Culture /

Why We’re Looking Forward to the 2018 Opera Holland Park Season

Opera was made for long summer nights....

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more


The best bits of urban and country house opera come together under one roof at Opera Holland Park.

A season of Verdi, Mozart, Mascagni and Strauss stretches ahead from 29 May to 28 July.

Opera Holland Park Season Guide 2018

This summer, those privy to the dulcet tones beneath Holland Park’s canopied auditorium will encounter La traviata (Giuseppe Verdi), Così fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), Isabeau (Pietro Mascagni) and Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss). Longstanding performers of Opera Holland Park, debuting performers and rising stars who will perform in special performances through the Young Artists Scheme will fill the park with mellifluous melodies.

Get it in the diary….

La traviata

This 2018 summer season opener is the first performance of La traviata after a decade. Based on the life of Marie Duplessis, the Parisian prostitute with whom the novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas fell in love, La traviata is a story of first and last love. Lauren Fagan, who debuted last year as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, returns as Violetta. Her lover Alfredo is played by Matteo Desole, who makes his Opera Holland Park debut. Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts, Rodula Gaitanou directs, Cordelia Chisholm is designer and Simon Corder is lighting designer.

29 May, 1, 5, 7, 9, 11 (Young Artists Performance), 15, 17 (matinee at 2pm), 21, 23 June 2018 at 7.30pm

Così fan tutteCosi fan tutte

This new production stars Eleanor Dennis, who makes her Opera Holland Park debut as Fiordiligi and Peter Coleman-Wright as Don Alfonso. Mozart’s sparkling comic opera of assumed identities and infidelity begins with a bet as Don Alfonso sets out to prove that no woman can be faithful to her lover. Among the cast’s other principals is Nick Pritchard, who plays Ferrando and is an Opera Holland Park Young Artists Scheme alumnus. The creative forces of conductor Dane Lam and director Oliver Platt reunite after most recently working on the 2017 production of Don Giovanni.

31 May, 2, 6, 8, 14, 16, 20, 22 June 2018 at 7.15pm

The Top 5 Opera House in the UK

Ariadne auf NaxosAriadne auf Naxos

In a co-production with Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park stages its first ever Richard Strauss opera, which will tour Scotland prior to opening in London. This Viennese backstage comedy is one of pretension and pragmatism, exposing and colliding the worlds of art and entertainment through opulent melodies, witty ensembles and coloratura high jinks. Stephen Gadd takes on his second production of the season in the role of The Music Teacher, and the voice of classical music on BBC Radio Scotland, Jamie MacDougall, plays The Dancing Master. The actress and author Eleanor Bron, who plays Carol Tregorran in The Archers, makes her Opera Holland Park stage debut as The Major Domo. The conductor will be Brad Cohen, who last appeared at Opera Holland Park in 2015 for Flight.

17, 19, 21, 25, 27 July 2018 at 7.30pm

Isabeau Isabeau

Mascagni’s opera follows in Opera Holland Park’s tradition of championing rare, late Italian works. Opera Holland Park dispelled the myth that Mascagni is a one-hit wonder with the sell-out production of Iris in 2016 and previous productions of L’amico Fritz and Zanetto. When Isabeau refuses to chose a suitor (Its the 100th year of suffrage somewhere!) her father, the king, forces her to ride through the town naked on horseback. The glimpse that only one man has of Isabeu is not his last…. Anne Sophie Duprels, who played Iris in 2016 and Zazà in 2017, returns in the title role. David Butt Philip, who sang in the chorus in 2009 and since has become one of the UK’s leading tenors, will play Folco.

14, 18, 20, 26, 28 July 2018at 7.30pm

The C&TH Guide to The Glyndebourne Festival 2018

Food & Drink

Pic(nic)s or it didn’t happen. Is any form of outdoor entertainment complete with out the picnic? Certainly not in the case of opera. The Deck, The Dutch Garden Lounge, The Mezzanine or The Terrace will all host picnickers, whether bringing their food from home or buying a hamper at the opera. Baked peppers stuffed with feta, artichoke hearts, tomato, olives and pinenuts, plus homemade artisan bread and salt baked beetroot with carrot salad and raspberry dressing make the luxury vegetarian hamper very appealing indeed.

The theatre facilities are open from two hours before the performance for those who have pre-booked picnics tables (which you must do if bringing a picnic from home).



Young Artists Performance: £35/£30/£26/£23

Opera Holland Park’s Inspire education programme aims to encourage all members of the community to experience, discover and actively participate in opera. To make the shows available to audiences who might not usually attend, 500 free tickets for older audiences and 1000 free tickets for young audiences are made available throughout the summer season. In addition, a few £20 INSPIRE seats are made available for each performance. Bookable online only, these are available to all, with a limit of two per production and four per season for each individual.

Bookable online at bookings.operahollandpark, by phone at 0300 999 1000 or at the Box Office, from Monday 30 April 2018, 1pm

Opera Holland Park, W8 6LU

Glyndebourne Festival 2018: The C&TH Restaurant Guide