Buxton International Festival programme revealed, announcing ‘knockout’ line-up for 2023

Buxton International Festival programme revealed

Buxton International Festival have revealed the full programme line-up, which promises to be ‘knockout line-up of opera, jazz, music and books between Thursday 6th July and Sunday 23rd July 2023’.

Festival highlights include three new opera productions, Vincenzo Bellini’s La sonnambula, GF Handel’s Orlando and Mozart’s Il re pastore.

BIF and Norwich Theatre launch a brand-new musical The Land Of Might-Have-Been. A story of love, war and remembrance, built around the story of Buxton’s pioneering feminist and pacifist Vera Brittain her brother Captain Edward Brittain. This new musical is written by Michael Williams, co-creator of the UK Theatre Award winning opera Georgiana which was a runaway success at the festival in Buxton in 2019.

CEO Michael Williams adds: “It’s a stop-in-your-tracks, shout-from-the-rooftops festival this year.  Buxton 2023 is full to the brim with daring and excellence. It’s contemporary, relevant, reflective and provocative with sumptuous opera, glorious music and opinion-forming book talks.  We reach for the stars in Buxton, make no mistake.”

The festival brochure is now available to view online:


Book series features top authors, political figures and commentators

Buxton leads the way in conversation and debate with its line-up of authors, commentators and politicians.  Guests for 2023 include Sir David Hare  who discusses his latest collection of essays and poems: We Travelled and Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller discusses his book Art is Magic.

One of the linking themes across the BIF books programme this year is lived experience. BBC journalists Jeremy Bowen and Edward Stourton  are guests and The Guardian’s editor-at-large, Gary Younge whose award-winning journalism has been fundamental to our knowledge of social issues across the US and UK. Alistair Campbell comes to discuss his new book, But What Can I Do? Why Politics Has Gone So Wrong and How You Can Help Fix It.

Baroness Catherine Ashton, former diplomat and the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security takes us behind the scenes of one of the most turbulent times in living memory during her time in the role; including Russia’s invasion of Crimea to the Iran nuclear deal.

Colin Grant, last with the festival at the height of the Windrush Scandal, shares the stories of his aspirational Jamaican family in Britain and looks at the legacy of his Uncle Castus’s favourite refrain ‘I’m black so you don’t have to be.’

Joining their roll of amazing women is Dame Kate Bingham was Chair of the Government’s Vaccine Taskforce during the COVID pandemic. Her leadership was praised by scientists and the international media for setting up the trials, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines.

Victoria Dawson, books director commented “Our guest authors are often surprised by the beauty of our town, the calibre of their fellow speakers and the world class quality of our music and operas. Perhaps it’s time to share our more than four-decade long secret.”

Classical music series as always celebrates the best the UK has to offer

Buxton’s classical music programme always celebrates the UK’s most acclaimed musicians.  Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti and The English Concert  perform Vivaldi in Buxton Opera House, pianist Paul Lewis (19 July) presents the first two parts of a four-part Schubert programme (to be completed in 2024).

Joanna McGregor  returns with a programme that showcases her inimitable flair from Bach to Piazzolla. Another of the country’s leading pianists, Peter Donohoe, appears alongside clarinettist Sacha Rattle with the juxtaposition of late Brahms and early Berg.

Jazz legends

Following the success of jazz at Buxton last year, sights are set high. Topping the bill this year is Wynton Marsalis performing with a band of his friends in Buxton Opera House on 10 July. Other jazz highlights include The Super Big Tramp Band, Tom seals, Madeline Bell, Tommy Smith, Dale Storr and Shez Raja.

Buxton International Festival programme revealed Buxton International Festival programme revealed Due to popular demand, the ‘Jazz Weekender’ ticket returns for the opening weekend of the festival (6-10 July) – they are on sale now.

Neil Hughes, BIF’s jazz director comments: “Building on from last year’s success, expect big bands, late-night concerts, the dance evening and some gospel; and we are adding even more into the mix. 2023 is going to be spectacular.”

The Festival brochure is now available online here as a PDF document. Printed brochures will available in the coming days.

Priority booking opens on 7th March 2023.

Public Booking on 4th April 2023.

More information and bookings: buxtonfestival.co.uk

Buxton International Festival, 3 The Square, Buxton, SK17 6AZ

T: 01298 72190 Box Office / 01298 70395 Festival Office

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