Buxton first weekend

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July 15th 2018
Published: July 15th 2018
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Weekend with Laura and Nigel.

Today we met up with Laura and Nigel. Laura is my cousin from Barnsley, an hour and halves drive away on the other side of the Pennines. They are staying with us in our apartment which was a real pleasure to have some extra time catching up. Laura is so much like her mother Pat.

The spa town of Buxton with its grand promenades and venues all in use for the festival was showing off all it’s former glory. We had brunch on Sunday at a tea house before I had to fly off for Mass. I am not normally religious but the opportunity to see a Mozart mass in context was too much of a temptation. The Missa Brevis in D major with full choir, soloists and orchestra. This is usually of such a standard that it is broadcast by the BBC but they could not make it this year. My halo needs a lot of polishing.

Back with Laura and Nigel we popped into one of the fringe comedy events. A health and safety lecture for cutlery users detailing all the horrible consequences of not taking proper care with those seemingly benign utensils. I am still feeling a bit nervous seeing a teaspoon on the table.

Buxton is primarily an Opera festival. They pride themselves in showing operas that are not in the usual repertoire. They can do this with a festival audience that is happy to see performances out of normal run. The Saturday night opera was in this tradition. Alzira, an early Verdi work was performed by the Opera North singers and orchestra. I would love to give you a full review but that can be boring for those who haven’t seen the work so I will refrain. Suffice to say it was really good and we really enjoyed it.

Thinking back over the weekend I almost forgot about a Joanna McGregor piano concert we saw Saturday morning. A very robust playing of some Ginastera pieces and a Beethoven sonata (Appassionata). There is a lot of wonderful music going on.


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