Buxton Opera House
Arts Venue in Buxton
The magnificent entrance of Buxton Opera House, designed in the art deco style, offers just a glimpse of the splendor that awaits inside. With its stained-glass frontage, graceful Doric columns, and twin rib domes, the architecture is truly captivating. Constructed in 1903 by the renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham, it has been meticulously restored to its former glory in 2001, ensuring an exceptional theatre experience. To delve deeper into the history of this iconic Edwardian building and its visionary designer, visitors can embark on a guided backstage pass tour, which includes a visit to the Matcham Gallery.
Beyond its bricks, mosaic tiles, and polished balustrades, Buxton Opera House holds a distinguished status as one of the leading receiving theaters in Britain. Hosting approximately 450 performances each year, it presents a diverse range of shows including dance, comedy, children’s performances, drama, music, pantomime, and opera. Esteemed actors like Ian McKellen have graced its stage, and the vibrant program is always worth exploring. Moreover, the highly regarded Buxton International Festival, a two-week celebration, brings the town to life during the summer season.
As Buxton’s cultural hub, the Opera House complex encompasses the Pavilion Arts Centre, situated just behind the main building. Originally opened in 1889 as ‘The Entertainment Stage,’ it has undergone a £2.5 million conversion and now stands as a state-of-the-art venue. Within the Pavilion Arts Centre, visitors can enjoy Buxton Cinema and a second theater that hosts smaller independent drama productions, stand-up comedy shows, and regular music events such as lunchtime jazz and coffee concerts.
Recognized as the Most Welcoming Theatre in the region at the UK Theatre Awards and supported by a dedicated team of nearly 200 volunteers, Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre holds a special place in the hearts of locals, as well as art, history, and theatre enthusiasts. It never fails to leave a lasting impression.
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