• ComposerAmbroise Thomas
  • LibrettistsMichel Carré & Jules Barbier
  • based onGoethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre
  • English TranslationHugh Macdonald
  • ConductorAndrew Greenwood
  • DirectorAnnilese Miskimmon
  • DesignerNicky Shaw
  • LightingJohn Bishop


“the festival struck gold with Ambroise Thomas’s Mignon”
“Buxton’s staging is a winner in the delicate hands of the director Annilese Miskimmon and the designer Nicky Shaw, who recently devised an enchanting L’amico Fritz for Opera Holland Park. Here, too, they maintain a fine balance between comedy, sentiment and pathos, preceding the action with the abduction of Mignon as a child and recounting the psychological journey she makes as an adult, from the abused “captive” of a ruthless traveling theatre manager to reunion with her long-lost father, Lothario, and the arms of her beloved, the elusive Wilhelm.”
“Buxton’s programme makes much of the supposed absurdity of the plot, but Miskimmon made sense of it in Shaw’s resourceful sets and colourful 1920s costumes.”

“This English-language production, using the creaky sung recitatives the composer wrote for the first London performances rather than the spoken dialogues of the Paris original, made no attempt to sex up the action. Instead of being embarrassed by Mignon’s period conventions, the up-and-coming director Annilese MIskimmon made a virtue of them, preserving the innocence of the story and sprinkling it with fairy-dust: Nicky Shaw’s cutaway sets, lit by John Bishop, created maximum atmosphere with minimal resources. We smelt the train station at the end of Act one just as we felt the fire at the close of Act Two, which was dominated by a fabulous trompe l’oeil lakeside reflection.”

“directed by Annilese Miskimmon, the Buxton festival’s new production leaves you wondering why the opera has been neglected for so long. Miskimmon, relocating it to the brittle world of the 1920s, carefully probes the delicate balance between reality and illusion.”
“this is beautifully integrated music theatre that immerses you completely in its world.”

“Buxton’s young production team, director Annilese Miskimmon and designer Nicky Shaw, make the most of the festival’s limited financial resources to put on a good-looking show that is traditional but imaginative.”

“I could admire the sensitivity of Annilese Miskimmon’s light-footed staging, attractively designed by Nicky Shaw, and enjoyed the thoughtful singing of Wendy Dawn Thompson in the title-role and the clean, well-schooled tenor of Ryan MacPherson as her admirer Wilhelm Meister.”