2018 Opera and Music Series announced
Buxton International Festival is a cultural celebration of opera, music and books, with over 120 events taking place during a 17-day period.
- In the penultimate year before the 40th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Buxton International Festival will present two new opera productions; the first major UK staged production of Verdi’s Alzira and a new production of Mozart’s Idomeneo
- Three times Olivier Award winner for Best Opera, Elijah Moshinsky, who has made his worldwide reputation with Verdi and who has a particular passion for the composer’s early works, returns to complete his early Verdi trilogy with Alzira
- The staging of Alzira continues Buxton’s tradition of championing operas from lesser performed repertoire by well-known composers
- Buxton International Festival’s Artistic Director Stephen Barlow will conduct the Northern Chamber Orchestra, with Kate Ladner, James Cleverton and Jung Soo Yun in the principal roles
- Buxton International Festival will also present Mozart’s opera seria masterpiece Idomeneo directed by the award-winning Stephen Medcalf; Nicholas Kok conducts the Northern Chamber Orchestra with Paul Nilon in the title role
- The Buxton International Festival opera productions this year 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
- The Festival will open with 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
- With many singers making role debuts, or moving from the Chorus to principal roles, Buxton International Festival continues to offer a performance platform for up and coming artists
- All the operas will be performed in the exquisite Matcham-designed opera house in the heart of Buxton, which is currently subject to regeneration in particular the restoration and transformation of the Georgian Crescent into the Peak District’s only five-star hotel and luxury spa
Opera Series 2018
Alzira, Giuseppe Verdi, 1845 Sung in Italian with English side-titles
Elijah Moshinsky returns to direct the final instalment of his early Verdi trilogy; the first major UK staged production of the rarely performed tragic opera Alzira with Festival Artistic Director Stephen Barlow conducting the Festival’s Resident Orchestra the Northern Chamber Orchestra. The creative team for the Verdi trilogy is completed by the return of production designer Russell Craig.
With Italian libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, Verdi’s opera is based on Voltaire’s play Alzire, ou les Américains and is set against the backdrop of fighting between the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors in Peru. Alzira, the daughter of the Peruvian leader Ataliba is in love with Inca warrior Zamoro, but in a political move is promised to Gusmano, the tyranical son of the former Spanish Governor, Alvaro.
Owing to the rarity of the piece all the cast will make their role debuts. Kate Ladner returns to lead the cast as Alzira, after her performance as Lady Macbeth in 2017 and in the title role in Giovanna d’Arco in 2016. Bass Graeme Danby makes a welcome return to Buxton to take the role of moderate Spanish former Governor Alvaro, with his antagonistic son and new Governor Gusmano sung by baritone James Cleverton who will be making his first appearance at the Festival. South Korean tenor Yung Soo Jun, who made an impression on his Buxton debut as Macduff last year, returns to sing the Inca hero and Alzira’s true love, Zamoro.
Director: Elijah Moshinsky
Conductor: Stephen Barlow
Designer: Russell Craig
Lighting Designer: Mark Jonathan
Alzira: Kate Ladner
Gusmano: James Cleverton
Zamoro: Jung Soo Yun
Alvaro: Graeme Danby
Ataliba: Phil Wilcox
Otumbo: Luke Sinclair
Ovando: Brian McNamee
Zuma: Helen Bailey
Buxton Festival Chorus
Northern Chamber Orchestra
7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20 July, 7.15pm, Buxton Opera House
Idomeneo, W.A. Mozart 1781 Sung in Italian with English side-titles
Director Stephen Medcalf brings a new production of Mozart’s later opera seria masterpiece Idomeneo, with Resident Orchestra the Northern Chamber Orchestra in the pit conducted by Nicholas Kok. Isabella Bywater, who regularly worked with Sir Jonathan Miller on his productions, makes her Buxton debut as production designer.
