Buxton Opera House confirms plans for summer return of International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival

The fat lady sang before last year’s concerts even began, but Buxton Opera House has confirmed that one of its premiere events will return this summer.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:05 pm

The curtain will rise on the 2021 International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival on Saturday, July 31, beginning a week-long run of ten performances, specially adapted to keep performers, audience members and backstage staff safe in line with Covid restrictions.

Festival director Janet Smith said: “After the horrible year we have all endured, we cannot wait to get back into the theatre. Our seating plan in the theatre is socially distanced, and only 40 per cent of the usual Opera House seats are available, so we expect tickets to sell out quickly.

“We will have to wait to hear the Government announcements about easing restrictions on June 21, when hopefully we will be allowed to open up more seats. Buxton Opera House management has done a fantastic job to ensure visitors will be safe, and we are very reassured by their meticulous planning.”

The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company dress rehearsal of The Pirates of Penzance at Buxton Opera House in 2019. (Photo: Jane Stokes)
The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company dress rehearsal of The Pirates of Penzance at Buxton Opera House in 2019. (Photo: Jane Stokes)

The acclaimed National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company will open the festival with a performance of HMS Pinafore, followed later in the week by a brand new production of Patience and The Mikado – the latter of which is directed by and starring Simon Butteriss.

The award-winning Charles Court Opera will present a production of Iolanthe, a timely and sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy.

Forbear! Theatre, directed by rising talent Rachel Middle, will present two productions of The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeomen of the Guard.

And for something slightly ly different, on Friday August 6, Simon Butteriss will premiere The Diary of a Nobody, a solo adaptation of the 1892 comic novel by George Grossmith and his brother Weedon.

There will also be an fringe programme of talks, masterclasses and concerts running throughout the week at St John's Church.

Tickets go on open sale at Buxton Opera House on Wednesday, May 5. For full details, call 01298 72190 or visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.