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A look ahead to the 2018 Buxton International Festival

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 July 2018

Buxton Opera House Photo: Richard Hubert-Smith

Buxton Opera House Photo: Richard Hubert-Smith


Buxton International Festival returns from 6th to 22nd July, promising a vibrant mix of opera, music and books.

A packed programme of over 120 events is set to delight and inspire visitors to this year’s Buxton International Festival.

In the penultimate year before the 40th anniversary celebrations in 2019, there will be visits from world-renowned performers, musicians and authors, plus the popular Festival Fringe combining over 150 events including theatre, comedy, music, film and exhibitions.


The Festival presents two new opera productions for 2018: the first major UK staged production of Verdi’s Alzira; and a new production of Mozart’s Idomeneo. These will be complemented by co-productions with Opera della Luna of a modern update of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment and Italian Baroque specialists La Serenissima in a concert staging of Tisbe by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello.

Proceedings will open in style at a Gala Evening in association with Buxton Opera House and Opera North, who will bring members of their Chorus to present an evening of music from the world of operetta, classic musicals and cabaret, hosted by Lesley Garrett.


Alongside a dynamic programme of classical artists including pianists Christian Blackshaw, Joanna MacGregor and Stephen Kovacevich, flautist Ashley Solomon and local violinist Lizzie Ball, there will be performances from the popular Fitzwilliam and Consone Quartets, the Fibonacci Sequence, and horn and piano duo Alexei Watkins and BBC Young Composer of the Year Alex Woolf. Rising stars on the classical music scene – Kathryn Rudge, Ashley Riches and Jennifer Davis – will be joined by established names such as Roderick Williams and Lucy Schaufer.


A highlight of the Books Series, which covers history, politics, economics, sport and nature, is a new Debates Series. ‘Perspectives’ – six debates which seek to revive the spirit of the revolutionary Georgian Coffee House, curated by historian Peter Hennessy in association with the British Academy – will feature speakers including David Cannadine, Sarah Churchwell, David Runciman and Alison Weir.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the UK, Dr Helen Pankhurst, Jenni Murray and Shirley Williams will talk about women in society, in conversation with Dame Janet Smith.

For history enthusiasts, presenter and broadcaster John Suchet talks about Giuseppe Verdi; Charles Spencer reveals the escape story of his ancestor King Charles II; and Nicholas Shakespeare discusses Churchill. Tony Robinson will ponder the nation’s view of archaeology; actor Terence Stamp deliberates on his memoirs; Lucy Fleming recounts the wartime letters between her mother, Brief Encounter actress Celia Johnson, and her father, Peter Fleming (brother of author Ian); and David Conn lifts the lid on FIFA’s extraordinary history.

For full details visit For Festival Fringe see

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