Curtain falls on Buxton leg of UK opera tour

Buxton Opera House
Buxton Opera House

The UK’s leading opera company has withdrawn its May 2014 performances at Buxton Opera House, after a financial deal could not be reached.

It will be the first time in ten years that English Touring Opera, ETO, will not be visiting the Water Street venue as part of its spring season.

The national firm, which has been putting on shows in Buxton since 1985, announced the news “with great regret”.

Dates were provisionally scheduled in the town for three consecutive dates, starting on May 1, with performances of The Magic Flute, Paul Bunyan and King Priam.

A spokesman from ETO said: “Due to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances, Buxton Opera House and English Touring Opera were unable to agree a deal which guaranteed ETO a sufficient level of income to enable the visit to go ahead as originally planned.”

He added that the theatre was a “much beloved venue” of the company, and that they would continue to discuss with the opera house how best to secure a return in future seasons.

A spokesman from the opera house responded: “It is disappointing that a deal couldn’t be agreed with ETO which would have seen them appearing at Buxton Opera House in the spring.

“However, we have secured a return visit in autumn 2014 and we will look to programme them again in 2015. There is no like-for-like replacement for ETO, but we will do our upmost to fill the dates with quality entertainment.”

Instead, the opera house will be showing Soul Legends on May 2 and Mid-Wales Opera’s Madama Butterfly on May 3.

Most recently, the opera company, which operates a spring and autumn tour at 55 venues across the country, performed at Buxton Opera House last month, with The Coronation of Poppea and Agrippina.

The news comes after the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival announced in July it was relocating from Buxton to Harrogate next year.