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Longborough Festival Opera announces 2023 programme

Longborough Festival Opera started being promoted by Martin and Lizzie Graham in the grounds of their home as Banks Fee Opera in 1991.

Longborough Festival Opera has since grown into an established opera company, situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, with an annual season taking place in a purpose-built opera house seating 500.

Martin and Lizzie's daughter, the acclaimed opera director Polly Graham, was appointed as artistic director in 2018, working alongside Jennifer Smith, executive director.

Longborough's intimate auditorium enables the audience to experience the drama and emotion on the stage on an almost personal level, firmly securing the summer season into the diaries of a loyal and ever-increasing audience.

This summer's line-up at Longborough Festival Opera features:

Wagner Götterdämmerung 29 May - 6 June 2023

Götterdämmerung marks the epic conclusion to Longborough's new Ring cycle, following acclaimed productions of Das Rheingold in 2019. The Götterdammerung cast includes the talents of Lee Bisset (Brünnhilde), Bradley Daley (Siegfried), Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (Wellgunde), Benedict Nelson (Gunther), Julian Close (Hagen) and Catherine Carby (Waltraute). The chorus combines professional performers with a new community chorus of local amateur singers.

Donizetti L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) 20 June - 1 July 2023

Award-winning British-Swiss director Max Hoehn, conductor Alice Farnham and designer Jemima Robinson present one of the most popular operas of all time, Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. The part of Nemorino will be performed by South African tenor Thando Mjandana, who recently won the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Award at the Voice of Black Opera Competition. Returning to the Longborough stage are Jennifer Witton (Adina) and Haegee Lee (Giannetta) , both of whom starred in the festival's production of Carmen in 2022.

Monteverdi L'Orfeo 11 - 18 July 2023

Tenor Peter Gijsbertsen, winner of Glyndebourne Festival Opera's John Christie Award, and the 2018 Nederlandse Muziekprijs, stars in the title role for Longborough's production of L'Orfeo. Monteverdi's much-loved score will be performed on period instruments by Venetian Baroque specialists La Serenissima, conducted by Robert Howarth and directed by Olivia Fuchs.

Purcell The Fairy Queen 29 July - 3 August 2023

This new production of The Fairy Queen is Longborough's 2023 Emerging Artist production, also featuring The Longborough Youth Chorus. Longborough's Artistic Director Polly Graham, uses the dramatic framework from Shakespeare's text: combining words and music to present Purcell's beautiful, life-affirming score. A newly commissioned genre-bending arrangement will blend Baroque with folk music, co-music directed by baroque violinist and composer Naomi Burrell, and composer and conductor Harry Sever, Longborough's Ring Cycle Conducting Fellow.

Playground Opera: The Downfall of Don José 6 - 16 June 2023

Longborough's Playground Opera production is back by popular demand this season. The project is part of the festival's ongoing commitment to making great opera accessible to a younger audience, immersing them into the plots and music with participation and preparation. In 2023, Longborough will be touring a specially adapted performance of Bizet's Carmen in local schools during the summer term.

Longborough Festival Opera is a charity, relying on ticket sales and the generosity of its members and audience.

Public tickets are on sale from Monday 27th February.

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