Buxton opera wins national award

For the first time in its 40-year history, Buxton International Festival has won the ‘Achievement Award in Opera’ at the annual UK Theatre Awards held at London’s Guildhall.

The win, against stiff competition from Opera North and Welsh National Opera, was for Buxton’s world première of Georgiana, a pasticcio based on the colourful life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), who lived nearby at Chatsworth House.

Commenting on the win, Michael Williams, Buxton International Opera’s Chief Executive Officer (and writer of the libretto) said: “There is something special happening in Buxton and it’s wonderful that the UK Theatre Award panellists recognised the innovation and success of Georgiana at our 40th Anniversary.

“Huge credit to the creative team headed by Matthew Richardson and Mark Tatlow, the fabulous cast, the Northern Chamber orchestra and the Festival technical team that pulled off 5 operas in 17 days. Roll on 2020 for more great opera at the Buxton Opera House!”

The annual UK Theatre Awards celebrate achievement in regional theatre. This year’s awards were hosted by Jodie Prenger and saw Sheffield Theatres take home the most awards, winning in all of the five categories it was nominated. Four of these prizes were for Life of Pi, while other shows to win on the night, aside from Georgiana, included Equus produced by English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ Billionaire Boy the Musical and Scottish Ballet’s The Crucible.