Paul Nilon takes the title role in one of Mozart’s most emotionally gripping operatic works with rising star mezzo-soprano Heather Lowe as his son Idamante. Rebecca Bottone and Madeleine Pierard return to Buxton after their performances in Lucio Silla last summer, to sing the roles of Trojan princess Ilia and Greek princess Elettra respectively, along with Ben Thapa who sings Arbace, who in addition to his opera credits, is also a member of the group G4.
Director: Stephen Medcalf
Conductor: Nicholas Kok
Designer: Isabella Bywater
Lighting Designer: Mark Jonathan
Idomeneo: Paul Nilon
Elettra: Madeleine Pierard
Ilia: Rebecca Bottone
Idamante: Heather Lowe
Arbace: Ben Thapa
Buxton Festival Chorus
Northern Chamber Orchestra
8 (Matinee 3pm), 11, 14, 19 (Matinee 2pm), 21 July 7.15pm, Buxton Opera House
The Daughter of the Regiment by Gaetano Donizetti Sung in English with side-titles
A Co-Production by Opera della Luna and Buxton International Festival, in a new arrangement by Jeff Clarke
Opera della Luna have built up a reputation for lively, irreverent productions which capture the spirit of opera and bring it to a new audience, and its new version of Donizetti’s opera comique updates the story for a modern audience.
In this staging ‘The Regiment’ is one of California’s most notorious biker gangs, yet they have looked after the abandoned baby girl who was mysteriously left at their camp many years ago. But who is this mysterious young woman who has lived with them all her life, and grown up in a dangerous world? The cast is led by Australian soprano Suzanne Shakespeare as Marie, with Tonio sung by Spanish tenor Jesus Alvarez.
9 July, 7.15pm, 15th July (Matinee 2pm) Buxton Opera House
Tisbe by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello (1717-18) Sung in Italian with English side-titles
Concert staging by La Serenissima
Founded in 1994 by violinist Adrian Chandler, La Serenissima is one of the UK’s leading exponents of the music of eighteenth-century Venice, delighting in bringing great Baroque music to the widest possible audience.
Tisbe, based on the popular tale of Pyramus and Thisbe, was the result of a commission from the Duke Eberhard IV Ludwig of Wurttemberg to his court composer Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello to write a work to conclude the Carnival season 1718–19.
12, 17 July 7.15pm, Buxton Opera House N.B. Final details TBC
Opening Night Gala – Buxton International Festival in association with Buxton Opera House and Opera North 6 July
The Festival will open with a Gala evening presented in association with the Buxton Opera house and Opera North. Patron of the Festival’s 40th Anniversary Appeal, Lesley Garrett, soloists from Opera North and the Northern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Kok, will present a programme of music from the world of operetta, classic musicals and cabaret. The evening will take the audience from Berlin to Broadway and include music by Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill, celebrating the opening of the 39th Buxton International Festival in style.
Music Series 2018
- Buxton International Festival has chamber music at its heart and recitals of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and particularly Schubert, feature each year. The Fitzwilliam and Consone Quartets both make a welcome return to the Festival, together with a special full day of concerts by the Fibonacci Sequence
- The 16-day Music Series at Buxton International Festival 2018 is a dynamic programme of classical artists including pianists Christian Blackshaw, Joanna MacGregor and Stephen Kovacevich, flautist Ashley Solomon, violinist Lizzie Ball
- Horn and piano duo Alexei Watkins and BBC Young Composer of the Year Alex Woolf perform at the Festival for the first time
- The Festival is delighted to have engaged a selection of up and coming singers in classical music including BBC New Generation Artists Kathryn Rudge and Ashley Riches, Jennifer Davis, together with established names including Roderick Williams and Lucy Schaufer
Joanna MacGregor (Piano) 7 July
Joanna MacGregor is one of today’s most eminent musicians. With an exhilaratingly wide repertoire, Joanna breaks the mould of specialisation with deftness and insight across all genres. Her remarkable programme, demonstrates her unique talent for reinvention of the concert recital.
Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor
Chopin: Mazurkas Op 30 and Op 59
Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas
Sofia Gubaidulina: Chaconne
Fazil Say: Black Earth
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op 57 (Appassionata)
Ashley Solomon (Flute) 7 July
Ashley Solomon is Director and Performer of pre-eminent ensemble Florilegium. In this concert, as soloist, he explores repertoire for unaccompanied flute by three giants of the Baroque era. Six Fantasies by Telemann are performed either side of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and his most famous son Carl Phillip Emmanuel who was inspired to write for the flute by his employer King Frederick the Great of Prussia.
Telemann: Six fantasies
Carl Phillip Emmanuel:
London Metropolitan Brass 8 July
Founded in 2016, the London Metropolitan have rapidly attracted huge excitement and acclaim, bringing new life to a wide repertoire specially arranged or chosen for their brand of spectacular virtuosity and musicality.
Mozart: The Magic Flute
Dvořák: ‘Song to the Moon’ from Rusalka
Victor Ewald: Brass Quintet No 3
Øystein Baadsvik: Frugg
Joakim Agnas: Tango
Enrique Crespo: Suite Americana No 1
Jennifer Davis (Soprano) and Caroline Dowdle (Piano) 9 July
Irish soprano Jennifer Davis is a recent graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and recipient of Gerard Arnhold Prize for the most promising young singer at Wexford Festival.
Gounod: Je Veux Vivre
Délibes: Les Fille de Cadix
Poulenc: Métamorphoses, Reine des mouettes, C’est ainsi que tu est, Paganini
Debussy: Apparition, Mandoline, Air de Lia from L’Enfant prodigues
Rachmaninov: Opus 38
Puccini: Quando me’n vo – La Bohéme
Jonathan Dove: It’s My Wedding – The Enchanted Pig
Arr. Benjamin Britten: The Last Rose of Summer
James Joyce, (Musical Setting Edmund Pendleton): Bid Adieu
Lizzie Ball (Violin) and Morgan Szymanski (Guitar) 9 July
Viva la vida con Frida
Violinist and vocalist Lizzie Ball and guitarist Morgan Szymanski take a musical journey through the life, times and art of Frida Kahlo.
The Fitzwilliam Quartet 10 July
Founded in 1968 by four Cambridge undergraduates, the Fitzwilliam is one of the longest established string quartets in the world.
Schubert: Death and the Maiden
Praetorius/Brahms: Chorale Prelude, ‘Es is ein Ros entsprungen’
Purcell/Barcham Stevens: Fantasias no 7 and 8
The Consone Quartet 10 July
London based Consone Quartet is dedicated to exploring and recreating the sound-worlds of the classical and early romantic string quartet repertoire through period instrument performance.
Haydn: Op.76/5 in D major
Mendelssohn: Op.44/2 in E minor
The Fitzwilliam Quartet and the Consone Quartet 10 July
Musicologist Richard Wigmore will introduce this performance.
Mendelssohn: Octet version 1
The Fibonacci Sequence 11 July
Charlotte Trepess (Soprano), Andrew Marriner (Clarinet) and Paul Archibald (Flügelhorn)
Kathron Sturrock’s ensemble of star instrumentalists, now in their 24th year as the Fibonacci Sequence, make a welcome return to the Festival with a full day of concerts. This year a full day of concerts is dedicated to them. Their programme will feature Charlotte Trepess, who was the RNCM’s 2017 Gold Medal winner and a current member of the Festival’s Chorus, alongside Principal Clarinet of the LSO, Andrew Bach and Paul Archibald on the flügelhorn.
Schubert: The Shepherd on the Rock
Brahms: Sonata in E flat
Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Bach: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
The Fibonacci Sequence
Brahms is the centrepiece of all three of the Fibonacci Sequence’s Festival concerts this year and this particular concert highlights his work for the clarinet. The concert also includes Vaughan Williams’ sublime Lark Ascending, one of the most popular of all musical works.
