Il re pastore: Adrian Kelly Introduces the Cast and Director

With the countdown underway until Buxton International Festival 2023, BIF’s Artistic Director Adrian Kelly introduces the cast and director of this year’s production of Il re pastore.


Il re pastore is one of Mozart’s most beautiful and intimate works, written in Salzburg while the composer was still a teenager. This production gives a platform to five extremely talented emerging British singers.



The cast is led by the vibrant Scottish mezzosoprano, Katie Coventry, a former Harewood Artist at English National Opera, who last summer sang the role of Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina at Glyndebourne and has already distinguished herself in Mozart roles such as Dorabella, Cherubino and Zerlina.


ELLIE NEATE ELISA (Il re pastore) and LISA (La sonnambula)

Ellie Neate was Cleopatra in BIF’s 2022 production of Hasse’s Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra. She also found time to sing the role of Maria Bertram in Mansfield Park. This summer she is equally busy, singing the role of Elisa in Il re pastore, as well as Lisa in La sonnambula.



Olivia Carrell, who was a Young Artist at the Festival in 2019 will sing the role of Tamiri. She also played a big part in the 2022 Festival, singing the role of Luisa is Donizetti’s Viva la diva.

(On a side note, I would like to apologise on behalf of the genre of opera for consistently having such confusingly similar names: Ellie has to sing the roles of Elisa and Lisa this summer, not to be confused with Luisa. Also the title characters of the Mozart and the Bellini are called Amina and Aminta. It’s no wonder that opera plots tend to revolve around cases of mistaken identity…)



The part of Alessandro, king of Macedonia is played by tenor Joe Doody, who has also been a regular in Buxton, singing Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin in 2019 and the Italian Tenor in Viva la Diva last summer.



The role of Agenore is sung by the promising young Welsh tenor, George Curnow.

George is currently on the opera programme at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Mark Wildman and was awarded second prize in the 2023 Kathleen Ferrier Awards.



Director Jack Furness has garnered high praise in recent seasons, especially for his productions of Rusalka for Garsington Festival Opera and for Candide for Scottish Opera.

In this production, he will focus on human relationships of the finely-drawn characters as well as exploring the work’s treatment of the natural world.  He has shared this image of himself, facing the elements whilst filming in Bannau Brycheiniog (the Brecon Beacons)!


Tickets for Il re pastore are available from £10 on the following dates:

Sunday 9 July, 7.15pm

Thursday 13 July, 7.15pm

Monday 17 July, 7.15pm

Thursday 20 July, 7.15pm

Click here to book.