After 21 years in the Oxfordshire countryside, Garsington Opera is set to have a new home. From summer 2011 the country house opera company hopes to move from Garsington Manor and take up residence at the Wormsley Estate in the Chiltern Hills.
Wormsley Estate is ‘a terrific location’, says Ian Mackinnon, chair of the Garsington Opera board. The company has been searching for two years for a suitable venue, following the death of house owner and Garsington founder Leonard Ingrams.
After reaching an agreement with Wormsley’s owner Mark Getty, Garsington has applied for planning consent for the construction of a new opera pavilion within the estate’s deer park.
Over the years Garsington Opera has established a reputation for championing little-performed works, staging many British premieres including that of Richard Strauss’s Die agyptische Helena.
This season, the last in the company’s current home, features Rossini’s little-known Armida, as well as Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, appropriately, the work with which the festival began 21 year ago – Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.
‘Our new home at Wormsley will enable us to continue [our] tradition in a thrilling environment, not far from Garsington,’ says the company’s general director Anthony Whitworth Jones. ‘[It] marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Garsington’s history.’