POET Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is to visit Ryedale this summer to perform in the annual Ryedale Festival, which will also include a rare public performance by the monks of Ampleforth Abbey and five world premieres of specially commissioned works.

The festival runs from Friday, July 11 to Sunday, July 27 and the line up of events has now been announced.

For the first time this year concerts will take place in Scarborough, as well as local churches and theatres, and long standing festival venues like Castle Howard, which will host a triple concert.

The three contrasting concerts, each around 45 minutes long, will be performed three times in a rolling programme at three different venues in the house as the audience rotates around the three.

The centenary of the start of the First World War will also be honoured with a war theme running through the festival with four new works inspired by the war, and a talk by author Lucy Beckett about her new novel, set during the two world wars.

Among the commissioned works is a piece by 21 year old Pickering student Joseph Howard, and a 'Your Ever Loving Son Jack,' a unique musical portrait of the war written by Joshua Ellicot, based on the letters home written by his great uncle Jack who signed up to fight at the age of 19 in 1915.

Once again the festival will present an opera, this year Monteverdi’s opera The Coronation of Poppea performed in Ampleforth College theatre as part of the Italian theme, which will also include a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and an Italian music day at St Mary’s Priory Church in Old Malton.

Alongside dozens of musical performances will be some literary events, with a reading of her own work by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy in Easingwold's Galtres Centre.

She will be joined by long standing collaborator, the multi-instrumentalist John Sampson.

Poet Wendy Cope will also give a reading, and the innovative theatre company Box Tale Soup present a family puppet performance of Alice in Wonderland in Pickering Kirk's Theatre.

Programme information and tickets are available at www.ryedalefestival.com, or by contacting tickets@ryedalefestival.co.uk or 01751 475777.