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Buxton Festival 2015 - mini events guide

PUBLISHED: 16:54 03 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:55 03 July 2015

Buxton Opera House  Photo: Pure Buxton

Buxton Opera House Photo: Pure Buxton


Buxton’s internationally-renowned celebration of opera, music and literature (10th-26th July 2015) promises an exciting programme of events, with visits from some of the world’s finest musicians, performers and authors

Eleanor Turner Eleanor Turner

This year’s music series features 36 concerts from award-winning and internationally renowned singers and musicians performing in Buxton Opera House, the Pavilion Arts Centre, St John’s Church and the Pavilion Café.

The most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, the English Chamber Orchestra will perform much loved pieces by Mozart and Tchaikovsky on the opening night in the Opera House. Singers with international profiles including Roderick Williams (star of the Last Night Of the Proms in 2014), sopranos Soraya Mafi, Rosalind Coad and Gillian Keith and tenor Ben Johnson will perform work from a wide range of composers.

Audiences can also experience performances from ensembles including the Halle Soloists, Schubert Ensemble, Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Elias String Quartet and Inner City Brass. Festival favorites La Serenissima will perform The Four Seasons featuring parts which were hand-written by Vivaldi’s father and housed in the Henry Watson Library, Manchester.

The festival fetaures international award-winning pianists Stephen Hough and Mei Yi Foo as well as up and coming talent Eudald Buch, Samson Tsoy and Pavel Kolesnikov, who will perform pieces from many composers including Rachaminov, Bach and Debussy.

Kathy Lette Photo: Nicky JohnstoneKathy Lette Photo: Nicky Johnstone

The packed programme also includes Huddersfield Choral Society and jazz from the Alex Yellowlees Band, James Pearson Trio featuring Lizzie Ball, Chetham’s Jazz Ensemble and BBC One Show favourite Jay Rayner, who will entertain in late night shows in the Pavilion Café.

Always a highlight, this year’s literary programme features over 40 fascinating talks from best-selling and award-winning authors, personalities, historical, artistic, poilitical and musical experts.

Speakers including Antonia Fraser, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, William Waldegrave, Miriam Margolyes and Bill Oddie will appear at this year’s festival alongside best selling authors including Helen Macdonald, Louis De Bernieres, Penny Junor and Henry Marsh.

Special anniversaries for 2015 including the 150 Anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, 800-year anniversary of Magna Carta and 200-year anniversary of The Battle of Waterloo, will be explored in fascinating talks by Robert Douglas–Fairhurst, Marc Morris and David Crane.

Experts on historial figures will also share their research. AN Wilson presents a portrait of Queen Victoria, Andrew Robert shares his studies on Napoleon and Helen Castor explores the gripping life of Joan of Arc.

Hilarious novelist Kathy Lette is joined on the Opera House stage on Sunday 19th July by popular actress and author Maureen Lipman and TV stars Meera Syal and Ronni Ancona in a free-wheeling evening about their lives and careers.

The Festival will end with a Literary Lunch on Sunday 26th July at the Old Hall Hotel. Acclaimed author Kate Mosse, BBC Foreign Reporter and historian Jonathan Fryer and Restaurater and renowned cookery book author Prue Leith will entertain guests after a three course meal.

For further details on the packed programme visit or call 01298 70395 for details. For Fringe events visit

Festival Programme


11, 14, 17, 21, 24 Giovanna d’Arco

12, 15, 18, 22, 25 Lucia di Lammermoor

16, 19, 23 Louise

13, 20 Dido and Aeneas

21, 23 Scenes from Operas 2pm


10 English Chamber Orchestra 7.30pm

11 Soraya Mafi & Ian Tindale 12pm

11 The Alex Yellowlees Band 9pm

12 Roderick Williams & Susie Allan 12.15pm

12 The Schubert Ensemble 4pm

13 Eudald Buch 12pm

13 Maria Camahort Quintet 3.30pm

14 Members of The English Concert with Mary Bevan 12pm

14 Fitzwilliam String Quartet 3.30pm

15 Samson Tsoy & Pavel Kolesnikov 12.15pm

15 Sarah-Jane Lewis, Gareth Brynmor John & Simon Lepper 3.15pm

16 James McOran-Campbell & James Southall 12pm

16 Organ recital 5pm

16-17 The James Pearson Trio featuring Lizzie Ball 9pm

17 Mei Yi Foo 12pm

17 Eleanor Turner 3.15pm

18 Lutes & Ukes 12pm

18 Lucy Russell & John Butt 3.30pm

18 Chetham’s Jazz Ensemble 9pm

19 Ben Johnson & Sebastian Wybrew 12.15pm

19 Huddersfield Choral Society 7.30pm

20-21 Hallé Soloists 12pm

20 Rosalind Coad & Gregory Drott 3.30pm

22 Benjamin Baker & Robert Thompson 12.15pm

22 La Serenissima 7.30pm

23 Debussy and his Muse 12pm

23 Frith Piano Quartet 3.30pm

23 Organ Recital 5pm

23 The Jay Rayner Quartet 9pm

24 Stephen Hough 12pm

24 Laura Snowden 3.30pm

24 Another 100 Years of Jazz 9pm

25 Psappha 12pm

25 Inner City Brass 3.15pm

25 From Berlin to Bacharach 9pm

Talks and Literature

11 F Philip Holland 9am

11 A N Wilson 10.15am

11 Robert Douglas-Fairhurst 2pm

11 Selina Hastings 4pm

12 Andrew Roberts 10.15am

12 Poetry Writing Workshop 1pm

12 Claudia Renton 2pm

13 Sarah Quill 10.15am

13 Helen Macdonald 2pm

13 James Rebanks 4.45pm

14 Peter Hennessy 9am

14 Louis de Bernieres 10.15am

14 Richard Davenport-Hines 2pm

15 Jean Seaton 10.15am

15 Judith Flanders 2pm

15 Ferdinand Mount 5pm

16 Carole Hillenbrand 9am

16 Antonia Fraser 10.15am

16 Anne de Courcy 2pm

16 Masoud Banisadr 3.45pm

17 Peter Stanford 9am

17 Penny Junor 10.15am

17 Ken Howard and Harold Riley 2pm

17 Gordon Corera 4.30pm

18 Simon Rees 9am

18 Helen Castor 10.15 am

18 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor 2pm

19 Mark Bostridge 10.15am

19 Historical Fiction Workshop 1pm

20 William Waldegrave 10.15am

20 Christopher Frayling 2pm

20 Will Hutton 4.45pm

21 Peter Moore 9am

21 Anthony King 10.15am

21 Marc Morris 2pm

22 John Hemming 10.15am

23 Tony Little 9am

23 Robert Sackville-West 10.15am

23 Miriam Margoyles 2pm

24 Lewis Dartnell 9am

24 Sinclair McKay 10.15am

24 Matthew Dennison 2pm

25 Helen Mort 9am

25 Bill Oddie 10.15am

24 Henry Marsh 2pm

25 David Crane 4.30pm

26 The Oldie Literary Lunch ft Kate Mosse, Jonathan Fryer and Prue Leith 12pm

Other events

12, 17 Buxton: It’s Background & Beauty guided walk 10am

18, 19 Flying The Nest 3pm

19 Evening with Kathy Lette, Ronni Ancona, Maureen Lipman & Meera Syal 7.30pm

25, 26 The Magical Storytelling Yurt 10am


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