Know your theatre:
Built in 1903 and possibly the most beautiful theatre in the north of England, Buxton Opera House was designed by legendary architect Frank Matcham (also designer of the Palladium and Coliseum in London, Hackney Empire, Richmond Theatre, Blackpool Tower Ballroom and Grand Theatre and many more).
Buxton has near-perfect acoustics for classical opera, which makes it the ideal venue for the region's only hive of top class in-house professional opera productions (and other attractions), the annual Buxton International Festival in July. The rest of the year features popular touring shows, amateur productions and occasional ballet - the modestly-sized stage has one of the steepest rakes in the business; some dancers say they fear cart-wheeling into the stalls. Since the last refurb in 2007, the 902-seat auditorium has glittered with gold leaf; the only disappointment following the work being that Matcham’s clever air-conditioning system (a circle of gas burners high up in the central dome to draw air through the theatre) is no longer allowed in the usual, tedious name of health and safety...
Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN
Box office 01298 72190 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, 8pm on performance days), general admin inquiries 01298 72050.
The theatre has several bars serving locally produced beers, wines and chocolates. Snack boxes for adults and children are also available. Several local restaurants offer pre-and post-show meals. Disability access is as good as the building allow; only the stalls are accessible to wheelchairs. Call box office for details.
Free parking after 6pm in the car park behind Pavilion Gardens, a short walk from both venues. Free street car parking after 6pm close to the theatre (but avoid residents-only areas.
Online box office:
Go here and follow the booking route to your show choice. The Opera House also offers online and phone booking facilities for the nearby Pavilion Arts Centre cinema.