The 27th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival 2021

Gilbert & Sullivan at Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, SK17 6XN

When: The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival 2020 has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Read the press release here.

T: Box office 01298 72190


Entry / Cost: Please check the Buxton Opera House website for ticket prices for individual shows – discounts are available.

The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival is back at Buxton Opera House 1st – 8th August 2020 with a fantastic programme of fun, frolics, and frivolity.

The acclaimed National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company will perform five brand-new productions in 2020.  They open the Festival with HMS Pinafore directed by Rachel Middle; Richard Gauntlett directs all-time favourites The Pirates of Penzance and The Sorcerer; Simon Butteriss returns to direct Patience. 

And for something completely different, Festivalgoers have a rare opportunity to see a production of The Emerald Isle, or The Caves of Carrig-Cleena, a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and Edward German (Sullivan died before completing it) and a libretto by Basil Hood.  The Emerald Isle is believed to have had only four professional runs since it was first produced in 1901 and will be directed Alan Borthwick.  The story centres around a strong defence and promotion of Irish culture after a quirky professor is tasked with making the Irish more English and ends up switching sides. 

Visitors can find out more about the history of The Emerald Isle and Sullivan’s Irish connection in the Festival morning events.

Charles Court Opera return with their smart, stylish new take on possibly the most loved of their comic masterpieces, The Mikado, giving it a classy CCO twist. Directed by John Savournin, this production, which played in London to critical acclaim, is sure to be a highlight of the 2020 Festival, playing on the same day as their brand new, magical production of Iolanthe.

Local society Trent Opera bring a sparkling production of The Gondoliers, one of the most joyous and colourful of the G&S operas, directed by Andrew Nicklin. 

A packed fringe programme takes place in the Pavilion Arts Centre with morning talks and matinee concerts.  The Festival will also stage A Night to Remember with Simon Butteriss in the magnificent Victorian theatre at Chatsworth House.

A veritable feast of outstanding Gilbert & Sullivan awaits Buxton Opera House visitors in August.


Ticket bookings can be made online at or tickets can be purchased from the Box Office Tel: 01298 72190 or in person.

For general information about The 27th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, go to

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