8th July to 24th July
Box Office: 0845 12 72190
NB: All ticket prices are inclusive of booking fees.
•Only opera performances and music events listed – there is also a free, ten-minute Song at Six at 6pm every day, except Wednesday, from the Pavilion Gardens Bandstand with members of the Festival Chorus.
•For details of a comprehensive, often star-studded Literary Series, see the Festival website - www.buxtonfestival.co.uk
•Each opera performance is preceded by a 30-minute Pre-Opera Talk at the Opera House, 6pm (£2.50) unless otherwise indicated.
•Festival for a Fiver – ticket offer of £5 on all available seats for under-30s.
Jubilee Quartet, multi-award winning female foursome formed at the Royal Academy of Music and another Musicians Company-sponsored concert featuring Janáček: String Quartet No 2 Intimate Letters; Webern: Langsamer Satz for String Quartet; and Beethoven: String Quartet No 11 Serioso. St John’s Church, Wednesday, 20th of July, 12-noon – £15.
The English Concert, emerge from the Opera House orchestra pit and take a break from Handel with some Telemann: Tafelmusik Suite in B flat; CPE Bach: Symphony No 5 in B minor; Bach Brandenburg Concerto No 5; more Telemann: Concerto for flute and oboe d’amore, viola d’amore and strings; and further Bach: Orchestral Suite No 1 in C, BWV 1066. The perhaps not obvious link is that Telemann was the godfather of Bach’s son CPE and there are distinguished soloists under the direction of harpsichordist Laurence Cummings; Nadja Zwiener: violin, Lisa Beznosiuk: flute, Katharina Spreckelsen: oboe d'amore, and Huw Daniel: viola d'amore. St John’s Church, Wednesday, 20th of July, 7.30pm – £25.
I Capuleti e i Montecchi, super production from a musical stand point of Bellini’s operatic version of the Romeo and Juliet story. Sung in Italian with English side titles. Opera House, Wednesday (20th of July), 2.30pm (Opera talk, 1.15pm); Saturday, 7.15pm – £21 to £68. Review and By Any Other Name… @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Stephen Barlow/Laurence Cummings, strictly part of the festival’s large literary series and an early start required if you want to hear the festival artistic director and period performance-inclined conductor discuss authenticity in performance. Old Clubhouse (adjacent Opera House), Thursday, 21st of July, 9am – £10.50.
James Gilchrist, super programme from one the UK’s finest tenors and one of its leading piano accompanists Anna Tilbrook with Vaughan Williams: Songs of Travel, bisecting two Schumann song cycles: Liederkreis Op 24 and Dichterliebe. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday, 21st of July, 12-noon – £20.
Opera Scenes, the understudies from the Festival Chorus for Beethoven’s Leonore perform scenes from the opera. Palace Hotel, Thursday, 21st of July, 2pm – £12.
Lionel Handy, cellist with an outstanding pedigree performs Schumann: 5 Stücke im Volkston Op 102; Bax: Folk-Tale; and Poulenc: Sonata for cello and piano, with Jennifer Hughes: piano. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday, 21st of July, 3.30pm – £15.
Anna Lapwood, senior organ scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford – the first woman to hold the post, plays Patrick Gowers, Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor and Messiaen at the second of two Oxbridge organ scholar recitals. St John’s Church, Thursday, 21st of July, 5pm – £12.
Tamerlano, last three performances of Handel’s opera with two British countertenors of international repute on the same stage, Rupert Enticknap in the title role and Owen Willetts as Andronico. The versatile Paul Nilon sings Bajazet, up-and-coming Swiss soprano Marie Lys is his daughter Asteria and part of Irene is taken by mezzo-soprano Catherine Hopper. A co-production by the period instrument English Concert and Buxton Festival, Laurence Cummings is the conductor, Francis Matthews the director and it is sung in Italian with English side titles. Opera House, Thursday (21st of July) – £21 to £68. By Any Other Name… @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen, are in town with their 21st birthday show, ‘The Swing’s the Thing’. Pavilion Gardens Café, Thursday, 21st of July, 9pm – £20.
As You Like It, extremely attractive recital of cosmopolitan Shakespeare settings from tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Simon Lepper taking in Quilter: Three Shakespeare Songs; Britten: Fancie (first line, Tell me, where is fancy fled), and Gallic thoughts on it, Poulenc: Fancy; Chausson: Trois chansons de Shakespeare Op 28 (the third is Chanson d’Ophélie); Schubert: An Sylvia; Tippett: Songs for Ariel; Purcell (arr Tippett/Bergmann): An Epithalamium (The Fairy Queen); Haydn: She never told her love; Schubert: Trinklied (Antony and Cleopatra); Hugo Wolf: Lied des transferierten Zettel (The ousel cock, so black of hue – Midsummer Night’s Dream); Geoffrey Bush: It was a lover and his lass; Mervyn Horder: Under the Greenwood Tree; John Dankworth: Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day? and Dunsinane Blues (after Macbeth); and Peter Dickinson: Hark, hark, the lark. Pavilion Arts Centre, Friday, 12-noon – £15.
Breaking the Rules, a words and music concert, something of a feature in this year’s festival from the highly rated Marian Consort hinged on Carlo Gesualdo in the 450th anniversary year of his birth. To a script by Clare Norburn, it focuses on the last day of his life as he tries to come to terms with his own mortality; being conscious of the multitude of sins he is guilty of, including the murder of his first wife and her lover. Played by actor Gerald Kyd, he tries intoning religious platitudes but the only thing that gives any solace is hearing music – pieces from his monumental Tenebrae Responsories, all 27 of them, plus Psalm 51 and Benedictus, as well as a selection of his numerous madrigals! St John’s Church, Friday, 3.30pm – £20.
