Buxton International Festival Digital 2020 Season

Curated by Adrian Kelly (Artistic Director) and Vicky Dawson (Book Festival Director) 

In collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic, Buxton Opera House, Early Opera Company and Derby Book Festival

After the cancellation of the 2020 Buxton International Festival, we are thrilled to announce the BIF Digital 2020 season which will take place from July 13 to 25 July.

All the BIF Digital interview recordings will be available to view free of charge from 4pm on the dates listed below.

Monday 13 July

Charles Moore on his book Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone in conversation with Matthew Parris

Charles Moore is the authorized biographer of Margaret Thatcher and a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator and The Sunday Telegraph. Matthew Parris is columnist for The Times and The Spectator and a much-loved radio broadcaster including Great Lives on BBC Radio. Matthew entered Parliament in 1979 as the Conservative MP for West Derbyshire.

Tuesday 14 July

Adrian Kelly and Jacopo Spirei – La donna del lago and the role of the stage director

Stage director Jacopo Spirei talks to Adrian Kelly about the process of creating a new production, how he works to draw the best out of the singers, and his first impressions of the Buxton Opera House. There are also musical contributions from singers Nico Darmanin, Máire Flavin and John Irvin.

Wednesday 15 July

Laura Thompson on Take Six Girls: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters interviewed by Vicky Dawson

Laura Thompson returns to BIF to discuss the perennially fascinating Mitfords. Appearing to be present and connected to momentous events across the Twentieth Century, Laura discusses Mitfordian confidence and charm alongside the darkness and light of their lives.

Thursday 16 July

Kate Whitley and Laura Attridge discuss the creation of the BIF commissioned opera oratorio, Our Future, In Your Hands, in conversation with Michael Williams 

The Festival commissioned an Opera Oratorio based on Climate Change from Kate Whitley (composer) and Laura Attridge (Librettist) which incorporates a 100-strong youth choir, orchestra and 3 soloists. Join us for a discussion on the process of writing music, creating a libretto and mounting a brand-new Oratorio.

Friday 17 July

Gill Hornby on Miss Austen interviewed by Vicky Dawson

Gill Hornby’s acclaimed new novel takes a literary mystery that has long puzzled academics and delivers an utterly convincing and enchanting story that questions the idea of legacy, remembrance and what constitutes a happy life.

Saturday 18 July

Paul Kerryson and Wyn Davies explore the work of Stephen Sondheim and A Little Night Music, in conversation with Michael Williams

The Buxton Opera House and Festival’s first-ever co-production of A Little Night Music was postponed in 2020 but will be part of the offering for next year. Wyn Davies and Paul Kerryson share their thoughts on Sondheim’s musical mastery and why this work has been described as a musical with ‘whipped cream with razor blades’.

Sunday 19th July

BBC Philharmonic

The BBC Philharmonic made a big impression with their concert at last year’s 40th Anniversary Festival. Omer Meir Wellber began his tenure as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season. In this performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A, K414, Wellber leads the orchestra from the keyboard, in a performance that includes a number of surprises.

Monday 20 July

Where to now for the Arts in the UK? Annie Lydford, Julian Glover, Emily Gottlieb in conversation with Michael Williams

Join Annie Lydford, Chief Executive of Nevill Holt Opera, Julian Glover, journalist and Associate Editor of the London Evening Standard and Emily Gottlieb, Chief Executive of the National Opera Studio in a discussion hosted by Michael Williams on the state of affairs regarding theatre and opera in the United Kingdom post-Covid 19.

Tuesday 21 July

Dame Sarah Connolly

Dame Sarah Connolly is an artist of extraordinary breadth and sincerity. In this selection of some of her finest performances, we see her embody two very contrasting Handelian heroes, Julius Caesar and Ariodante, and we savour some of her exquisite song singing from London’s Wigmore Hall.

Wednesday 22 July

Laura Thompson on The Last Landlady: An English Memoir interviewed by Vicky Dawson

A Guardian, Spectator and Mail on Sunday Book of the Year 2018, this personal and hilarious book remembers Laura’s own grandmother Violet, one of the great landladies. Born in a London Pub, she became the first woman to be given a publican’s licence in her own name.

Thursday 23 July

Mark Cocker- A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes From A Small Planet  in conversation with Patrick Barkham about his new book Wild Child

Two of our finest naturalists (and Guardian columnists) discuss the stifling of our children’s creativity and imagination by perpetual supervision. They suggest a solution could be a re-engagement with the natural world and a return to childhood exploration and freedoms alongside a ‘new deal’ for nature itself.

Friday 24 July

The Golden Age Crime Panel with Sarah Ward, Martin Edwards and Nicola Upson

Bestselling Derbyshire based crime writer Sarah Ward invites writer, editor and critic Martin Edwards and CWA Historical dagger shortlisted author Nicola Upson to discuss The Golden Age of Crime in Britain in the 1920s and 30s. Martin is a leading authority on the period and Nicola’s books feature Josephine Tey as her detective.

Saturday 25 July

Adrian Kelly talks to Christian Curnyn about Handel’s Acis and Galatea

Christian Curnyn, founder and Artistic Director of the Early Opera Company talks about how he found his way to a career in music, his love of Handel’s music, and his experiences working with some of the world’s leading stage directors.