2017 Festival in Review

  • 32,000 tickets sold
  • Over 160 musicians and 46 singers employed
  • 3,000 young people in creative arts projects
  • Three unique in-house opera productions
  • Friends  membership of 2,500
  • 120 opera, music and book events
  • £3 million generated for the local economy

This season of Macbeth has been one of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences of my career. It’s so wonderful when every element of opera comes together with such energy and support for each performance.’ – Kate Ladner, Lady Macbeth

I had such a wonderful time at Buxton this year: cast, company, and crew were all an utter delight to work with. Everything I saw was just excellent’ – Bradley Smith, Albert Herring

Working on Macbeth in Buxton was one of the highlights of my career, and I’m so glad that the audiences (and critics) enjoyed it too!’ – Stephen Gadd, Macbeth

 

 

Macbeth

Sunday Times by Hugh Canning

“The youthful chorus, whether as witches or patriots, sang their socks off for him (Stephen Barlow).” “…Stephen Gadd, as Macbeth, made the most of his solo opportunities “Both Jung Soo Yun’s Macduff and Oleg Tsibulko’s Banquo sang their solos resonantly.”

Albert Herring

Seen and Heard International by Robert Farr

“…some outstanding interpretations and characterful singing…” “…Bradley Smith’s interpretation is a masterly vocal and acted portrayal.” “Sid and Nancy, the lover canoodlers who spike Albert’s drink, were exceptionally well matched with her vocal quality very much to the fore.”

Lucio Silla

Seen and Heard International

“First among female equals was Rebecca Bottone as Giunia, her long red hair giving her a startling beauty that obviously captivated Silla himself. She sang throughout with distinction…”

Macbeth

Manchester Theatre Awards by Robert Beale

“This was a real achievement by Buxton Festival 2017.” “…the work is so taut and economical in construction and style that it seems ideal for the intimacy of Matcham’s opera house.” “…in festival artistic director Stephen Barlow an equally gifted Verdi conductor.” “The musical drama and the characterization of the central couple were both very… Read more »

Albert Herring

Notes From Middle England by Chris Ramsden

“Last night it opened at the Buxton Festival, in a performance to which I will give five stars.” “The casting is just right, with an impressive array of voices.”

Lucio Silla

Bernard Lee Music

“For a predominantly young cast, the singing is extremely accomplished and delivered with considerable confidence no matter how technically difficult.” “Fflur Wyn sings with great vocal beauty…” “Czech soprano Karolina Plickovcá, and … New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard…. have superbly sound vocal techniques. Coloratura runs are fearlessly and faultlessly delivered as is all they do… Read more »

Macbeth

Buxton Advertiser by Mavis Kirkham

“The music is wonderful, from the chilling scene setting of the overture through the dark and varied musical encounters which follow. In this production every aspect lives up to the music.” “The singing and acting are impressive throughout. Stephen Gadd’s baritone is just right for the title role and Kate Ladner is cold and powerful… Read more »

Albert Herring

Bernard Lee Music

“It is little short of magnificent and entirely merited the exuberant reception at the end!” “The whole cast is thoroughly engaging and turn in a wonderful ensemble performance” “Yvonne Howard, in excellent voice, is a suitably formidable Lady Billows and Lucy Schaufer.” “Also vocally impressive is Morgan Pearse as Sid, a well-focussed light baritone with… Read more »

Lucio Silla

Planet Hugill by Robert Hugill

**** “A young cast make light of the astonishing technical feats required of them in Mozart’s teenage opera” “Rebecca Bottone made a moving Giunia, coping admirably with the terrifying demands of the vocal writing and giving a fine portrait of someone really torn” “Bottone was telling in Giunia’s final accompanied recitative and aria, the emotional… Read more »

Macbeth

North West End

**** “…but I never have I seen a version quite like the one I’ve just witnessed as part of the opening of the Buxton international festival. The performance is incredibly powerful and thought provoking, and the vocal strength conjure up emotions and thoughts of the wilderness of the Scottish highlands and the treachery that takes… Read more »

