Win tickets to opera at Buxton Festival

Here’s your chance to win a pair of tickets to the much-anticipated opera performances at this year’s Buxton International Festival.

The four productions in the 2017 series are Verdi’s Macbeth. Britten’s Albert Herring, Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Y Tŵr (The Tower) from Music Theatre Wales.

The Festival opens with a rare treat for opera-goers; a staging of the original 1847 version of Verdi’s Macbeth directed by Elijah Moshinsky.

Festival Artistic Director Stephen Barlow will conduct the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

Stephen Gadd returns to Buxton in the title role; Australian soprano Kate Ladner makes her role debut singing the scheming Lady Macbeth; Moldovan bass Oleg Tsibulkov, will make his UK debut singing Banquo; while South Korean tenor Yun Soo Yun will make his Buxton debut as Macduff.

Seventy years after its premiere, Albert Herring is the first professional Buxton staging of a Britten opera for 20 years. It is being directed by Francis Matthews and the Northern Chamber Orchestra will be led by Justin Doyle.

The village drama centres on community politics surrounding the selection of a virtuous May Queen.

Bradley Smith will make his festival debut in the title role. He will be joined by Yvonne Howard, who sings Lady Billows; Heather Shipp as Mrs Herring; English baritone Nicholas Merryweather as Mr Gedge and Jeffery Lloyd Roberts as Mr Upfold.

Mozart is now central to the festival repertoire and is perfect for the Opera House, both in terms of scale and intimacy. Lucio Silla is a rarely performed masterpiece from the composer’s teenage years.

For this opera, baroque ensemble and festival associate orchestra, The English Concert, will be in the pit, under the baton of conductor Laurence Cummings.

Czech soprano Karolina Plickova (Lucio Cinna) also makes her UK debut, and lyric tenor Joshua Ellicott is the tyrannical Emperor, with soprano Rebecca Bottone singing Giunia, the subject of his unwelcome affections.

Music Theatre Wales returns to the festival with a contemporary Welsh language opera – the first time a work in the Welsh language has been toured outside Wales.

An intense opera based on the work of playwright Gwenlyn Parry, Y Tŵr, is directed by Michael McCarthy.

The Ensemble of Music Theatre Wales will be conducted by British composer and conductor Richard Baker.

To win two tickets to the opera of your choice simply answer the following question:

Verdi’s Macbeth was first performed in which year?

Email your answer, together with your name, address and daytime telephone number to: with the ‘Opera Competition’ in the subject line. Alternatively post those details to: 19 Nottingham Road, Belper, DE56 1JG. The last date for entries is April 30.