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G&S Festival to return to Buxton

Buxton Opera House during the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that follows the main summer festival

Buxton Opera House during the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival that follows the main summer festival

The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is to return to Buxton next year for a week-long programme - but the main festival will remain in Harrogate.

A joint statement from the festival organisers and Buxton Opera House confirmed the event will be back in the town after detailed negotiations between the two parties.

The festival itself will remain in Harrogate, but a week-long programme of events by the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company will take place at Buxton Opera House in 2015, expected to be from August 4 to August 9.

Last June, it was announced the 2013 event would be the last to be held in Buxton.

“The move from Buxton to Harrogate this year was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make in the 21 years of the festival,” said Ian Smith, of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.

“The economic problems which everyone faced in 2012 and 2013 created major losses for the festival and to survive we had to make difficult


“We are delighted that our agreement with the opera house means that we have not severed our relationship with Buxton and our many friends and supporters in the town.

“We will do everything we can to bring in the audiences to fill the opera house and hotels and guest houses during our tenancy,” he added.

The Buxton programme is expected to feature three brand new productions of The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore.

Stella McCabe, Interim Chief Executive of Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre, said: “I am delighted that this means that we will be able to offer local enthusiasts and visitors to the town the best Gilbert and Sullivan from the people who have been organising it for the past 20 years.

“It is a really positive outcome for all parties, we’re looking forward to welcoming Ian and his team back next year, and in this new approach, we have something to build on for the future.”

Cllr Caitlin Bisknell, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, added: “The return of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival is great news and we’re delighted to welcome them back to Buxton.

“The town has proved to be a very successful venue for the festival over the years and we feel it is the best place for it.

“That they are coming back is testament to the positive, partnership approach taken by the council, Buxton Opera House, prominent local hotels and guest houses, Buxton Town Team and Vision Buxton.

“We have worked closely together over the past few months to make this happen and this co-operative approach has paid dividends.

“We’re all looking forward to the return of the festival which will further enhance the ever-expanding programme of activity the town provides for locals and visitors throughout the year.

“I can promise festival-goers a very warm Buxton welcome.”

More information on the programme will be announced in the next few months.

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