Buxton International Festival chairman Felicity Goodey lauds 'stunning' 2018 line-up

Felicity Goodey at the 2018 launch. Photo: David John King.
Felicity Goodey at the 2018 launch. Photo: David John King.

Buxton International Festival has brought together a stunning line-up of some of the world’s most glorious music performed by a glittering array of talent, the launch of its annual feast of opera, music and books heard this week.

The festival’s praises have already been sung by The Sunday Times which put Buxton in its top 100 places to live, Festival board chairman Felicity Goodey told the launch party at Buxton Opera House on Monday.

The 2018 launch party on the Opera House stage. Photo: David John King.

The 2018 launch party on the Opera House stage. Photo: David John King.

“They describe it as the place for lovers of countryside and culture, and loudly sing praises both for this glorious opera house and the annual International Festival which we are here to launch,” she said.

“This is our 39th year and we have once again a stunning line-up of some of the world’s most glorious music performed by a glittering array of talent; a diverse and entertaining collection of authors and quite a lot of new delights.”

Felicity highlighted a year of change and renewal, and looked forward to the arrival of the new chief executive, Michael Williams, who is currently managing director of the renowned Cape Town Opera company.

Michael’s reputation for innovation and spectacular events promises exciting times ahead, she said.

The 2018 launch party on the Opera House stage. Photo: David John King.

The 2018 launch party on the Opera House stage. Photo: David John King.

And to explain a year of remarkable change in British public life which began with the Brexit vote, the festival has started a new partnership with the British Academy in which Lord Peter Hennessey - celebrated broadcaster, constitutional expert and historian - is curating a series of debates on the big issues with some of the most distinguished writers and commentators of the day.

“Another innovation this year is the Spiegeltent,” she said. “It’s a huge and rather gorgeous marquee, a glorious confection of mirrors and colour guaranteed to bring a smile to all age groups. Inside, we’ll have jazz, poetry and a range of other delights to appeal to all comers.

“And to get us all in the festival mood, this year on opening night we have a special light-hearted gala performance of operatic favourites in partnership with Opera North and hosted by our appeal patron Lesley Garrett.”

Fundraising remains essential to the future of the festival: “We are more fortunate than many in having a large, dedicated band of friends, Patrons and supporters whose donations and events provide so much of our income.

Stephen Barlow at 2018 launch. Photo: David John King.

Stephen Barlow at 2018 launch. Photo: David John King.

“I would like to say an especial thank you to all of them; the Buxton International Festival not only relies on the money you raise but benefits hugely from the enthusiasm, ideas, energy and volunteering you bring with you.”

For the full festival programme, visit www.buxtonfestival.co.uk.