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Festival: West Green House Opera


July 17th 26th, 2020

Nestled in the heart of the Hampshire Countryside yet barely 40 miles from London, West Green House Opera in the village of Hartley Witney has been presenting its annual nine-day festival at the end of July since 2000. Founded by Marylyn Abbott, it is a glorious combination of new productions of much loved classics, as well as one-act rarities and concerts showcasing young talent. The international casts feature many young and emerging artists, giving them the opportunity to perform alongside more established singers. With capacity for just 400, the operas are staged in The Green Theatre, a purpose built auditorium with excellent sightlines and comfortable seats. But what makes West Green House Opera so very special is its setting within the exquisite gardens and lake which surround the House itself.

The 2019 season sees a trio of operas and a concert performance of Frank Loesser’s Classes, Guys and Dolls. First, a new production of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, directed and designed by mid-Wales Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Studer and conducted by Jonathan Lyness. Then, a new production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, directed by Victoria Newlyn and conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren, featuring emerging artist Filipe Manu as Ramiro. Finally those relishing an operatic rarity will enjoy our second Rossini, his one-act romantic melodrama L’Inganno Felice directed and designed by Mark Burns.

Beyond the opera stage, audiences can wander around the beautiful Gardens at West Green, book pretty Raj Tents in the Lakefield for their picnics. The Lakefield Bar is a regular attraction and as dusk falls, the Gardens are illuminated to great theatrical effect, prompting one critic to write ‘the gardens are a visitor attraction in their own right’.

Daytime events during the festival typically include two midday concerts for all the family, featuring our young artists – perfect for those new to opera and a celebrity lunch. Previous speakers have included historian David Starkey and raconteur Giles Brandreth. In 2019 one of Musical Theatre’s greatest stars Elaine Paige is the celebrity guest. West Green welcomes first time opera goers alongside seasoned enthusiasts for one of the loveliest events of the summer season.

Find out more on the West Green House Opera website.

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