One of the eight must-see operas to book for this summer – The Telegraph


A Buxton International Festival Production with the Early Opera Company.

Handel is known for bringing emotion to life, for dazzling vocal fireworks and epic drama, and this oratorio is no exception.  Composed in the spring of 1707, it sees him at his most confident, combining rousing choruses, beguiling arias, and colourful orchestral writing.

The story is full of hidden meaning and moral stance, with the characters of Pleasure, Time and Disillusion taking on human form to battle for the soul of Beauty.  Vain Beauty initially commits herself to a hedonistic lifestyle, but Time and Disillusion cannot be ignored for long. As she wrestles with temptation, she must face the inevitability of her own demise and decide whether she can find greater contentment on a more virtuous path.

This production sees Christian Curnyn, one of the UK’s leading conductors specialising in baroque repertoire, returning to Buxton with the award-winning Early Opera Company, following their triumphant Acis and Galatea in 2021. He leads a world-class cast, featuring rising star Hilary Cronin in the role of ‘Piacere’.

Director Jacopo Spirei has a great affinity for baroque music. Since La donna del lago (Buxton 2023) he has had directed productions in Lisbon, Parma and Barcelona.

Libretto by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili.  Sung in Italian with English surtitles.



Anna Dennis Bellezza (Beauty)

Hilary Cronin Piacere (Pleasure)

Hilary Summers Disinganno (Disillusion)

Jorge Navarro Colorado Tempo (Time)



Christian Curnyn Conductor

Jacopo Spirei Director

Anna Bonomelli Designer

D M Wood Lighting Designer



The Telegraph                                   The Guardian




Click here to download the programme


07, 11, 15, 18 Jul 2024


£25 - £88

Concessions: £10 tickets are available for under 35 year olds who are part of the Friends of BIF's Next Gen Scheme.


Buxton Opera House

Booking info

Dates, times & booking

  • Sun 7 Jul 2024 7.15pm - 10.10pm Book
  • Thu 11 Jul 2024 (Matinee) 2.00pm - 4.55pm Book
  • Mon 15 Jul 2024 7.15pm - 10.10pm Book
  • Thu 18 Jul 2024 (Matinee) 2.00pm - 4.55pm Book