Leonore, period-costumed, quirky production with strong musical values of Beethoven’s opera that became Fidelio. Sung in German with English side titles. Opera House, Friday, 7.15pm – £21 to £68. Review and By Any Other Name… @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Paprika, globally travelled sextet variously hailing from Romania, Serbia and the UK that fuses East European, Balkan, gypsy and classical music on violin, two accordions, guitar, bass and percussion. Pavilion Gardens Café, Friday, 9pm – £20.
The Formidable Frau, a further words and music concert from soprano Gillian Keith and pianist Simon Lepper the redoubtable lady being the wife of Richard Strauss, soprano Pauline de Ahna. Readings from letters and memoirs punctuate 17 of his songs, including some of the best known: Ständchen; Cäcilie; Heimliche Afforderung; Morgen! (his wedding present to her in 1894); Zueignung; Gefunden; All mein Gedanken; Muttertändelei; and Freundliche Vision, among them. Pavilion Arts Centre, Saturday, 12-noon – £15.
Lauren Scott Trio, three vastly experienced musicians Lauren Scott: harp, Conrad Marshall: flute, and Raymond Lester: viola, perform Bax: Elegiac Trio, a near-10 minute gem from 1916; Debussy: Syrinx; Richard Rodney Bennett: Sonata after Syrinx for flute, viola and harp; and further Debussy: his better-known Sonata for the three instruments. St John’s Church, Saturday, 3.30pm – £15…and that is it after Bellini in the evening for another year, unless Richard Lloyd’s Hereford Service at St John’s on Sunday, 11.15am, appeals to you.
GILBERT AND SULLIVAN
It used to be, for 20 years up to three years ago, that Buxton Festival over Gilbert and Sullivan took over the High Peak town with a heavy Sheffield presence (performers and audience). Latterly, it was a highly successful three week festival of all things G&S and then it was decided to transplant it in Harrogate where this year’s festival opens on the 3rd of August – details www.gsfestivals.org
Following a decision on someone’s part, in all likelihood a joint one, last year and this the festival-founded, professional National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company has presented its productions for the year in Buxton, this time round prior to them opening in Harrogate after which they embark on a national tour.
So, on offer are:
The Yeomen of the Guard, with a one-time familiar face to Sheffield audiences, Nick Sales as Colonel Fairfax. Among the other principals are Richard Gauntlett: Jack Point, Bruce Graham: Wilfred Shadbolt, Jane Harrington: Elsie Maynard, Fiona Mackay: Phoebe Merryl, and Pauline Birchall: Dame Carruthers. David Steadman conducts the splendid National Festival Orchestra – temporarily re-christened National Gilbert and Sullivan Orchestra, and the director is a Sheffield son, the massively talented John Savournin. Buxton Opera House, Tuesday, Friday, 29th of July, 7.30pm – £27, £30, £35.
The Pirates of Penzance, Richard Gauntlett: Major General Stanley, Bruce Graham: Sergeant of Police, Pauline Birchall: Ruth, return with Brendan Collins: Pirate King, Adrian Dwyer: Frederic, and Leigh Rhianon Coggins: Mabel, with the same conductor and director. Buxton Opera House, Wednesday, 27th of July, 2.30pm and 7.30pm – £27, £30, £35.
HMS Pinafore/Trial by Jury, not the G&S Opera Company here but Derby Gilbert and Sullivan Company (in its 50th anniversary year) and Trent Opera ‘joining forces’ – personnel does overlap and they have the same guiding artistic force Andrew Nicklin (remember South Yorkshire Opera?) who directs and conducts both. Only cast member known for certain is Sheffield-based bass-baritone Mike Tipler as Dick Deadeye and Counsel (Trial) but Stephen Godward must be involved, probably as Captain Corcoran. Buxton Opera House, Thursday, 28th of July, 7.30pm – £18, £20, £22.
The Mikado, all familiar faces now except Martin Lamb: The Mikado; Richard Gauntlett: Ko-Ko, Bruce Graham: Pooh-Bah, Adrian Dwyer: Nanki-Poo, Leigh Rhianon Coggins: Yum-Yum, Pauline Birchall: Katisha, and David Steadman is still waving the baton, but there is a different director, the G&S Festival’s founder and artistic director Ian Smith. Buxton Opera House, Saturday, 30th of July, 2.30pm and 7.30pm – £27, £30, £35.
Summer Flute Play-day, for flute players – plus, piccolo, alto and bass flute, and bigger! – aged 18-plus and around Grade 5 upwards hosted by Sheffield Flute Choir at Sharrow Performing Arts Space, Sheffield S7 1BE, Saturday, 13th of August 2016, 10am -4.30pm: £20. Details and booking at http://www.sheffieldflute.co.uk/summer-flute-playday.html
A Flute Player’s Blueprint, one-day workshop with Dr Jessica Quiñones in partnership with Rachel Shirley and Sheffield Flute Choir for flute players of all levels aged 18-plus at Sharrow Performing Arts Space, Sheffield S7 1BE, Saturday, 29th of October 2016, 10am -5pm: £60. Details and booking at http://www.sheffieldflute.co.uk/a-flute-players-blueprint.html
MUSIC IN THE ROUND NEEDS YOU!
Music in the Round are looking to recruit local people to help take part in a consultation group to discuss how to encourage higher attendance at their concerts. This will be a great opportunity to have an impact on the classical music scene in Sheffield and will only take up one hour of your time on Wednesday 27th June. It'd be great for the research group to be as diverse as possible, therefore if you can spread the word about this, please do, thank you!
For more info please visit: http://www.classicalsheffield.org.uk/digest/music-in-the-round-needs-your-ideas