Children in first British performance of African hit

Buxton voices in curtain-raiser for Festival preview

Students from local schools will give the first British performance of songs from Buxton International Festival’s 2019 production The Orphans of Koombu.

The pupils from Buxton Community School and St Thomas More School will present excerpts on April 4 from the show, which with its theme of reconciliation and redemption was a big hit across Africa where it was first performed as the Apartheid era came to an end.

It will form part of the BIF Roadshow, which has played across the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales in community centres and village halls over the last few weeks, earning rave revues for its mix of music, books and songs selected from the 2019 production.

It also offers an insight into the themes and inspirations behind the 2019 book programme, which includes 56 of our leading authors and thinkers, ranging from Melvyn Bragg and Lucy Worsley to economist Lord Skidelsky and the BBC’s Nick Robinson.

“It’s a magical tour aimed at taking the mystery out of opera,” said Festival Chief Executive Michael Williams.

“So if you’ve never seen opera, now’s  the chance to sample the excitement of an art form which across the rest of Europe is a way of life – and all for a fiver.”

Musicians include members of the Royal Northern College of Music and the Northern Chamber Orchestra who will present excerpts  from favourites such as Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals as well as accompanying members of the BIF opera company in arias selected form the 2019 programme.

“Opera is now more varied than ever and BIF celebrates this by staging a fiery world premiere, a renowned Russian romance, a dazzling rediscovery, and a popular unpretentious romp,” said Michael.

 “We want to share the excitement which is building up as we get ready to celebrate our 40th anniversary, and the Roadshow will feature arias from our new opera based on the life and loves of Georgiana, Fifth Duchess of Devonshire; music from Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Eugene Onegin and songs from Offenbach’s racy opera Orpheus in the Underworld, which gave us the Can-Can.”

BIF Roadshow: April 4, 6pm to 7pm: The Octagon, Buxton. To book go to or ring 01298 70395. Tickets £5.
Facebook logo /buxtonfestival
Twitter logo @BuxtonFestival

Back to news