Buxton’s Cultural Gem!

Buxton Opera House is a cultural gem on the fringes of the Peak District National Park in the wonderful spa town of Buxton. For more than a hundred years it has attracted visitors with its rich history, magnificent architecture and fabulous array of performances for everyone. Whether you’re a lover of opera, theatre, comedy, film, children’s shows, or simply seeking a fun-filled family outing during your stay in the Peak District, this majestic venue promises an unforgettable experience for all!

As soon as you enter Buxton Opera House you’ll be charmed and wowed by this prestigious venue. Originally designed by architect Frank Matcham and opened in 1903, Buxton Opera House stands as a testament to Victorian architecture, and despite having undergone several renovations and restorations, its historic charm continues to be lovingly preserved.  

Buxton Opera House
External view of Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House: All Genres for All Ages

Buxton Opera House proudly hosts an amazing variety of performances all year round, catering to all tastes and age groups. Whether you enjoy classic operas, contemporary dramas, uplifting musicals, captivating ballets, fun-filled comedy, or children’s shows and pantomime, there really is something for everyone to enjoy here.

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Buxton Opera House presents around 450 performances each year including:

  • Dance – The very best in ballet, contemporary and world dance
  • Comedy – Hilarious shows and the best live stand-up acts in the country
  • Drama – From comedy to tragedy, the best performances in quality drama
  • Entertainment – An amazing collection of circus, cabaret, magic and extravaganza
  • Music – Enjoy the biggest names from around the world and fantastic tribute acts, classical concerts and intimate gigs
  • Family – Shows and activities for the whole family, from circuses to children’s shows and fun activities, providing the perfect family day out
  • Musicals – Great shows that will have you singing all night long!
  • Talks – From mountaineering & adventure to politics & literature, there are speakers to suit everybody’s interests
  • Opera – Last but by no means least, home to some of the world’s best touring companies in the beautiful setting of Frank Matcham’s theatre!

Check out the full calendar of up-and-coming performances here:

Buxton Opera House has a small Matcham Gallery featuring copies of Frank Matcham‘s original plans, photographs of the Opera House restoration, and early show bills from the period. You can visit the Matcham Gallery during any performance, or as part of one of the regular Back Stage Pass theatre tours.

The Pavilion Arts Centre and Buxton Cinema

Located right behind Buxton Opera House you’ll find the Pavilion Arts Centre. Also a historic venue dating back to the late 19th Century, this Grade II listed building has been converted to a contemporary theatre, cinema and conference venue offering state of the art facilities.

The Pavilion Arts Centre provides two wonderful spaces for presenting entertainment shows, a 360-seat Auditorium and a 93-seat Studio Theatre. You’ll find a varied programme of events in the Auditorium, from stand-up comedy and community theatre productions to music events including Coffee Concerts and lunchtime jazz shows. It has its own reception, bar and box office.

The Studio Theatre houses a programme of fringe, independent shows and films.

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The Pavilion Arts Centre has also been home to Buxton Cinema since December 2017.

Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the latest blockbusters, independent films, and timeless classics screened in the comfort of this historic venue, at a fraction of the cost of standard multiplex cinemas!

With a selection of screenings for seniors, family-friendly films on Saturday afternoons and accessible screenings, every movie promises a great experience on the big screen. Treat yourselves to hot and cold drinks, classic cocktails, delicious popcorn, and a range of tempting treats in the bar.

Check out the full calendar of up-and-coming screenings here:

Food & Drink and The VIP Devonshire Lounge

There are three fabulous bars at Buxton Opera House in the stalls, dress circle and upper circle, where you can enjoy pre-show and interval drinks in gorgeous surroundings. You can also pre-order interval drinks to avoid the queues. With a selection of excellent teas, coffees, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, there is something for everyone – so you can relax and enjoy the show! The bars each serve a selection of sweet and savoury snacks, and delicious ice cream can be purchased from various stands, dotted around the stalls.

Why not enhance your visit with a little VIP treatment in The Devonshire Lounge? For just £20 per person, you can enjoy access to the lounge an hour before your performance, with a drink on arrival, and you may preorder interval drinks. Here you can also make use of the safe cloakroom, leaving your coats and belongings during the performance. For just £25 per person, why not treat yourself to a VIP Prosecco Night, available for specific performances? Opening 45 minutes before your performance and during the interval, guests can enjoy free-flowing prosecco, savoury nibbles and retro sweets, making this an extra special visit to remember!

(Please note that the VIP lounge is accessed via five flights of stairs and unfortunately there is no lift or level access for wheelchairs.)

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Fun For All the Family

Buxton Opera House and Pavilion Arts Centre welcomes families with open arms, offering a range of performances and activities suitable for all ages. From enchanting children’s shows to interactive workshops and educational tours, there’s plenty to keep young minds engaged and entertained. With dedicated family-friendly facilities and special matinee performances, parents can relax knowing that their little ones are in for a memorable and enriching experience.

