La donna del lago

Sun 5 - Sun 19 July 2020

La donna del lago

It is with great regret that for the first time in forty years we must cancel the Buxton International Festival in July 2020. This is an enormous disappointment but the health and well-being of our audience, our volunteers, the BIF team and all the artists involved is of primary concern. By taking this difficult decision now we are safeguarding the Festival for the Future. Read our full statement here.

Please save the dates for next year’s Festival taking place 2 – 18 July 2021.

Gioachino Antonio Rossini (1792-1868)

A Buxton International Festival Production, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

Set in 16th century Scottish Highlands, La donna del lago, is an opera of love, loyalty and lochs with expansive ensembles and sparkling orchestration.

Based on the epic poem The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott, the title heroine Elena is being pursued by not one but two tenors: King James V, disguised as the humble Uberto and his enemy and rival in love, Rodrigo Di Dhu. Complicating matters further, Elena herself loves Malcolm (a trouser role), the son of one of the king’s political adversaries. Political alliances are stretched to their limit as all three vie for Elena’s attention against a backdrop of escalating war and deception. Will love make or break a divided Scotland?

La donna del lago, one of the most lyrical of Gioachino Rossini’s operas, will be conducted by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Adrian Kelly, and directed by internationally renowned Jacopo Spirei. Jacopo has directed several of Rossini’s lesser-known operas, including most recently Ermione at Naples’ Teatro San Carlo.

Soprano Máire Flavin makes her Buxton debut after luminous performances at Wexford Festival Opera and Opera North. An alumna of both the Opera Theatre Company and Britten-Pears Young Artist programmes, Máire Flavin studied at Queens University, Belfast and the National Opera Studio, London. Taking on the demanding role of Uberto. Maltese tenor Nico Darmanin is now well established in the Bel Canto repertoire, having performed at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, and the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. Praised for his ‘golden sound’ and ‘elegant wit,’ Tenor John Irvin has made debuts with Madison Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

The libretto by Andrea Leone Tortola is based on the French translation of The Lady of the Lake.

Sung in Italian with English side-titles.

Thanks to members of the La donna del lago Syndicate for their support.

Sponsored by

Creatives & Cast

Adrian Kelly

Jacopo Spirei

Madeleine Boyd

Ben Pickersgill
Lighting Designer


Máire Flavin

Nico Darmanin

John Irvin

Catherine Carby

Joel Allison