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Brahms: Clarinet Trio
The Fibonacci Sequence
Paul Archibald, (Trumpet), Daniel Pioro, (Violin), Ashok Klouda, (Cello), Andrew Marriner, (Clarinet), Richard Skinner, (Bassoon), Kathron Sturrock, (Piano)
The climax of the Fibonacci Sequence’s day of three concerts brings together the larger ensemble.
Beethoven: Eyeglass Duo No 1 in C
Brahms: Trio No 3 in C minor
Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine
Aquarelle Guitar Quartet 12 July
Formed in 1999 whilst at the RNCM in Manchester, this intriguing Quartet has gone on to build a reputation across the world. Making a much-anticipated return to Buxton, their style is virtuosic to a high degree but married to a sensitivity that sounds so well in the St John’s Church acoustic.
Rossini (Richard Safhill): Sinfonia to L’italiana in Algeri
Philip Houghton: Opals
Roland Dyens: Comme un Rond D’eau
Ariel Ramirez: Alfonsina y el mar, arr. Dyens
Miroslav Tadic/Vlatko Stefanovski: Two Balkan Pieces: Ajde Dali Znaes Pametis Milice/Pajduska, arr. Vasilis Bessas
Carlos Rafael Rivera: Cumba-Quin
Astor Piazzolla: La Muerte del Angel, arr. M.Baker
Roland Dyens: Filmaginaires – Dyens
Gustavo Santaolalla: De Usuahia a la Quiaca (from Motorcycle Diaries), arr. Vasilis Bessas
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – Ryuichi Sakamoto, arr. Vasilis Bessas
Sérgio Assad: Uarekena
Victoria String Quartet 12 July
The Victoria String Quartet unites some of the most experienced chamber musicians in the UK who all teach at the Royal Northern College of Music, in a new ensemble which explores and performs the rich and varied string quartet repertoire.
Mozart: E flat Quartet k.428
Elgar: Quartet E minor
Schubert: A minor Rosamunde
Yoanna Prodanova (Cello), Mihai Ritivoiu (Piano) 13 July
An award-winning duo, these two exceptional young artists from Bulgaria and Romania respectively. They bring a, thrillingly varied programme, paying homage to Beethoven and Schumann, and also includes Shostakovich’s early Sonata and Chopin’s extraordinary Sonata, the last work published in his lifetime and one of so few he wrote for instruments other than the piano.
Schumann: Adagio and Allegro
Chopin: Polish song
Stephen Kovacevich (Piano) 14 July
Following his well-received recital at Buxton Festival in 2016, Stephen Kovacevich returns to the Festival after a global tour for a recital of Schubert’s great piano sonata, together with works by Beethoven and Bach.
Bach: Prelude and Fugue No 4 in C sharp minor, BWV849
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 30 in E major, OP109
Schubert: Piano Sonata No 1 in B flat major, D960
Ex Cathedra 15 July
Summer Music by Candlelight
This leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble enjoys a repertoire that reaches from the 12th to the 21st centuries.
Wind and Piano Trio 16 July
Juliette Bausor, (Flute), Daniel Bates, (Oboe), Simon Lepper, (Piano)
A recital of music composed exclusively by British composers for the trio combination of Flute, Oboe and Piano.
Madeleine Dring: Trio; Allegro con brio, Andante semplic, Allegro giocoso
Francis Poulenc: Oboe Sonata; Elegie: Paisiblement, Scherzo, Deploration
Malcolm Arnold: Suite Bourgeoise; Prelude, Tango (Elaine), Dance (censored), Ballad, Valse (Ugo)
Frederick Delius: Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda
Francis Poulenc: Flute Sonata; Allegro malinconico, Cantilena, Presto giocoso
Iain Farrington: Heatwave; Hotheads, Siesta, Scorcher
Vision – The Imagined Testimony of Hildegard of Bingen 16 July
A concert/play by Clare Norburn
Clare Norburn, (Soprano), Ariane Prussner, (Mezzo-soprano), Leah Stuttard/Joy Smith, (Harp)
Jan Chappell: Hildegard; Live music performed by The Telling
Clare Norburn, whose powerful Breaking the Rules gripped Buxton audiences in 2016, returns with a new candlelit show, the story of medieval Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, told alongside music performed by acclaimed medieval ensemble The Telling.
