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The Inaugural Grange Festival

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The Grange Festival’s Artistic Director, Michael Chance, today announced details of the first operas to be presented by the newly-formed company.

The Grange Festival is unique among UK opera companies in having an opera singer as its artistic director.

For the 2017 season’s first new production, Chance himself will take on the musical direction of the first staging at The Grange of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, in the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth and perfectly matched to the famous Greek revivalist architecture of The Grange. Chance has invited eminent British theatre director Tim Supple, to create a visually-arresting production, without conductor, which fully utilises the intimacy of The Grange theatre, and that captures the radical freshness which audiences at the premiere of this revolutionary work may have experienced nearly four hundred years ago.

Bizet’s Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas and for its first performances at The Grange will reunite director Annabel Arden and designer Joanna Parker, widely praised for their extraordinary work together on such productions as Opera North’s Andrea Chénier and Royal Opera House’s Café Kafka, and currently working together on Glyndebourne’s forthcoming Il barbiere di Siviglia. It will be conducted by the French conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud. Considered one of the foremost champions of French opera, Tingaud was Associate Conductor of Opéra Comique, Paris, and is known to UK and Irish audiences from his regular appearances at Wexford Festival, English National Opera and with many of our finest orchestras.

Exactly 70 years on from its first performances at Glyndebourne, Britten’s Albert Herring (described by Sviatoslav Richter, no less, as “the greatest comic opera of the century”) is another pillar of the inaugural season. Chance is bringing together the perfect Britten team of conductor Steuart Bedford, chosen by Britten to replace him when he became too ill to conduct the world premiere of Death in Venice, and director John Copley, who also knew Britten, and whose distinguished career has made him one of the most beloved figures in the opera world.

I am thrilled to launch The Grange Festival, a new opera company presenting world-class performance in the heart of Hampshire. The award-winning theatre at The Grange is an exceptional musical venue and I am incredibly excited about the artistic collaborations, directors, designers and singers who will join us for such a broad range of work in our first season. I look forward to welcoming new and established audiences to the theatre and going with them on an entertaining and enriching journey.

Michael Chance | Artistic Director and CEO

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