Award-winning opera chief takes charge of Buxton International Festival

Michael Williams will be relocating from South Africa to take over the reins at Buxton International Festuvial this spring
Michael Williams will be relocating from South Africa to take over the reins at Buxton International Festuvial this spring

Buxton International Festival has appointed a new and award-winning chief executive whose work has already attracted global attention.

Michael Williams, who is currently Managing Director of Cape Town Opera, (CTO), will take up his new post in Buxton in April 2018.

Michael an awon an award for services to opera in South Africa

Michael an awon an award for services to opera in South Africa

He said: “I am delighted to have been invited to be the chief executive Officer for Buxton International Festival.

“I am very much looking forward to working with artistic director Stephen Barlow on a Festival well known for its commitment to producing rarely performed operatic gems and showcasing the best of young British talent.

“I am particularly eager to create new projects throughout the year, expand the cultural learning programme and develop both new audiences and young talent.

“I also plan to continue the excellent work on building the reputation of the Book and Music components of the Festival.

“What impressed me enormously was the passion and ambition that everyone associated with the Festival has for the town of Buxton.

“I am excited to become part of the team that makes Buxton such an exciting place to visit every summer.”

Michael has been the managing director of CTO since 2005, but has been with the company since 1990.

During his time there he been instrumental in developing outreach and education, initiating their Choral Training Programme, directing operas and commissioning the creation of new work.

He has written four operas for young people all of which toured throughout South Africa and is also the recipient of the Nederburg Award for his contribution to opera.

Felicity Goodey, chairman of the board at Buxton International Festival said: “We are delighted Michael Williams is the new CEO. He impressed us with his global view, extensive contacts and wealth of experience at the helm of a major opera company.

“With our 40th anniversary in 2019, we have confidence Michael will build on the quality of the festival, ensuring it continues to inspire audiences and attract international artists through its innovative programme.”