Sunday 14 November 2010

Buxton Festival

This year's Buxton Festival looks as tempting as ever with Mary Plazas taking the title role in Donizetti's Maria di Rohan in a production by Stephen Medcalf and Jonathan Best as Handel's Saul in a staged performance directed by Olivia Fuchs and conducted by Harry Christophers. Staging Handel's oratorios is always tricky, but Saul is one of the more dramatic ones and it can be made to work. Annilise Miskimmon is staging Ambroise Thomas Mignon, definitely a rarity on these shores nowadays though it used to be extremely popular. The Wexford Festival staged the piece many years ago in a production by Richard Jones, but this does not seem to have started a revival.

Buxton have also announced their new artistic Director, Stephen Barlow, who takes over from Andrew Greenwood in 2011. We have seen Barlow conduct quite a number of times at Grange Park Opera, and his own opera based on Thomas Beckett and Henry II was premiered at Canterbury Cathedral. It will be interesting to see what mark he makes on Buxton

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