Albert Herring

Mark Ronan Theatre reviews

“…a super performance under the baton of Justin Doyle” “…Bradley Smith sheer perfection as Albert Herring.” “The whole cast did a terrific job: Yvonne Howard an imposing Lady Billows, Lucy Schaufer a remarkably strong and righteous Florence Pike with marvellous diction, and Heather Shipp giving a very fine Act II soliloquy…” “John Molloy sang a… Read more »

Lucio Silla

Mark Ronan Theatre reviews

“As a beautiful Giunia in her long dress and red hair, Rebecca Bottone was barely off the stage, providing a wonderful focal point for the varying traumas, and singing a superbly emotional Act III.” “Madeleine Pierard as a scruffy Cecilio of marvellous vocal tone made a thoroughly convincing rebel..” “Karolina Plicková in the other trouser… Read more »

Macbeth

Planet Hugill by Robert Hugill

**** “Kate Ladner was magnificently evil as Lady Macbeth whilst Stephen Gadd was profoundly jealous and not a little demented as Macbeth.” “Ladner drew a remarkable portrait of the Lady, her body language never wavering whether she was singing or no…and it was a very fearless performance.” “What Verdi wanted was not bel canto but… Read more »

Albert Herring

The Stage by  George Hall

*** “…works a treat.” “…an ensemble of fine singing actors coming up with the goods in a row of accomplished performances…” “…impressive standouts from Morgan Pearse’s Sid and Lucy Schaufer’s Florence Pike…” “conductor Justin Doyle leading the NCO Festival Orchestra in a spot-on account of the score.”

Lucio Silla

Manchester Classical Music by Robert Beale

“For this Buxton Festival/The English Concert co-production, conducted by Laurence Cummings, the singers were well chosen and delivered excellent results.” “Soprano Madeleine Pierard, in the hero’s role of Cecilio was a knock-out in her delivery of arias…” “Rebecca Bottone was also on top form, as his faithful fiancée, Giunia, looking terrific and singing with beauty… Read more »

Macbeth

Mark Ronan Theatre reviews

“Vocal power and dramatic incision are key, and lovely Australian soprano Kate Ladner in her role debut produced these in spades, …. soaring effortlessly above chorus and orchestra when needed.” “Stephen Gadd showed tireless vocal force and determined energy, his eyes reflecting the character’s ambitious insecurity.” “Moldovan bass Oleg Tsibulkov as Banquo gave a fine… Read more »

Albert Herring

Manchester Theatre Awards by Robert Beale

“At Buxton, director Francis Matthews had the opportunity to present it in an ideal environment…” “Musically the performance was of a very high standard” “Yvonne Howard as the tweedy grande dame and moral crusader, Lady Billows, was magnificent.” “Kathryn Rudge was a star in her own right as Nancy the red-lipsticked blonde bombshell, and Morgan… Read more »

Lucio Silla

Sunday Times by Hugh Canning

“Madeleine Pierard’s heroically played and sung Cecilio was barely recognisable as a woman en travestie, … and she delivered her bravura arias entirely unfazed.” “The best of the smaller roles was Karolina Plickova’s neatly sung Cinna”

Macbeth

The Stage by George Hall

“…an exceptional central performance” “it is sung here with exceptional focus and authority by Stephen Gadd, whose performance as a whole rises to a true sense of tragic grandeur: he has scrutinised text and music to achieve an interpretation whose overall emotional arc and nuanced detail are worthy not only of Verdi but of Shakespeare… Read more »

Albert Herring

Planet Hugill by Robert Hugill

**** “Yvonne Howard’s Lady Billows was a beautifully observed character portrait” “…she (Yvonne Howard) gave us a beautifully sung account of the role, and one which really fleshed out the detail of her portrayal.” “Lucy Schaufer gave us a strongly sung and beautifully characterised Florence Pike…Schaufer’s singing was superbly projected, giving a finely rounded musical… Read more »