Buxton announces 2024 festival

Buxton International Festival (BIF) is celebrating an exceptional 2023 festival which far exceeded attendance expectations with sell-out events and accolades across the board. Once again, the Festival’s cutting-edge opera programme emerged as the greatest draw with its popular books programme a close second. On the back of this fantastic year, the Festival announces its plans for 2024 with five eagerly awaited operas and, in a major coup for BIF, a performance from the Cuban-British director, choreographer and ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta.
Highlights from BIF 2023 include:

• 150 events over 18 days
• 28,821 tickets sold
• 29% of the total BIF audience attended Bellini’s opera, La sonnambula
• Over 2,000 people attended the top book events between Jeremy Bowen, Alastair Campbell and Dame Kate Bingham

Commenting, Adrian Kelly, Buxton’s artistic director said: “Buxton International Festival has built its success on a commitment to the highest artistic standards in opera, music, books and jazz. As we watch our audiences grow and return year after year, we realise we have the formula to produce something very special each year. With the festival’s ambition and popularity on the climb, we are excited to announce our plans for 2024.”


• Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Ernani’

Giuseppi Verdi’s Ernani is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts which tells the tragic love story of Elvira, who is caught between three men: her lover, her guardian and the King of Spain. Adrian Kelly conducts this new BIF production in Buxton Opera House with The Orchestra of Opera North.

• George Frideric Handel’s ‘Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno’
Following the success of Acis & Galatea at Buxton in 2021, the festival joins forces with The Early Opera Company for a new production of Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disingannol conducted by Christian Curnyn in Buxton Opera House.

• Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s ‘La Tragedie de Carmen’
In its second collaboration with Norwich Theatre, BIF presents Peter Brook’s adaptation of Bizet’s La Tragedie de Carmen in Buxton Opera House. Brook’s adaptation includes elements of the Georges Bizet opera as well as the original Prosper Mérimée novella on which Bizet’s opera was based.

• Ethel Smyth, ‘The Boatswain’s Mate’
This brand-new BIF production, written by British composer and suffragette Ethyl Smyth, centres around a humorous battle of the sexes on the seafront in Margate. It’s full of twists and turns complete with all the quintessential sounds and sights of British summertime. Performed at the Pavilion Arts Centre.

• Joseph Haydn’s ‘La Canterina’
The last of the BIF’s new productions for 2024 is Haydn’s two-act operetta, La canterina. This comedic opera has all the ingredients for a riotous show with its stock-in-trade buffo figures: the aspiring, money-grabbing diva; her mother adept at procuring suitors; an oily, lascivious singing teacher and a wealthy young lover. Performed at the Pavilion Arts Centre.


Superstar Cuban-British director, choreographer and ballet dancer, Carlos Acosta, will make his debut at Buxton International Festival with his intensely personal evening of dance, ‘On Before’. Acosta, a long-time principal dancer at the Royal Ballet, has danced as a guest principal with all the major ballet companies across the world and now enjoys a mighty career as a director and choreographer. ‘On Before’ pays homage to Acosta’s late mother featuring choreography by world renowned artists, including Russell Maliphant, Kim Brandstrup, and Will Tuckett. Acosta will perform as both a soloist and alongside Laura Rodríguez, a founding member of his Cuban dance company, Acosta Danza.

Commenting on 2024, Michael Williams, BIF’s CEO said: “We are literally dancing into 2024, with megastar Carlos Acosta and a line-up of operas, books and jazz that will make your mouth water. We are all looking to the arts to lift the spirits and Buxton promises to deliver.”


BIF’s opening Jazz Weekender, now an eagerly-awaited festival opener, features the ‘Adrian Cox Clarinet Fantasy’ with special guest, Tommy Blaize (a regular on BBC TV’s Strictly Come Dancing). Other highlights include Super Monday, Ubunye, Zoe Rahman, Nearly Dan and Ian Shaw.

Commenting, Neil Hughes jazz director said: “The Jazz Weekender has been causing ripples across the jazz world with our star-studded line ups. Now in its third year, we will set the bar high once more.”


Priority Booking for Carlos Acosta and Jazz Weekenders opens on 27 November 2023.

The full programme and festival brochure will be issued on Monday 26 February, with Priority Booking opening on 5 March and Public Booking on 2 April 2024.

For further information visit: www.buxtonfestival.co.uk

Main image: La Sonnambula

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