Buxton International Festival

Acis and Galatea

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)Buxton Opera Housebutton--dates-and-timesDates & Times

A co-production with the Buxton International Festival and the Early Opera Company.

Jealousy and devotion lie at the heart of Handel’s adaptation of Ovid’s classic tale of eternal love, Acis and Galatea. The sea nymph Galatea pledges herself to the mortal shepherd, Acis, but their idyllic existence is torn apart when the envious cyclops, Polyphemus, arrives to claim Galatea as his own. While Mount Etna shakes, he crushes Acis to death with a boulder. Reminded of her divine power, Galatea transforms her beloved’s gushing blood into a bubbling spring, the source of the River Aci and the two lovers are reunited forever in the Sicilian sea.

Having already set the story to music in Naples (1708), Handel returned to it with entirely new music for an English masque as an entertainment hosted by the Earl of Carnarvon at his country estate in midsummer 1718. It was his first dramatic work in the English language.

Baroque specialists Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company bring this popular dramatic work to Buxton after winning the opera category of the BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2019 for their exquisite recording of Acis and Galatea. Director Martin Constantine has gained five-star reviews for his work with Longborough Festival Opera and Welsh National Opera. His production of Paul Bunyan, for WNO, won an RPS Award and was nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award.

Soprano Mary Bevan is a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist award and UK Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent in music and was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list in 2019.

Nick Pritchard is a Samling Artist and was recently voted ‘Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera’ in the WhatsOnStage Opera Poll 2017.

Libretto by John Gay. Sung in English with side-titles.


Christian Curnyn Conductor
Martin Constantine Director
Anisha Fields Designer


Mary Bevan Galatea
Nick Pritchard Acis
Jorge Navarro Colorado Damon/Coridon
Lukas Jakobski Polyphemus
David de Winter Chorus

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Dates & Times

  • Tue 7 Jul 7:15pm
  • Tue 14 Jul 7:15pm
  • Thu 16 Jul 2pm
  • Price: £25-£78



  • offer-music

    BIF Opera Offer

    Book all 3 operas (La donna del lago, Ciboulette, Acis and Galatea) for 15% off


Under 35s: £5 tickets available from 1 May (proof of age required)