As High Sheriff of Derbyshire, I very much want to play a positive part in highlighting the outstanding heritage in our beautiful County. Living in Buxton, I feel that it is fitting to focus on a practical project of heritage building improvement. The much loved Buxton Opera House opened in 1903 and was designed by the great theatre architect, Frank Matcham. During his 40-year career he was responsible for the design and construction of over 100 theatres. No two buildings were ever the same, but they had a very personal style and theatrical flair. Many were demolished during the 1950s and 1960s, but the survivors are now much admired and many have been refurbished with the most modern technical and audience facilities, while retaining beautiful period details such as painted ceilings and decorative plaster work.

Our Matcham Theatre is such a vital cultural and architectural asset to the County. The existing back stage environment is outdated and needs considerable redevelopment including replacing the outdated “hemp” flying system, a flat stage floor suitable for dance and modern designs, plus much needed additional rehearsal and dressing room space, to assist the theatre to attract first class companies the facilities need to meet modern needs, of which includes hosting the annual Buxton International Festival.

With this objective, I am organising a very special Fundraising Concert at Buxton Opera House on Friday 18 February 2022 in the evening, “For One Night Only”. I am very excited to be able to say that the soloists for this classical concert are the world-renowned soprano Danielle de Niese and tenor Nicky Spence. Conductor John Andrews, Northern Chamber Orchestra and Kinder Chorus will also be joining us. This is a project which can benefit everyone.

Danielle de Niese

Danielle regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages and this season is singing at the Royal Opera House as Musetta in La Boheme, a role she is reprising:

“the outstanding performance is the Musetta of Danielle De Niese. She combines an outstanding vocal projection with an equally outstanding acting performance in one of the best Musettas to be seen on the Royal Opera House stage for a long time”

Nicky Spence

“An artist of great integrity, Nicky Spence’s unique skills as a singing actor and the rare honesty in his musicianship have earned him a place at the top of the music profession”.

The 2021/22 sees Nicky make his role debut as Siegmund in a new production of Die Walküre for the English National Opera directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Martyn Brabbins. Nicky will also return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Laca in Claus Guth’s new production of Jenůfa and as Samson in Richard Jones’ new production of Samson et Dalila conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano.  Nicky also makes his debut at the Deutsche Staatsoper in the 2021/22 season, as Gregor in VěcMakropulos, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. In 2020 he won the BBC Music Magazine Vocal Award and Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award.

What a line up! Tickets will be available from the Buxton Opera House Box Office 01298 72190, buxtonoperahouse.org.uk  There will also be a post-concert reception in 6 The Square for a limited number.

I am writing to ask if you would be willing to help support this prestigious fundraising event with a donation. You can make a donation on our website. Online donations reduce the administration costs associated with our fundraising, meaning that more money goes towards the campaign that you are kindly supporting. Please Gift Aid your donation if you are able and help us benefit from an extra 25p on top of every £1 donated at no cost to yourself. If you are unable to donate online, please send a cheque, made payable to ‘High Peak Theatre Trust’, to: Louise Potter DL, Bishops Grange, Bishops Lane, Derbyshire, SK17 6UP and let us know if you are able to Gift Aid your donation.

There is also an opportunity for sponsors and donors to be acknowledged in the programme for their support. I hope to see you at the concert! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you require any more details.

Thank you!

Best Wishes

Louise Potter DL
High Sheriff of Derbyshire

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