7 reasons you need to experience Longborough Festival Opera this summer

One of the most unique cultural events in the Cotswolds, Longborough Festival Opera is gearing up for its summer season of world-class theatrical drama and music – with SoGlos handpicking 7 reasons to experience it in 2022.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published

Whether you’re an avid opera fan or interested in experiencing the art for the first time, Longborough Festival Opera offers a unique opportunity to indulge in a programme of theatrical drama and orchestral music in a stunning Cotswold setting.

Not your stereotypical opera festival, SoGlos has handpicked 7 brilliant reasons to experience Longborough Festival Opera, when it returns from Monday 30 May to Tuesday 2 August 2022.

1. See Bizet’s ‘most famous opera’ at Longborough Festival Opera

Featuring as a key show in this year’s summer programme, guests will have the chance to see one of the most popular operas of all time – Georges Bizet’s tragedy Carmen which was inspired by the popular Novella by Prosper Merimee.

Featuring adult themes, this special production tells the tale of passion, jealousy and freedom in what promises to be a radical version of the much-loved classic, with performances from Saturday 9 to Tuesday 19 July 2022.

2. Support emerging talent at Longborough Festival Opera

With the event being committed to supporting young talent, each visit to Longborough Festival Opera nurtures emerging new artists, helping each performer to gain recognition for their expertise and musical abilities.

This year, guests can witness an insightful double bill of love, freedom and magic with the first complete staging of Frey-Waley-Cohen’s Spell Book, which celebrates women’s hard-won freedoms, alongside injustices yet to overcome; followed by a performance of Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina.

3. There’s no dress code at Longborough Festival Opera

There are many preconceptions about opera – but it’s not all ball gowns and six-course meals! Longborough Festival Opera wants guests to be as comfortable as possible, with a relaxed dress code for audience members and diners.

Festivalgoers are encouraged to dress as smart or as comfortable as they’d like – although they’re advised to wear sensible footwear, as the grounds are grassy with gravel paths. The theatre is a converted barn and not heated, so it’s also recommended to bring an extra layer or a blanket!

4. Enjoy relaxing dining settings at Longborough Festival Opera

With each performance at Longborough including a 90-minute dining interval, guests will have plenty of time to chill out, grab a bite to eat and soak up the picturesque surroundings.

Bring a picnic and find a spot with a view spanning the gorgeous Cotswold landscape; dine in the festival restaurant and indulge in a three-course meal; or pre-order a delightful picnic hamper – and if it rains, you can book in for the undercover picnic marquee to stay dry.

5. Experience a unique Cotswold location at Longborough Festival Opera

Nestled in the Cotswolds, the intimate, 500-seat home-grown theatre is located on the outskirts of the village of Longborough, just a few miles from Stow-on-the-Wold, and offers impressive views of the Evenlode Valley.

The gorgeous location helps to capture audiences’ imagination, immersing them in the drama and emotion of each performance – plus, providing picturesque views across the glorious rolling hills.

6. Support outreach programmes at Longborough Festival Opera

Not only is the event a brilliant summer celebration of the arts, but Longborough Festival Opera works with young people and the community all year-round, holding partnerships with schools across Gloucestershire; working with a youth chorus and summer school for local young performers; and more.

The festival aims to bring access to the arts where it’s limited due to location and budget, bringing accessible and eye-opening projects to local classrooms and playgrounds.

7. It’s on the Gloucestershire Bucket List!

Whether you’re a lifetime Gloucestershire resident or a first-time visitor, The Gloucestershire Bucket List has been curated to offer year-round inspiration – featuring Longborough Festival Opera as one of the top 100 ultimate things to tick off with friends and family.

Don’t forget to share your experiences and photos on social media using the hashtag #GlosBucketList…

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