On 18 February 2022, award-winning conductor John Andrews will direct the Buxton Opera Gala concert with soprano Danielle de Niese and tenor Nicky Spence performing a mixture of works from the operatic and classical repertoire.  

The concert is to raise funds for backstage improvements at Buxton Opera House and is promoted by the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Louise Potter. The event will feature the Northern Chamber Orchestra following their performances of Arnold’s The Dancing Master for the Buxton International Festival, and the Kinder Choir.

The Gala concert features works including, among others, Handel’s Let the Bright SeraphimPurcell’s Dido’s LamentVerdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew SlavesPuccini’s Nessun Dorma and a selection of songs and duets from Bernstein’s West Side Story.

John Andrews said: ‘It’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with some of my favourite artists for this event and I am confident that there will certainly be something for everyone to enjoy! The preservation of our cultural heritage is of huge importance, and it is vital that houses like Buxton are supported in order to ensure that they continue serving audiences for many years to come.’

John Andrews was born in Nairobi in 1976 and brought up in Manchester. He came to orchestral music by a roundabout route via the intensely competitive Brass Band tradition, having been introduced to the tuba through his Local Authority’s peripatetic music service. He went on to study at Cambridge, graduating with a PhD in 2008. Passionate about keeping music available to the widest possible audience, John teaches on the Cambridge Music Hubs programme, and has lectured at the Elgar School of Music and the Blackheath Conservatoire. His gift for combining empathy and feel for both music and musicians with an ability to directly and powerfully communicate his ideas, together with his passion for locating music in its social and historical context, brings dynamism and warmth to his interpretations of both rare and classic repertoire. Andrews was recently awarded the BBC Music Magazine Opera Award for his recording of Malcolm Arnold’s The Dancing Master for the Resonus Classics label, and in March 2021, Andrews launched Red Squirrel – a new opera company that aims to co-produce one staged project and one recording each year, researching and uncovering mainly English-language theatre works from the 18th – 20th Centuries.