Lucy Schaufer (Soprano), Huw Watkins (Piano) and Jennifer Langridge (Cello) 17 July
Class of 38
Lucy Schaufer, Florence Pike in Albert Herring last year, returns to Buxton, but this time on the concert stage in a programme including Bernstein to mark 100th anniversary of the composer/conductor’s birth.
William Balcom: (A. Weinstein) MiniCab No 1, 2, 3, 5, 12
Bernstein: Dream with Me (Peter Pan)
Joan Tower: Or like a … an Engine
John Harbison: (E. Bishop) North and South: Book 1: No. 2 Late Air
Hedy West: (arr. Michele Brourman) Five Hundred Miles
John Corigliano: (C. Marlowe) The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
William Bolcom: Ghost Rags: No 1: The Graceful Ghost
Frederic Rzewski: War Songs No 1
Gordon Lightfoot: (arr. Michele Brourman) Black Day in July
Bernstein Arias and Barcarolles: Greeting
Bernstein La Bonne Cuisine: Tavouk Guenksis
Bernstein La Bonne Cuisine: Rabbit at Top Speed
Bernstein 100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man (Wonderful Town)
Ceruleo Burying the Dead 17 July
Emily Owen, (Soprano), Jenni Harper, (Soprano), Satoko Doi-Luck, (Harpsichord), Kate Conway, (Cello and Viol), Toby Carr, (Guitar and Lute); Gerald Kyd, Henry Purcell
More than a concert, Burying the Dead brings Restoration London to life with a new script by Clare Norburn. Henry Purcell gives his deathbed testimony, conjuring up the two singers and musicians of Ceruleo to his bedside. Together they take the audience on a journey back through Purcell’s memories of theatrical intrigues and into his internal dream world, as he confronts imagined key childhood memories of 1666 and the Great Fire of London.
BBC New Generation Artists Ashley Riches (Bass-baritone) and 18 July
Kathryn Rudge (Soprano) with Simon Lepper (Piano)
A concert featuring the exciting talents of two of the BBC New Generation Artists. Ashley Riches returns to the Festival after his concert in 2017 and Kathryn Rudge returns after a successful run as Nancy in Albert Herring last year. The recital which will feature both solos and duets will be recorded for later broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Roderick Williams (Baritone), Iain Burnside (Piano) 19 July
Roderick Williams, a frequent guest at Buxton, brings the second of the great Schubert cycles and is accompanied at the piano by Iain Burnside. This will be the second of a series of recitals at the Festival.
The Sacconi Quartet 20 July
The award-winning Sacconi Quartet is recognised for its compelling ensemble and is Quartet in Association at the Royal College of Music.
Suk: Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale ‘St. Wenceslas’, Op 35a
Debussy: String Quartet
Dvořák: String Quartet No 13, Op 106
Alexei Watkins (French horn), Alex Woolf (Composer/Piano) 21 July
Alexei Watkins and Alex Woolf are a horn and piano duo. In 2012 Alex was BBC Young Composer of the Year, and his Fanfare opened the 2012 International Olympic Committee session. Alexei and Alex’s first musical collaboration, was Alex’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Alexei as horn soloist, for Benjamin Britten’s centenary year.
Beethoven: Horn Sonata
Messiaen: Appel Interstellaire
Alex Woolf: Land of Nod
Franz Strauss: Nocturno
Alex Woolf: Aria
Vinter: Hunter’s Moon
Christian Blackshaw (Piano) 21 July
An opportunity to hear the internationally renowned pianist, who is celebrated for the incomparable musicianship of his performances.