Be sure to check out special event activities and workshops such as OctoberFest, as well as other events throughout the year. Why not develop your own theatre skills and meet new friends with The Buxton Opera House Learning & Engagement Programme? This is a great way for creative children to learn more about the theatre. It can also help develop their confidence while having fun in a safe and friendly environment.

Buxton itself has so much to offer for little ones, with parks, boating lakes, and nearby underground caverns just waiting to be explored!

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Accessibility For All

Buxton Opera House pride themselves on doing all they can to make this prestigious venue accessible for everyone to enjoy.  Due to the age and nature of this beautiful Edwardian building, unfortunately it is only partially accessible to wheelchair users, with no lift. There are, however, three wheelchair spaces in the stalls area on the ground floor and an accessible toilet, and one of the lovely volunteers will be delighted to serve you drinks and refreshments from the bar to your seat. Likewise, at the Pavilion Arts Centre, there are two wheelchair spaces at the front on the ground floor.

Everybody is welcome at Buxton Opera House and there’s a thoughtful collection of performances and screenings to suit everyone. 

Check out their full accessibility resources here.

Fabulous Festivals!

Throughout the year, Buxton comes alive with an array of vibrant festivals that celebrate art, culture, and creativity, of course with extra special shows at Buxton Opera House! From the renowned Buxton International Festival, showcasing world-class opera, music, and literature, to the Buxton Fringe Festival, highlighting emerging talent, there’s always a buzz of excitement in the air. These festivals bringing together artists, performers, and audiences from near and far to provide entertainment for everyone from shows to street performances.

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The Buxton International Festival offers a celebration of opera and music, with world-class performances and artists, transforming this historic town into a vibrant hub of creativity and artistic expression. The festival also embraces literature, hosting thought-provoking talks, readings, and discussions with acclaimed authors and poets. The Buxton International Festival inspires and delights audiences from near and far, many of whom return year after year to experience this magical atmosphere surrounded by magnificent architecture and stunning countryside. 

The Buxton International Festival takes place between 4th & 21st July 2024
To find out more and to sign up, visit

Running at the same time as the International Festival is the Buxton Fringe Festival. As one of the largest and most diverse fringe festivals in the UK, it attracts up and coming performers and artists from far and wide, showcasing talents from comedy and dance to theatrical performances, providing a welcoming platform for emerging artists to showcase their work alongside established acts. Whether strolling through the bustling streets lined with pop-up venues or watching one of the fabulous performances, the Buxton Fringe Festival is great fun for all the family!

The Buxton Fringe Festival takes place between 3rd & 21st July 2024
To find out more and to sign up, visit

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The Gilbert & Sullivan Festival celebrates the work of Sir Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert with the very best productions, performed in the magnificent surroundings of Buxton Opera House.

The Gilbert & Sullivan Festival takes place between 27th July & 10th August 2024
Check out the full calendar of up-and-coming performances here:

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Support Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House is a registered charity, looking to raise over £1 million each year just to keep their doors open! They rely on generous donations to offer transformative education programmes and to carry out restoration work and enhancements to this historic theatre.

There are many ways you can help support this fabulous charity:

  • Add a charitable donation to your basket when you book
  • Enter the Giant Cash Bonanza Lottery
  • Name your very own Opera House seat
  • Join The Cavendish Business Club where your support will be promoted through various avenues
  • Become a sponsor
  • Leave a donation in your will

To find out more, and show your valued support, visit:

Bustling Buxton

Beyond the splendour of Buxton Opera House lies the fabulous spa town of Buxton, bursting with history, magnificent architecture and landscaped parks!

Here you can browse the picturesque streets lined with Georgian and Victorian buildings and visit the many boutique shops and wonderful eateries. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment at the historic landmark – The Buxton Crescent?! Enjoy the many ornamental parks such as Pavilion Gardens with landscaped borders, lawns for picnicking and a boating lake. Children will love Pooles Cavern too, where you can explore the Peak District underworld, venturing through illuminated limestone chambers. There really are just so many amazing places to enjoy in this fabulous town!

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Of course, being surrounded by the Peak District National Park means that there are numerous pretty villages, market towns, stately homes, and miles of breathtaking countryside walks and cycle routes for you to enjoy. In just half an hour you can be exploring the beautiful stately homes of Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall, both of which have impressive grounds and pretty gardens in which to meander.

Buxton Opera House ensures that every visitor leaves with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the arts. So, whether you’re a seasoned theatre goer or a first-time visitor to the Peak District, be sure to include a visit to Buxton Opera House for an unforgettable cultural experience!

Contact The Buxton Opera House

For more information about the Buxton Opera House or the Pavilion Arts Centre and Buxton Cinema, please contact the helpful team, who can’t wait to welcome you to their fabulous venues.