Festival for a Fiver

Are you under 30? Do you enjoy going to festivals, the theatre or live music events? Would you like to attend the opera and get discounted tickets and attend social events? Sign up to our FREE membership and enjoy Festival events with discounted tickets, and social events.

Simply send an email with your name, contact details and date of birth to lily@buxtonfestival.co.uk, and we’ll give you access to all the events at Buxton Festival – opera, music and books – for just £5 a ticket.

It’s a great way to experience all that Buxton Festival has to offer and to be a part of the most vibrant month in the Buxton calendar.

In association with

Derby Uni logo

An interview with mezzo soprano, Imogen Garner

The end of May marks the beginning of opera rehearsals in London. Before things get under way, I managed to catch up with Imogen Garner who will be joining the opera chorus this year. Imogen studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and has been a member of the Buxton Festival Chorus for the last few years. To read more about Imogen, click here.

Have you always known you wanted to be a singer, or did it develop over time?

I’ve always loved singing and as a child I was drawn to singing based films and programmes. I didn’t realise quite how important it was to me until I reached my twenties, I then applied for a postgrad at the RNCM and was very fortunate to be offered a place.

How did you land your first opera role?

My first operatic role was Annina in La Traviata for Wilmslow Opera.

What made you apply to audition for the Buxton Festival Chorus?

I’ve worked with lots of singers who’ve relished their experience of working in the Festival and so I went along to watch and really enjoyed the atmosphere and feel of it.

You are all covering a role in one of the Festival’s operas this year. Could you tell us a little more about the role?

I’m covering Irene in Handel’s Tamerlano. I’m really enjoying her; she enters the opera expecting to marry Tamerlano but after discovering he has chosen another, she disguises herself and vows to win him back.

How do you start learning a role? Do you approach a role differently each time?

I always intend to approach a role in a systematic way starting with the notes and the music and building layer upon layer but often it becomes less structured and more organic.

Is there a particular opera in this year’s Festival programme that you are looking forward to performing in?

I know most about Tamerlano so the production of that is most intriguing to me at the moment.

For people who are less familiar with opera, is there a particular album or show that you’d recommend?

My first experiences of opera in my late teens were La Traviata and La Boheme at Opera North which I loved.

What has been the most memorable opera production or concert that you have performed in?

I think the most memorable experience to date must have been The Mastersingers at ENO, the audience’s response at the end of the first night was overwhelming.

What would be your dream operatic role and why?

I’d love to have another opportunity to perform Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw.

Is there a particular opera singer you really admire?

Kathleen Ferrier. I admire her as she seemed to be someone who remained completely true to herself with very natural and effortless sounding singing and performing

The Tamerlano cover show is on Tuesday 19 July 2-3pm at the Palace Hotel.

Lily Bracegirdle Executive Assistant

New events for 2016 Literary Series

We are excited to announce three new events for the Literary series in this year’s Buxton Festival. We’re holding a series of 9am discussions at the Old Clubhouse which touch upon various subjects of interest to Festival-goers.

Nick Robinson
Today frontman Nick Robinson

On Friday 15 July, historian, academic and crossbench peer Peter Hennessy talks to former BBC political editor, now Radio 4 Today host Nick Robinson about the Art of the Political Interview. For more information, and to book your tickets, click here.

Stephen Barlow
Festival Artistic Director Stephen Barlow

On Thursday 21 July, Festival Artistic Director Stephen Barlow and fellow conductor Laurence Cummings discuss the finer points of making interpretive decisions in Authenticity in Performance. For further information, and to book your tickets, click here.

Shiraz Maher
Writer and academic Shiraz Maher

On Friday 22 July, author and academic Shiraz Maher talks to Rod Dubrow-Marshall about Understanding the Roots of Extremism, in what promises to be a lively and controversial discussion. For further information, and to book your tickets, click here.

We aim to announce more early-morning discussions in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on our website! For further information on all these events, and to book your tickets now, phone the Box Office on 01298 72190 or click here.

These events are sponsored by the University of Derby.

Derby Uni logo

Guest blog: Tir Eolas

It looks set to be a pretty exciting summer for us here in Tir Eolas!  We’ll be visiting Buxton Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk East and the Edinburgh Fringe – which means A LOT of Monopoly Deal will be played and a lot of pillows will be thrown by Georgie at oblivious snoring band members.

Tir Eolas was formed a few years ago when percussionist Ruairi Glasheen sent out a note on the Royal College of Music’s weekly mailout, asking if anybody wanted to play folk music and ‘maybe do some busking….see where it takes us.’  It just so happened that guitarist Laura Snowden was having a ‘say yes to everything’ week and responded to the ad: next thing they knew they had narrowly avoided being arrested for busking in the central part of Covent Garden.  How were they to know they needed a licence….

The pair soon joined forces with singer/flautist Pip Mercer, who coincidentally was the first person Ruairi met when he came to London.  The band was completed by violinist Georgie Harris and bass guitarist Hedi Pinkerfeld.  (FYI : Pip now goes by the name of Pip Bryan – YEP she totally got married last summer and we totally went to the obscurest part of Lancashire on public transport to play at her wedding. And to sing some impromptu Simon and Garfunkel on the train platform).

Upon declaring ourselves a band and giving ourselves a name nobody can pronounce, we went on to play together in venues as wide-ranging as the Royal Albert Hall, Bestival, BBC Radio 3 and the gorgeous Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in Shakespeare’s Globe at the invitation of guitarist John Williams.  We were very lucky to be supported by the City Music Foundation, which allowed us to release our debut album Stories Sung, Truths Told, recorded with Jim Moray at Urchin Studios.  The album was really a culmination of all our work up till then, and consisted largely of original material as well as traditional song She Moves Through the Fair.

Laura writes :

‘For me our music is very much about storytelling.  I love writing songs which contain tiny, specific details about a particular character or place –  but through those details, what I am really trying to do is to describe fundamental human experiences with which everyone can resonate.  Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources : I once caught the last twenty minutes of a film (whose name escapes me), and invented what might  have happened in the first half (of course I had no idea) and wrote a song about that.  Our song Aida is inspired by a children’s book called No Roof in Bosnia, whilst Morven Larry was inspired by a painting on my grandmother’s wall.’

Laura Snowden Guitar/Tir Eolas band member

To hear songs from their new album, click on the links below:

She Moves Through The Air / Aida