The Best Opera Houses In The UK
English National Opera
Where? London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES
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The English National Opera (ENO) has squeezed an extra few years in London out of the Arts Council, according to recent reports, meaning it’ll stay at its iconic London home until 2029. That’s right: the ENO is leaving London – and we’re not quite sure yet where it’ll end up.
Watch: In the 2022/23 season, there are seven new productions and two revivals: Carmen, The Rhinegold, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Marriage of Figaro, The Valkyrie, The Magic Flute, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Gondoliers.
Where? Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch, High Wycombe HP14 3YE
Situated in the rolling Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire, and only an hour away from London, Garsington Opera offers a collection of great artistic talent and quality.
Watch: The 2023 season commences with Il barbiere di Siviglia on 31 May 2023, with Mitridate, re di Ponto, Ariadne auf Naxos and The Bartered Bride also showing before 23 July 2023. garsingtonopera.org
Grange Park Opera
Where? West Horsley Place, Epsom Road, West Horsley, Leatherhead KT24 6AN
Grange Park Opera is housed in The Theatre in the Woods, a five-tier opera house at 500-year-old West Horsley Place, on the edge of London and close to the Surrey Hills. Known as a demi-Eden, visitors can enjoy the historic walled gardens, sun-dappled woodland, a 300-year old orchard and the sprawling ancient house, West Horsley Place. Not to mention the entertainment…
Watch: Tristan & Isolde, Tosca and Werther will all be staged in the 2023 season. grangeparkopera.co.uk
Where? New Road, Lewes BN8 5UU
On 28 May 1934, the very first Glyndebourne Opera Festival began, and has since been the centre of growing talent and beautiful productions. The original, exuberant outdoor cultural opera extravaganza will present a 2023 summer programme from 19 May–27 August 2023, including…
Watch: Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore and Dialogues des Carmélites among much more. glyndebourne.com
Nevill Holt Opera
Where? Market Harborough LE16 8EG
While it only had its first season in 2013, the Nevill Holt Opera has gone from strength to strength and provided continuous support to growing operatic stars. June 2018 marked the opening of the opera’s new theatre at the Nevill Holt estate – a 400-seat theatrical masterpiece, blending into the estate’s stable-block and espousing the interior characteristics of early courtyard theatre.
Watch: In summer 2023, catch the likes of Leonavallo & Puccini’s Pagliacci & Gianni Schicchi and Rossini’s La Cenerentola. nevillholtopera.co.uk
The Grange Festival
Where? The Grange, Northington, Alresford SO24 9TG
In the heart of Hampshire, The Grange Festival is situated in 17th Century country house The Grange, surrounded by beautiful countryside views.
Watch: This year, the festival boasts operas as disparate as Così fan tutte, Orfeo ed Euridice/Dido and Aeneas and The Queen of Spades. The season also features Dance@TheGrange, where classical and modern ballet feature alongside contemporary dance. thegrangefestival.co.uk
Opera Holland Park
Where? Opera Holland Park Theatre, Ilchester Place, London W8 6LU
Regarded as one of the most exciting Opera events in London, Opera Holland Park is a one not to be missed. Grab a picnic, pop open some champagne – perfect for the whole family or a romantic evening for two.
Watch: Enjoy the likes of Rigoletto, Hansel and Gretel, La bohème and more. operahollandpark.com
Royal Opera House
Where? Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD
A historic staple in London’s cultural scene, the Royal Opera House showcases a range of operas and ballets, too. The ROH is constantly updating its year-round schedule, with plenty of tours to enjoy to boot. roh.org.uk
Waterperry Opera Festival
Where? Waterperry House, Waterperry, Oxford OX33 1LA
Created with the aim of producing accessible, innovative and socially-relevant opera, Waterperry Opera Festival serves as ‘the Glastonbury of opera’: grab some drinks, explore the gorgeous Waterperry Gardens and enjoy opera like you’ve never seen it before. This year’s lineup includes a powerful rendition of Carmen, a thrilling Night at the Proms, and the festival’s famous immersive production of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. You’ll also find a number of child-friendly shows. 11th-20th August, waterperryoperafestival.co.uk
Featured image: The Royal Opera House (c) Gabriel Varajay, Unsplash