Buxton International Festival 2021

We are delighted to announce programme highlights for Buxton International Festival 2021.  A full festival will go ahead between the 8th and 25th July in our beautiful spa town, in the heart of the stunning Peak District.


Opera Series

This year’s exciting programme features Errollyn Wallen’s new opera, Dido’s Ghost,  which incorporates Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.   BIF is proud to be co-commissioning this production along  with the Barbican Centre, Mahogany Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale and the Dunedin Consort.  Also included in the opera series is Malcolm Arnold’s The Dancing Master, a co-production with conductor John Andrews (nominated for BBC Music Magazine’s 2021 Opera recording of the year); a co-production with the Early Opera Company of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, conducted by Christian Curnyn; a brand new BIF production of Pauline Viardot’s Opéra comique Cendrillon; and Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig, a Buxton International Festival Platform 3 Production, designed to provide a platform for all ages to create, perform and engage with the arts.

In addition, the Festival is offering a musical for the first time, a co-production with Buxton Opera House of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, starring Olivier Award-winning Janie Dee, directed by Paul Kerryson and conducted by Wyn Davies.

Click here for the dates & times.

Due to the uncertainties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the possibility that social distancing measures may still be in place, we have had to postpone our productions of Rossini’s La donna del lago, Donizetti’s Viva la Diva, and Whitley’s Our Future in Your Hands oratorio this year.


Music Series

The Festival’s exceptional music series features some of the UK’s finest artists, including the violinist, Jennifer Pike, who will be 2021’s artist-in-residence.  Further highlights include concerts from Dame Sarah Connolly, Sir John Tomlinson, The English Concert, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and Natalie Clein.


Book Series

The Festival’s books programme boasts some of the most exciting new publications of 2021.  It offers events of cultural escapism with “voices” from radio and television, and as ever, it does not shy away from controversial subjects.  Highlights include events on land reform, the leadership style of our British Prime Ministers, slave trade reparations, and the future of Brexit Britain.

Guests include broadcasters Andrew Marr, Iain Dale, Giles Fraser and Matthew Parris, bestselling authors James Rebanks, Ben MacIntyre and Max Hastings, historians including Margaret MacMillan and Neil Oliver, journalists Polly Toynbee and David Walker, scientists including palaeontologist Richard Fortey, archaeologist Rebecca Wragg Sykes, law makers and protectors including policewoman Parm Sandhu and chief prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, and bookseller Martin Latham.



You may notice a few differences to your Festival experience this year.  These include reduced capacity in our venues, the use of face coverings, extra signage, hand sanitisers stations will be in place and there will be enhanced cleaning.  These details, along with our COVID-19 policy, will be published on our website soon and will be updated regularly, in line with Government announcements.


Festival Time Line

The Festival programme will be issued at the end of March 2021 and priority booking will open on 6 April, followed by public booking on 4 May 2021. Please see the booking dates here. We look forward to seeing you this summer.