The Grange Festival’s 2019 annual summer season, set to run from 6 June to 6 July 2019, brings a world-class programme of opera and dance to the idyllic setting of The Grange, Hampshire. The critically acclaimed festival includes new productions of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Verdi’s Falstaff together with a landmark staging of Handel’s Belshazzar and the return of Dance@TheGrange and the John Wilson Orchestra.
This year’s opera festival opens on 6 June with Martin Lloyd-Evans’s new production of Le nozze di Figaro. The Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Richard Egarr, will be joined by a compelling cast that includes Roberto Lorenzi and Wallis Giunta. West End and Royal Shakespeare Company director Christopher Luscombe stages his first ever opera, Verdi’s Falstaff, in his return to The Grange Festival after the success of Candide last year. Francesco Cilluffo also returns to the festival for Falstaff, having conducted Verdi’s Requiem at The Grange in 2017. He will direct a cast led by Robert Hayward in the title role. As part of their 40th anniversary celebrations, the choir and orchestra of The Sixteen join forces with The Grange Festival Chorus under Harry Christophers to perform Handel’s rarely staged dramatic oratorio Belshazzar, in a production directed by Daniel Slater.
The festival, which was launched in June 2017 with renowned counter-tenor Michael Chance as its Artistic Director, continues its fruitful residency partnerships with The Academy of Ancient Music and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra this year. Its artistic vision recognises the fundamental importance of storytelling to opera, brought to life at The Grange by a combination of musical, visual and dramatic arts. The festival emphasizes the importance of engaging world-class artists and production teams to create work that conveys profound emotions with the utmost clarity and power. John Copley’s staging of Albert Herring in 2017 was nominated in the best opera category for the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Awards, while Tim Supple’s fresh take on Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria was praised by the Financial Times for its ‘affecting simplicity’. The festival’s 2018 season included a strikingly perceptive staging of Handel’s Agrippina which was greeted by five-star reviews in the Guardian, Telegraph and Independent.