Buxton International Festival preview

In July 30 1979 Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor opened the first Buxton Festival.

Now, 40 years on, the festival has become international in every sense and will be marking its special anniversary with a celebratory concert on July 5.

New Voices will be held in aid of the Buxton Festival Foundation – a fund for ensuring the future of the event.

Performing in the concert will be young artists from the Cape Town Opera pictured above, rising stars from the Royal Northern College  of Music and the Buxton Festival Company. In the pit will be the Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the festival’s new artistic director Adrian Kelly.

They will present a taster programme of excerpts from well-loved operas such as The Magic Flute and Carmen.

Apart from the operas (which were featured in last month’s artsbeat), this year’s music series highlights will include performances by The Victoria String Quartet; pianist Alistair McGowan; the British vocal ensemble VOCES8 and soprano Soraya Mafi.

The BBC Philharmonic are to perform at the festival for the first time in the newly refurbished Octagon.

The book festival has had a bit of a makeover under the guidance its new organiser Victoria Dawson and this year sees the introduction of some intimate literary salon evenings. 

Authors and speakers heading up the programme include veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and BBC journalist Nick Robinson as well as Amanda Foreman, whose best-selling book about Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire was turned into the film starring Kiera Knightley. The author is flying in from New York to be at the festival.

For details of all the events at the festival from July 5-21 go to http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk