Buxton International Festival showcases hidden gems from the opera world

Bikers  from Daugjhter of the Regiment which will be staged as part of Buxton Inernational Festival.
Bikers from Daugjhter of the Regiment which will be staged as part of Buxton Inernational Festival.

Hell’s Angels, rare opera and The Beatles as you’ve never heard them before are coming to town for this year’s Buxton International Festival.

Buxton has a global reputation for presenting hidden gems from the opera world alongside a wide range of musical styles which will include a Day of Quartets, piano recitals and jazz.

Artistic Director Stephen Barlow said: “It’s like a lucky dip in which every pick is a prize.”

This year’s festival, which runs from July 6 to 22, sees the conclusion of Buxton’s trilogy of early Verdi opera when director Elijah Moshinsky brings his interpretation of Alzira, following on from Giovanna d’Arco in 2015 and the critically acclaimed Macbeth last year.

Alzira, originally set in 16th Century Peru but brought up to date for Buxton, shows Verdi with the inspiration of youth and innovation.

Mozart demonstrated his maturity with Buxton’s other home-grown opera Idomeneo, which features some of his most varied and inventive music in the story of refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean from conflict in Asia – the Trojan War.

The Hell’s Angels ride into town for a hugely popular modern version of Donizetti’s The Daughter of The Regiment, which moves the action from a military base to a biker gang camp in a co-production with Opera della Luna.

Another rare piece of operatic music which Buxton will bring to the stage is Tisbe, by Brescianello, a concert performance by Baroque specialists La Serenissima. This tells the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, star-crossed lovers best known from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

And Britain’s favourite opera star Lesley Garrett will raise the curtain on the Festival by hosting a gala night featuring some of the most memorable songs from the worlds of opera, operetta and musical theatre.

Lesley will compere the evening of music from the Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Kok with soloists from Opera North, as well singing a number of songs herself.

The programme will open the 39th festival by drawing on the works of Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill.

Musical concerts include songs by the ever-popular baritone Roderick Williams, the dazzling Suite Americana among other pieces from London Metropolitan Brass and baroque music on the original instruments from The English Concert.

Barb Jungr and John McDaniel start the jazz programme with their Come Together. The duo’s interpretation of The Beatles work has won five-star reviews from London to New York thanks to Barb’s unique reinterpretive skills and John’s stunning and surprising arrangements of some of the most sublime and beloved songs ever written.

Derbyshire’s own violinist Lizzie Ball joins Morgan Szymanski on guitar to present the life, times and art of the enigmatic painter Frida Kahlo in words and music.

The late Dudley Moore is most famous as a comedian and Hollywood star, but his first love was the piano, and The Chris Ingham Quartet return to Buxton explore to explore his jazz legacy in a loving and humorous tribute.

And big-band jazz explores on stage with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, a showcase of the UK’s finest young professionals.

For the complete programme go to the festival website at www.buxtonfestival.co.uk