Buxton International Festival launched its 2017 season with queues outside the box office and bumper hotel bookings reported for the two weeks of first-class opera, concerts and literature it will present in July.
Festival chairman Felicity Goodey told the launch party in Buxton Opera House that the 38-year-old festival was now truly international, with 11 global travel companies bringing visitors to the town this year.
“There were queues outside the box office for the past few days,” said Felicity, a former BBC news presenter.
And for the first time, opera-goers had had to book into hotels in Manchester, which boded well for the future of the project to restore the Crescent.
“We want to put the spotlight on the glories of Buxton, with people coming back not just for the festival,” she said.
She praised the festival’s partners, including Buxton Opera House, High Peak Borough Council and the indispensable Friends of the Festival.
But she warned that even a sell-out at each event would not cover the complete cost of putting on so many original productions, and announced that an appeal to ensure its future would be launched in July with support from the Duke of Devonshire and world-famous opera singer Lesley Garrett, CBE, who began her career in the town.
Felicity promised this year’s festival, with three fully-staged operas, a wide range of music and talks by some of the UK’s best-known authors, would be the best yet.
For full details, pick up a brochure at Buxton Opera House or go to www.buxtonfestival.co.uk.