Arts Derbyshire

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Buxton International Festival

Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, Buxton International Festival is a summer celebration of the very best opera, music, jazz and books in the heart of the beautiful Peak District.

The next Festival will take place 4 – 21 July 2024.

There is nowhere better to hear pioneering opera than at Buxton.  Take your pick from this year’s line-up for performances you’ll never forget.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901)

An eagerly-awaited new production of Verdi’s operatic dramma lirico which tells the tragic love story of Elvira, who is caught between three men: her lover, her guardian and the King of Spain.

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)

Christian Curnyn returns to Buxton for this brand-new joint production of Handel’s dramatic oratorio with the award-winning Early Opera Company.

In its second collaboration with Norwich Theatre, BIF presents Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s extraordinary La Tragédie de Carmen.

Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)

This brand-new BIF production, written by British composer and suffragette Ethel Smyth, centres around a humorous battle of the sexes on the seafront in Margate.

Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

Haydn’s comedic two-act operetta, another new BIF production, has all the ingredients for a riotous show with its stock-in-trade buffo plot and cast.



There are international superstars starring across the whole festival from recitals and books to dance and jazz. These are the hottest tickets in town, so bag yourself a seat before they sell out.

South Africa’s superstar soprano, Golda Schultz, who dazzled at the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, makes her Buxton recital debut on Buxton Opera House on 8 July.

The internationally renowned conductor, Sir Antonio Pappano best known as music director at Covent Garden, gives a singers’ masterclass plus a talk about his book, ‘My Life in Music’ on 19 July.

Judi Jackson, Vocalist of the Year at the 2020 Jazz FM Awards, headlines this late-night double bill with New Jersey-born singer and Buxton favourite, Madeline Bell.

Popular BBC Newsreader Clive Myrie discusses his deeply personal bestselling memoir, ‘Everything is Everything’, which tells how his family history has influenced his life, work and view of the world on 20 July.

BBC’s Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, was left for dead in 2004 when ambushed in Saudi Arabia. His survival and return to news reporting has been remarkable. Frank discusses his career and latest novel,  ‘Invasion: The new Luke Carlton Thriller’ on 12 July.

Cuban dancer and choreographer, Carlos Acosta, brings his stellar show, ‘On Before’ to the opera house (waiting list only).

The ground-breaking Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City region, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham,  share their experiences of modern British politics and the ever-growing divide between north and south. They discuss their book, ‘Head North’ which proposes an ambitious plan to rewire and reimagine our country beyond the Westminster bubble.


World-class pianist Paul Lewis returns to Buxton to complete his eagerly awaited survey of Schubert’s piano sonatas on 5 & 6 July.

Concert pianist Kathryn Stott has delighted Buxton’s audiences for years. This will be her farewell recital (16 July) as part of her last professional tour.

Baritone Roderick Williams, always a winner at Buxton,  performs his highly acclaimed ‘Knights and Legends’ programme with accompanist Roger Vignoles on 9 July.



With passions riding high for the future of our environment, Buxton discusses some important issues.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and the UK’s first and only Green Party MP discusses her book, ‘Another England: How to Reclaim Our National Story’ (13 July) which sketches out an alternative Englishness: one that we can all embrace to build a greener, fairer future.

Helen Rebanks’s talks about her soulful book, The Farmer’s Wife (5 July),  which weaves past, present and future, providing an ups and downs portrait of family life in a busy Lake District farmhouse.

The walking correspondent of The Times, Christopher Somerville, discusses his bestselling book (10 July), Walking the Bones of Britain: A 3 Billion Year Journey from the Outer Hebrides to the Thames Estuary, which sets out to interrogate the land beneath our feet.


The early bird catches the worm and the innovative vocal ensemble, Stile Antico, stages three choral events on one day starting with a welcome coffee at 5.30am, followed by ‘Toward the Dawn’ (6.00am), ‘Garden of Heavenly Delights’ (10am) and ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ (3pm) featuring the music of Byrd, Taverner, Palestrina, Lassus and Monteverdi (20 July).

If you are looking for the intimacy and darkness of the traditional jazz club, head to The Palace Hotel over the festival’s opening weekend, followed by daytime and late-night jazz across all the festival’s venues for the remaining fortnight.


One of the world’s leading New Orleans clarinettists Adrian Cox fronts an all-star quintet with a string quartet, New Orleans Social Club, as they play alongside Tommy Blaize, lead singer from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing at Buxton Opera House on 8 July.

Judi Jackson, Vocalist of the Year at the 2020 Jazz FM Awards, headlines a late-night double bill in Buxton Opera House with New Jersey-born singer and Buxton favourite, Madeline Bell on 11 July.

Singer-pianist Jeremy Sassoon and his 18-piece big band play tribute to the very best music of Ray Charles – a night of jazz, blues and soul in Buxton Opera House on 14 July.

A chance to hear the winner of Jazz FM’s Soul Act of The Year Award (2022) Mica Millar, who is fast making a name for herself as one of Britain’s brightest new soul stars. She performs at Pavilion Arts Centre on 13 July.


And finally, the festival heads underground into Poole’s Cavern,  a brand-new venue for 2024.  ‘Opera in the Cavern’ offers 45-minutes of opera favourites deep in the limestone caverns amongst the crystal stalactites and stalagmites (9, 11, 16 & 18 July)

BOX OFFICE 01298 72190

The festival has been thrilling audiences for more than 40 years. We have a reputation for offering often once-in-a-life-time opportunities to hear sublime but rarely performed operas; and internationally acclaimed singers, musicians and literary speakers are all attracted to our beautiful spa town.

‘There is no more enticing Festival than Buxton’, said The Sunday Telegraph; ‘I’d advise you urgently to get to Buxton’, said The Times; ‘One of Europe’s great … unmissable opera Festivals’ said the New York Metropolitan Opera House magazine; ‘The best Opera Festival in Europe’ said Germany’s Opera Magazine!

Buxton International Festival looks forward to welcoming everyone for more unmissable events which you simply will not find all in one place elsewhere.

Creative Genre

  • Opera Music Books Jazz

Work Undertaken

Work in Education

  • Arts Award in Schools
  • Platform 3



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