Buxton International Festival has won the town a place in the arts world on a par with two of the UK’s capital cities after being chosen to showcase a new work by one of Britain’s finest contemporary musicians.
The Festival (BIF) has been chosen for the first live production of a new opera, Dido’s Ghost, following its online premiere in London’s Barbican and before its run in Edinburgh.
Dido’s Ghost was composed by Errollyn Wallen CBE, who this week received the Incorporated Society of Musicians Distinguished Musician Award which recognises outstanding contributions to musical life in the UK, joining such esteemed recipients as Sir Michael Tippett, Jacqueline du Pré OBE and Sir Charles Groves.
“BIF is returning to the UK stage after lockdown with its trademark ambition for producing ground-breaking works, and being one of the co-commissioners of Dido’s Ghost is a perfect example of that,” said Chief Executive Michael Williams.
“We are proud to have been recognised as one of the best places to unveil new work by new artists, and this is a wonderful vindication of the support which we have received from many sources, including the Government, to bring live music back to Buxton.”
The opera imagines a continuation of the classical story of doomed lovers Dido and Aeneas, the Queen of Carthage and the first true hero of Rome, two cities which became locked in a struggle only one could survive.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Dido’s Ghost to Buxton International Festival this summer, and to welcome BIF as a co-commissioning partner,” said Jo Buckley, Chief Executive of Dunedin Consort, which will present the opera.
“From the moment I shared the idea for this unique new opera with Adrian Kelly, the Festival’s Artistic Director, there was a huge air of excitement about the prospect. Dido’s Ghost incorporates both the old and the new. Its music is both familiar and ground-breaking, so I can think of few better places to present it than in Buxton’s historic Opera House to a passionate and inquisitive contemporary audience.”
The success is a vindication of investment in the town’s vibrant arts culture, including money from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund for both BIF and the Opera House itself.
To book tickets for BIF 2021, go to: buxtonfestival.co.uk/booking-information
Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.