Buxton International Festival, 3 The Square, Buxton, SK17 6AZ
T: 01298 72190 Box Office / 01298 70395 Festival Office
When: 4th – 21st July 2024
Tickets / Booking: Refer to Buxton International Festival website and brochure for individual show times, ticket prices and bookings.
Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, Buxton International Festival is a summer celebration of the very best opera, classical music, jazz and books at the heart of the beautiful Peak District in the spa town of Buxton.
Buxton International Festival has been thrilling audiences since 1979. They have a reputation for offering often once-in-a-life-time opportunities to hear sublime but rarely performed operas. Initially founded to help restore Buxton Opera House, the festival has become more than just a summer celebration. Internationally acclaimed singers, musicians and literary speakers are all attracted to our beautiful spa town and our Young Artists Programme continues to introduce audiences to the rising stars of the future.
In partnership with Buxton Opera House, Platform 3 is their Learning and Engagement initiative, providing exciting new opportunities for young people, schools and communities to take part in performing arts activities and projects across Buxton, the High Peak and beyond.
Renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, this wonderful annual festival attracts both dedicated opera lovers and those new to the genre.
The packed programme each year features fully-staged professional operas, as well as showing touring operas, classical concerts, jazz concerts and literary talks, all across a variety of fantastic venues: Buxton Opera House, St. John’s Church, The Palace Hotel, Pavilion Arts Centre and the Pavilion Gardens. The literary talks feature well known names with Gyles Brandreth, Andrew Marr, Jonathan Dimbleby as past guests talking about their latest book publications.
BIF announces key events for 2024
Buxton International Festival (BIF) in 2023 far exceeded attendance expectations with sell-out events and accolades across the board. Once again, the Festival’s cutting-edge opera programme emerged as the greatest draw with its popular books programme a close second. On the back of this fantastic year, the Festival have announced its plans for 2024 with five eagerly awaited operas and, in a major coup for BIF, a performance from the Cuban-British director, choreographer and ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta.
Highlights from BIF 2023 include:
- 150 events over 18 days
- 28,821 tickets sold
- 29% of the total BIF audience attended Bellini’s opera, La sonnambula
- Over 2,000 people attended the top book events between Jeremy Bowen, Alastair
Campbell and Dame Kate Bingham
Commenting, Adrian Kelly, Buxton’s artistic director said: “Buxton International Festival
has built its success on a commitment to the highest artistic standards in opera, music, books and jazz. As we watch our audiences grow and return year after year, we realise we have the formula to produce something very special each year. With the festival’s ambition and popularity on the climb, we are excited to announce our plans for 2024.”
BIF ANNOUNCES 2024 OPERAS
Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Ernani’
Giuseppi Verdi’s Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts which tells the
tragic love story of Elvira, who is caught between three men: her lover, her
guardian and the King of Spain. Adrian Kelly conducts this new BIF production
in Buxton Opera House with The Orchestra of Opera North.
George Frideric Handel’s ‘Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno’
Following the success of Acis & Galatea at Buxton in 2021, the festival joins forces
with The Early Opera Company for a new production of Handel’s Il Trionfo del
Tempo e del Disingannol conducted by Christian Curnyn in Buxton Opera House.
Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s ‘La Tragedie de Carmen’
In its second collaboration with Norwich Theatre, BIF presents Peter Brook’s
adaptation of Bizet’s La Tragedie de Carmen in Buxton Opera House. Brook’s
adaptation includes elements of the Georges Bizet opera as well as the original
Prosper Mérimée novella on which Bizet’s opera was based.
Ethel Smyth, ‘The Boatswain’s Mate’
This brand-new BIF production, written by British composer and suffragette Ethyl
Smyth, centres around a humorous battle of the sexes on the seafront in Margate. It’s
full of twists and turns complete with all the quintessential sounds and sights of
British summertime. Performed at the Pavilion Arts Centre.
Joseph Haydn’s ‘La Canterina’
The last of the BIF’s new productions for 2024 is Haydn’s two-act operetta, La
canterina. This comedic opera has all the ingredients for a riotous show with its
stock-in-trade buffo figures: the aspiring, money-grabbing diva; her mother adept at
procuring suitors; an oily, lascivious singing teacher and a wealthy young lover.
Performed at the Pavilion Arts Centre.
Superstar Cuban-British director, choreographer and ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta, will make
his debut at Buxton International Festival with his intensely personal evening of dance, ‘On
Before’. Acosta, a long-time principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, has danced as a guest
principal with all the major ballet companies across the world and now enjoys a mighty
career as a director and choreographer. ‘On Before’ pays homage to Acosta’s late mother
featuring choreography by world renowned artists, including Russell Maliphant, Kim
Brandstrup, and Will Tuckett. Acosta will perform as both a soloist and alongside Laura
Rodríguez, a founding member of his Cuban dance company, Acosta Danza.
Commenting on 2024, Michael Williams, BIF’s CEO said: “We are literally dancing into
2024, with megastar Carlos Acosta and a line-up of operas, books and jazz that will make
your mouth water. We are all looking to the arts to lift the spirits and Buxton promises to
BIF’s opening Jazz Weekender, now an eagerly-awaited festival opener, features the ‘Adrian
Cox Clarinet Fantasy’ with special guest, Tommy Blaize (a regular on BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing). Other highlights include Super Monday, Ubunye, Zoe Rahman, Nearly
Dan and Ian Shaw.
Commenting, Neil Hughes jazz director said: “The Jazz Weekender has been causing ripples
across the jazz world with our star-studded line ups. Now in its third year, we will set the bar high once more.”
FESTIVAL TIMELINE FOR 2024
Priority Booking for Carlos Acosta and Jazz Weekender packages opens on 27 November 2023.
The full programme and festival brochure will be issued on Monday 26 February, with Priority Booking opening on 5 March and Public Booking on 2 April 2024.
Visit their website for the latest updates on the programme.