Three new operas at Buxton Festival

Published: 22 February 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Taking risks and entertaining”: Buxton International Festival

Three new opera productions are among the highlights of Buxton International Festival 2023 which will feature more than 120 events over 17 days in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District.

Two of them will be Buxton International Festival productions with the Northern Chamber Orchestra. Vincenzo Bellini’s La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker), Bellini’s “first great masterpiece”, is in two acts and tells of jilted love, jealousy and innocence rewarded. It will run in Buxton Opera House from Saturday 8 until Saturday 22 July. Mozart’s Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) will be staged in the Opera House from Sunday 9 until Thursday 20 July.

G F Handel’s baroque opera seria Orlando will be performed by Liberata Collective and Ensemble Hesperi. One of three Handel operas based on Ludovico Ariosto’s poem “Orlando Furioso”, Orlando premièred at the King’s Theatre, London in 1722 and is considered a masterpiece. It will be performed in the Pavilion Arts Centre on Monday 10, Friday 14 and Friday 21 July.

As previously announced, Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre are behind a new musical which is loosely based on the early life of Buxton’s pioneering feminist and pacifist Vera Brittain. The Land of Might-Have-Been premières at Buxton from Friday 7 until Friday 21 July.

Adrian Kelly, BIF’s artistic director, said, “Buxton International Festival has firmly established itself in the cultural calendar. It’s an unapologetically ambitious, creative and accessible festival that takes risks and entertains. This year will be no different—bold, brave and back in full technicolour.”

Chief executive Michael Williams added, “it’s a stop-in-your-tracks, shout-from-the-rooftops festival this year. It’s full to the brim with daring and excellence. We reach for the stars in Buxton, make no mistake.”

Further details are available at the Buxton International Festival web site.

    Related listings

  • The Land Of Might-Have-Been - Book and lyrics by Michael Williams, music by Ivor Novello (Buxton International Festival and Norwich Theatre)