Higham Hall College, Bassenthwaite Lake
Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9SH United Kingdom

Scarpia and the Te Deum from Tosca, Leonora despairing in the Miserere from Il Trovatore, Octavian presenting the silver rose in Der Rosenkavalier and Brunnhilde riding into the flames at the end of Wagner’s Ring stick in the mind visually and musically. Ian France (www.highamhall.com/ian-france) Residential: £238 Non-residential: £169

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January 2021


Friday January 15, 2021 at 18:30 to Sunday January 17, 2021 at 13:30
Higham Hall College, Bassenthwaite Lake
Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9SH United Kingdom

Liszt invented the idea of a one movement orchestral piece depicting a poem, painting or story. Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Berlioz had created the background and many composers followed Liszt’s example with much-loved showpieces, including Smetana, Sibelius and R.Strauss. Ian France (www.highamhall.com/ian-france) Residential: £238 Non-residential: £169

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February 2021


Sunday February 14, 2021 at 18:30 to Tuesday February 16, 2021 at 13:30
Higham Hall College, Bassenthwaite Lake
Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9SH United Kingdom

Symphony No. 4 by Brahms is the summation of his writing. Dvořàk’s 9th is his best-known work, From the New World. Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique, 6th Symphony - in Russian the word means passionate or emotional. Mahler’s ever-fresh 1st concludes our journey. Ian France (www.highamhall.com/ian-france) IAN Residential: £238 Non-residential: £169

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