The stage is set for a sizzling summer of glorious Gilbert and Sullivan as Buxton Opera House opens its doors for the 18th International Festival at the end of this month.
This year, the festival runs from July 30-August 20, with 36 full-scale performances in the Opera House and 14 more in the newly refurbished Pavilion Arts Centre next door.
The festival’s own, professional and highly acclaimed Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company will be putting on four productions – The Pirates of Penzance, The Yeomen of the Guard, Ruddigore and Utopia Limited.
Other professional companies include the young Charles Court Opera with a triple bill of The Zoo, Trial By Jury and Cox and Box and the hugely entertaining and comedic Opera della Luna with their special version of The Sorcerer.
There is a warm welcome waiting for G&S Opera Victoria, travelling all the way from Australia, complete with costumes and a cast of over fifty to present The Yeomen of the Guard and The Arcadians, widely regarded as the finest Edwardian comedy.
Also competing for the Festival’s coveted International Champion’s trophy are more locally-based Derby G&S Opera Company with Princess Ida, Edinburgh G&S with The Mikado, Cambridge University with Iolanthe and Oxbridge Opera Company with The Gondoliers.
Festival perennials SavoyNet Performing Group, an international G&S internet discussion group, have cast members flying in from around the world to perform The Mikado and the ever-popular Festival Production 2011 will be Iolanthe. Festival Founder and Chairman, Ian Smith, is also directing his first show in Buxton and was thrilled when Simon Butteriss agreed to play the part of John Wellington Wells in The Nomads’ production of The Sorcerer. Simon will also star as the Judge in Charles Court’s Trial by Jury.
The second International Youth Festival in the Pavilion Arts Centre will feature three groups of young singers. First time festival goers Halifax Young Singers will perform The Pirates of Penzance, Trent Youth Opera return with a new production of The Mikado and the ever-popular Festival Youth Production goes from strength to strength as youngsters from the USA, Sweden and France join the company for their production of HMS Pinafore.
This is the centenary year of Gilbert’s death and this year there is a special tribute programme to mark this. There will be a series of talks along with seldom seen concerts and plays to ensure a memorable weekend.
To book tickets for this internationally renowned festival, call 0845 712 72190 or visit www.gsfestivals.org