Mozart: Piano sonata No 14 in C minor, K457
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E major, Op 109
Liszt: Sonata in B minor
Late Night Jazz
Barb Jungr and John McDaniel 7 July
The extraordinary award-winning vocalist Barb Jungr and Grammy and Emmy award-winning arranger and pianist John McDaniel – investigate The Beatles song catalogue in their own unique and inimitable fashion.
The Alex Yellowlees Band 8 July
Alex Yellowlees is Scotland’s premier jazz violinist with an extensive understanding of Celtic, blues and jazz.
Sara Dowling 12 July
Sara Dowling is gifted with emotional vocals, her influences wide and far-reaching, from Erroll Garner, Wynton Kelly and Bud Powell to the haunting melodies of the great Arabic chanteuse Fairuz.
The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project 13 July
Join two of Europe’s leading jazz guitarists Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier for a dazzling display of contemporary fare, ranging from Turkish panache to soundscapes of Latin America to English pastoralism, played on nylon string, steel string, electric, 12-string, fretless, slide, guitar-synth, glissentar guitars and more!
The Chris Ingham Quartet 14 July
The Jazz of Dudley Moore
Chris Ingham and his Quartet return to Buxton to bring the emotional range and depth of Dudley Moore’s music to life in a loving and humorous tribute.
Liane Carroll 20 July
Multi-award-winning vocalist Liane Carroll has been a pillar of the British jazz and soul scene for over 35 years, collaborating with Paul McCartney, Gerry Rafferty and Long John Baldry.
National Youth Jazz Orchestra 21 July
Such Sweet Thunder
NYJO bring 18 of UK’s finest young professional jazz musicians with a ‘Duke Ellington’ programme under the artistic direction of Mark Armstrong.
In addition to the concerts listed there are also more informal recitals held at the Pavilion Bandstand and, for the first time at the Buxton International Festival, the Spiegeltent in the Pavilion Gardens.
Books Series 2018
- Details of the Books Series will be released in Spring 2018
- For the first time, Buxton International Festival will partner with the British Academy to revive the spirit of the revolutionary Georgian Coffee House, the social network of its day. The series will be curated by Peter Hennessy and will feature a dynamic mix of speakers brought together with the Buxton audience to explore how we look at history and ourselves
Buxton Festival public booking opens on 6th April 2018 Tel: 01298 72190 or www.buxtonfestival.co.uk
Opera Series Tickets: £20 – £75
Music Series Tickets: £15-£35
Books Series Tickets: From £11
Buxton International Festival is supported by Arts Council England
- Ends –
Notes to Editors:
Press Contact: Emma Menniss PR email@example.com T: 07766 655998
Please contact Emma regarding interviews and features as well as access to press images of the Festival, productions, artists and images of Buxton.
About Buxton International Festival
Buxton International Festival is one of the UK’s leading arts events taking place in July each year; a cultural celebration of the very best opera, music and books taking place in the heart of the Peak District. The Festival features the most promising rising stars in the arts world, as well as prominent international singers, artists and writers performing in a packed summer programme of in excess of 120 events over a 17-day period to an audience of over 30,000.
The Festival produces opera productions alongside a series of concerts given by many leading British and international musicians, and a literary series featuring leading writers and thinkers. Festival venues include the exquisite Matcham-designed Buxton Opera House, St John’s Church and the Pavilion Arts Centre. Together with the Buxton Festival Fringe, the spa town is a haven for arts enthusiasts throughout July each year. The Festival also presents an annual autumn Book Weekend.
Buxton International Festival has been presented annually since 1979. The brainchild of Malcolm Fraser, the Head of Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music, who had a vision of making the dilapidated Buxton Opera House, which had been used as a cinema for most of its’ life, into the home of an annual opera festival. With the help of Welsh National Opera conductor, Anthony Hose, he set about making his dream a reality. The Artistic Director is the acclaimed conductor, Stephen Barlow. Registered Charity No. 2769957.