Tuesday 26 June 2018

Tchaikovsky, Spontini, Georgiana and a new artistic director - Buxton announces plans for 2019

Adrian Kelly
Adrian Kelly
Earlier this year it was announced that the conductor Stephen Barlow was stepping down as artistic director of the Buxton Festival after this year's festival. The festival has wasted no time in appointing his successor, and conductor Adrian Kelly will take up the role of artistic director after the 2018 festival and will be responsible for the programming for the 2019 festival which will celebrate the  40th anniversary of the founding of the Buxton Festival. Already announced are the three main operas for next year, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Spontini's La vestale and a new pasticcio celebrating the life & times of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

Adrian Kelly is something of an unknown quantity in the UK, despite his training as a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge and the RNCM, and his participation in the Young Artists Programme at Covent Garden. He has worked at the Salzburg State Theatre since 2010 and has been music director there since 2017, and next season will be conducting Massenet's Manon and the three Mozart/Da Ponte operas in Salzburg. His work in Salzburg has included the Austrian premiere of Charles Wuorinen's opera Brokeback Mountain (based on the Annie Proulx novella which gave rise to the film).

Kelly's choice of festival operas for 2019 are an interesting mix. Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin has not been done at the festival since 1998, and the opera is an ideal size for the Buxton Opera House. Spontini's La vestale is more admired than performed, and has rarely been done in the UK. English National Opera's production in the 1990s with Jane Eaglen failed to ignite, and I look forward to hearing the work in the more intimate confines of the Buxton theatre. The third choice, the pasticcio, is an innovative way to celebrate the 40th anniversary by concentrating on the local area, and the success of the work will depend on the quality of the book and the appositeness of the selection of musical material. Also planned for 2019 is a New Voices Gala with young artists from the Royal Northern College of Music and from Cape Town Opera.

Further informatiion from the Buxton Festival website.

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