Open Air Concerts
2006 – José Carreras & Jools Holland
In 2006, Holkham welcomed international stars José Carreras and Jools Holland to the Park for our first-ever weekend of open-air concerts, when thousands flocked to the stunning Deer Park in front of the 18th century Hall.
Lord Leicester’s son, Viscount Coke, who took over the running of the estate in October 2005, opened the gates of his Palladian family home for the picnic-style concerts, by arrangement with Stately Home Tours.
Lord Coke commented: “We were so excited about these first concerts at Holkham. To have secured two such famous performers in our first year, was a real coup; and the Park in front of the Hall was perfect for these events as it is a natural amphitheatre.”
The concerts were a resounding success for Holkham, when the Deer Park came alive with music. It was the first time that a tenor of José Carreras’s calibre had performed in Norfolk. After the concert, José, whose performance was supported by up-and-coming soprano Kate Royal, said that he had been delighted to sing at Holkham, and to such a responsive audience.
Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Band, accompanied by Sam Brown and Ruby Turner, entertained the crowds on the second night. The former Squeeze front man turned TV presenter soon got the audience on their feet at the front of the stage.
The climax to both evenings was a fantastic firework finale. Judging by the comments we received, this was perhaps the best firework display Norfolk has seen- fishermen even said it looked good from out at sea!
The two evenings were very different, but both delivered an immense amount of enjoyment for big audiences.