Opera Launch: A taste of 'Viva La Diva' by Salzburg State Theatre & Buxton Festival

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Opera Launch: A taste of 'Viva La Diva' by Salzburg State Theatre & Buxton Festival

  • Wed 25 May 2022
  • 7:00PM

Together with the Buxton International Festival and the Salzburg State Theatre, we are delighted to present a special musical evening featuring extracts from Donizetti's opera buffa 'Viva la Diva'. The event will see Austrian-based baritone George Humphreys, soprano Fiona Finsbury and tenor Joseph Doody live on stage, followed by a Q&A with the festival's Artistic Director Adrian Kelly.

The critically acclaimed Salzburg State Theatre production was sold-out on its original launch in 2019. It will now be performed for the first time in the UK at Buxton International Festival this July, with a new English script adapted by the renowned screenwriter Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

This evening celebrates the collaboration between the Buxton International Festival and the Salzburg State Theatre and a new partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum London.


Donizetti’s opera is a delightful parody about a regional opera company’s preparation for a performance of an opera seria.  The singers are continually fighting over who has the most important role, with everything threatening to descend into chaos.  Then Agatha, the aging diva on whom the plot is centred, announces she is taking over. The role is written for a baritone and George Humphreys (who sang the title role in Eugene Onegin in 2019) slips into the role of the indestructible Agatha as if born to it.

The opera was first performed in Naples, and Donizetti makes witty musical references to two of Rossini’s operas written for the city, Otello and La donna del lago. The score is a delightful combination of fresh, energetic ensembles and virtuosic arias. Stephen Medcalf directs the production, teaming up with Kit Hesketh-Harvey to create a new English version for Buxton which take a look behind the scenes of an entirely fictional provincial opera company. Iwan Davies conducts the Northern Chamber Orchestra.

Adapted from plays by Simeone Antonio Sografi, new English version by Kit Hesketh-Harvey

A Salzburg State Theatre production in association with Buxton International Festival


For more information about 'Viva la Diva' , click here.

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© Buxton International Festival

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Austrian Cultural Forum London
28 Rutland Gate
London SW7 1PQ