New opera strips away the scandal to uncover the real Duchess Georgiana of Chatsworth

Samantha Clarke as Georgiana in Chatsworth with the portrait of the Duchess she plays.
Samantha Clarke as Georgiana in Chatsworth with the portrait of the Duchess she plays.

A world premiere of an opera which spotlights the tempestuous life of Duchess Georgiana, the wife of the fifth Duke of Devonshire, opens at Buxton International Festival this weekend.

Entitled Georgiana, the show explores the real person behind the well-documented scandals - a lover shared with her husband, kisses for votes and gambling debuts of £3 million.
Rising opera star Samantha Clarke takes the lead role of Georgiana who scandalised Georgian England’s high society in London while her husband was building Buxton’s magnificent Crescent.

Samantha said: “There are so many different accounts of her life, so many different biases. She was forced into a life that wasn’t what she thought it was going to be, and forced into a marriage where she was completely alone. It’s just extraordinary what she went through.”

Festival chief executive Michael Williams has written the lyrics for the opera. The music is a mix of pieces from the period.

Georgiana runs at Buxton Opera House on July 7, 12, 15 and 20.

For tickets call 01298 72190 or go to www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.

READ THIS: Life of Pi has theatre world premiere in Sheffield