Buxton Opera House is located on The Square in Buxton, Derbyshire. This 902-seat opera house was designed by famous theatre architect Frank Matcham in 1903. It is the regular host of the Buxton Festival and was also the home of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival which ran from 1994 to 2013. It now presents a wide-ranging selection of music, opera, ballet, films and cultural events.
Buxton Opera House was solely a successful theatre for its first few decades, regularly presenting touring companies of opera and other classical arts. However, in 1927 the theatre was turned into a cinema to accommodate for film-goers. It showed silent films until 1932 when the technology was put in place for it to show ‘talkies’. The Opera House still has a cinema which is used regularly by the public to this day.
During the 1970s, the venue fell into disrepair and was rumoured to be close to closing its doors until it received a boost in funding. In 1979, renovations were completed including the addition of an orchestra pit to accommodate for a wider number of touring shows. This refurbishment (amongst updates in the 2000s) saw the rejuvenation of the theatre which now presents over 400 performances a year.
Buxton Opera House presents a wide range of entertainment all year-round, which includes opera, dance, comedy, concerts, drama and children’s shows.