Showcase of G&S youth

Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Youth Festival
Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Youth Festival

BUXTON’S Pavilion Arts Centre will be the setting for youngsters to showcase their talents during the second Gilbert & Sullivan Youth Festival.

The event will take place during the first week of this summer’s 18th International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, which runs at Buxton Opera House from Saturday until August 20.

Four outstanding groups will compete for the prestigious John Reed Memorial Trophy, with all the performances being adjudicated by Tony Finnegan, from Dublin.

Festival Chairman Ian Smith said: “Young people are our future. Go along and support these wonderful young people – you are in for a treat!

“We never cease to be amazed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of those taking part and we are also planning a range of informative workshops and masterclasses for both children and educators.

West Yorkshire-based Halifax Young Singers, a group of 11 to 19-year-olds bubbling with talent and energy, make their first appearance at the Buxton festival on Wednesday August 3, when they will perform The Pirates of Penzance.

Trent Youth Opera, who competed in the Youth Festival last year with a fantastic performance of Patience, return with The Mikado on Thursday August 4.

Although there will be guidance from tutors, the intention is to allow the performers to contribute as much as possible to the final product.

Look out for an energetic and refreshing approach with some outstanding talent.

Courtyard Productions are also making their second appearance after a cracking debut in 2010, this time with Ruddigore on Friday August 5. The children were drawn from Langley Park School for Girls, Langley Park School for Boys and Ravenswood School under the direction of Kevin Gauntlett and John Hargreaves.

The final production in the four-day youth festival will be HMS Pinafore by Festival Youth Production on Saturday August 6.

Festival Youth Production is well-known to regular festival visitors. The show is cast in May and the children – from all around the UK as well as a number of overseas countries – come together a week before the performance to rehearse.

This is the first time Youth Production has competed in the festival and the first time it will be adjudicated.

All performances take place at 3pm on their respective days in the Pavilion Arts Centre, with the added bonus of an 8pm performance of HMS Pinafore on August 6.

Tickets priced £15 (under-18s half price), are available from the Buxton Opera House Box Office on 0845 1272190.

For more information, visit www.gsfestivals.org.