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The Grange & Glyndebourne - L’incoronazione di Poppea, The Rake’s Progress, Die Zauberflöte and Giulio Cesare

Four operas at two of England’s highest quality country-house opera festivals – The Grange Festival & Glyndebourne.

L’incoronazione di Poppea | Monteverdi at The Grange Festival. Walter Sutcliffe dir, David Bates, Kitty Whately, Vanessa Waldhart, Anna Bonitatibus, Christopher Lowrey, Raffaele Pe, Jonathan Lemalu.

The Rake’s Progress | Stravinsky at The Grange Festival. Antony McDonald dir, Tom Primrose, Adam Temple-Smith, Alexandra Oomens, Michael Mofidian, Rosie Aldridge, Darren Jeffrey, John Graham Hall, Catherine Wyn-Rogers.

Die Zauberflöte | Mozart at Glyndebourne. André Barbe & Renaud Doucet dirs, Constantin Trinks, Paul Appleby, Ann Toomey, Corinna Scheurle, Leia Lensing, Rodion Pogossov, Aleksandra Olczyk, Alasdair Elliott, Lauren Snouffer, Michael Kraus, James Platt.

Giulio Cesare | Handel at Glyndebourne. David McVicar dir, Laurence Cummings, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Beth Taylor, Svetlina Stoyanova, Louise Alder, Ray Chenez, Cameron Shahbazi, Luca Tittoto.

Stay at two 4-star hotels, one in the centre of Winchester and the other in a quiet country house set in beautiful grounds.

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22 - 26 Jun 2024 £3,760 Book this tour

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When landowner John Christie built a small opera house for his professional soprano wife in the rolling Sussex Downs, he unwittingly founded Country House Opera. The Glyndebourne Festival started there in 1934 with two Mozart operas, and since then its popularity has inexorably grown. Today, Glyndebourne epitomises the English summertime.

Several other venues have followed Glyndebourne’s example and The Grange Festival has also established a sterling reputation for the standard of its opera festival. A new, award-winning theatre was built in the Orangery of this Grade-1 listed building in 2002. Previously home to Grange Park Festival, The Grange Festival was established in 2017.

Accompanied by musicologist Dr John Allison, there are daily talks on all four operas.


Day 1

Winchester, The Grange. The coach leaves Winchester railway station at 12.00 noon for the short drive to the hotel. After a light lunch and a talk leave mid-afternoon for The Grange. L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi): Walter Sutcliffe (director), David Bates (conductor), Kitty Whately (Poppea/Fortuna), Vanessa Waldhart (Drusilla/Amore), Anna Bonitatibus (Ottavia/Virtu), Christopher Lowrey (Ottone), Raffaele Pe (Nero), Jonathan Lemalu (Seneca), La Nuova Musica. The performance begins at 5.00pm. A picnic supper is served during the long interval. First of two nights in Winchester.


Day 2

Winchester, The Grange. A morning lecture is followed by a guided walk in Winchester city centre. By coach to The Grange in the afternoon for The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky): Antony McDonald (director), Tom Primrose (conductor), Adam Temple-Smith (Tom Rakewell), Alexandra Oomens (Anna Trulove), Michael Mofidian (Nick Shadow), Rosie Aldridge (Baba the Turk), Darren Jeffrey (Father Trulove), John Graham Hall (Sellem), Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Mother Goose), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The performance begins at 5.00pm. Dinner is served during the long interval.


Day 3

Winchester, Wych Cross, Glyndebourne. By coach from Winchester to Ashdown Park Hotel, Wych Cross. After a lecture in the afternoon, by coach to Glyndebourne. Die Zauberflöte (Mozart): André Barbe & Renaud Doucet (directors), Constantin Trinks (conductor), Paul Appleby (Tamino), Ann Toomey (First Lady), Corinna Scheurle (Second Lady), Leia Lensing (Third Lady), Rodion Pogossov (Papageno), Aleksandra Olczyk (Queen of the Night), Alasdair Elliott (Monostatos), Lauren Snouffer (Pamina), Michael Kraus (Speaker), James Platt (Sarastro), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Glyndebourne Chorus. The performance begins at 5.00pm. A picnic supper is served in the long interval. Overnight in Wych Cross.


Day 4

Wych Cross, Glyndebourne. A lecture in the morning is followed by an optional visit to Standen House, a late-19th-century Arts & Crafts house designed by Philip Webb, with Morris & Co. interiors. Coach in the early afternoon to Glyndebourne. Giulio Cesare (Handel): David McVicar (director), Laurence Cummings (conductor), Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Giulio Cesare), Beth Taylor (Cornelia), Svetlina Stoyanova (Sesto), Louise Alder (Cleopatra), Ray Chenez (Nireno), Cameron Shahbazi (Tolomeo), Luca Tittoto (Achilla), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Glyndebourne Chorus. The performance begins at 4.00pm. Dinner is served in the long interval. Overnight in Wych Cross.


Day 5

Tonbridge. There is a coach transfer to Tonbridge Railway Station at 10.50am. There are four trains an hour from here to London Charing Cross. Alternatively, the tour leaders can help you arrange a taxi to East Grinstead Railway Station. There is one train an hour to London Victoria from here.

Opera tickets are confirmed in January.

Image of John Allison

Dr John Allison

Editor of Opera magazine and music critic. He was born in South Africa and completed his PhD degree while playing the piano and working as assistant organist at Cape Town cathedral. Since moving to London in 1989 he has written for publications around the world, authored two books and served on the juries of many international competitions. He co-founded the International Opera Awards in 2013. He reviews for the Daily Telegraph and has previously held positions as music critic on The Sunday Telegraph and The Times.

Price, per person

Two sharing: £3,760. Single occupancy: £3,990.


Four opera tickets costing c.£950; opera festival programmes; private air-conditioned coach; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, one lunch and all four dinners (including two picnic dinners) with wine, water and coffee; tips for restaurant staff and drivers; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. 


Hotel du Vin, Winchester: a 4-star, 18th-century hotel located in the city centre. Rooms vary in size and outlook. Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, Wych Cross: 4-star country house hotel located in the Ashdown Forest. Single rooms are doubles for sole use throughout.

How strenuous?

The tour would be a struggle for anyone whose walking is impaired. There is a short walk from the coach park to the opera house. Average distance by coach per day: 51 miles.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?

Group size

Between 10 and 22 participants.

Combine with 

The Plantagenet Empire, 27 June–3 July

Trasimeno Music Festival, 27 June–4 July

Finland: Aalto & Others, 27 June–5 July

West Cork Chamber Music Festival30 June-4 July

The Welsh Marches, 1–5 July

Walking to Derbyshire Houses, 1–6 July

In Churchill's Footsteps, 1–6 July

French Gothic, 1–7 July