Kick-off for region’s biggest arts festival

Jephtha - Handel - Buxton Festival - 8 July 2012''Jephtha - James Gilchrist'Storge - Susan Bickley'Iphis - Gillian Keith'Zebul - Jonathan Best'Hamor - William Purefoy'Angel - Elizabeth Karani''Director & Designer - Frederic Wake-Walker'Lighting - John Bishop
Jephtha - Handel - Buxton Festival - 8 July 2012''Jephtha - James Gilchrist'Storge - Susan Bickley'Iphis - Gillian Keith'Zebul - Jonathan Best'Hamor - William Purefoy'Angel - Elizabeth Karani''Director & Designer - Frederic Wake-Walker'Lighting - John Bishop
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The East Midland’s biggest summer celebration of the arts begins this Saturday, July 7, bringing thousands of visitors to Buxton to enjoy hundreds of events over the next three weeks.

Every year the internationally renowned festival brings a huge variety of music, opera and literature, ensuring there is something for everyone – rarely performed operas by top quality international singers, 45 music concerts featuring big names, an all-star morning literary series and a line-up of afternoon talks by up-and-coming authors.

This year the community musical will be James and Giant Peach, based on Roald Dahl’s classic, and will engage 100 local school children and young people.

Glyn Foley, Buxton Festival chief executive, said: ‘The quality of Buxton Festival’s productions goes from strength to strength, and this year we welcome a new artistic director, Stephen Barlow, whose programme brings an ever more eclectic series of top quality arts events to Buxton.

‘Our opera productions are top quality and feature stellar casts and hugely talented creative teams. We’ve got well-loved personalities like Joanna Lumley in conversation with top authors such as Michael Morpurgo, writer of War Horse. Music stars include leading sopranos Joan Rodgers, Gillian Keith and Claire Rutter, as well as orchestras, fabulous choirs and world music.’

The Festival is famous for its own unique productions of rarely-performed opera and this year’s series includes Intermezzo – Richard Strauss’s autobiographical comedy, Jephtha, Handel’s classic oratorio with Harry Christophers conducting the Orchestra of the Sixteen, and a Double Bill featuring one act operas by Sibelius and Rimsky-Korsakov, featuring damsels in distress from Russian and Finnish fairy-tales.

Tickets are still available for most events and can be purchased online, over the phone or in person at Buxton Opera House. Under-30s are particularly welcome to this year’s Festival, with the best available seats on offer at all events for just £5.

For full listings go to www.buxtonfestival.co.uk