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The 2024 season (Thu 6 June – Sun 14 July) brings rollicking comedies alongside heart-rending stories of passion, betrayal and mystery.

Come to the Surrey Hills for a heavenly sojourn of music, conviviality, and all that is good in life.

It seems 14th century West Horsley Place was made for this. Henry VIII dined here, Elizabeth I stayed for a week, BBC Ghosts was filmed here. Guests arrive early and, champagne glass in hand, wander the five acres of walled gardens. The city seems far away.

A short walk through the ancient orchard – passing a 300-year-old mulberry tree – takes you to the five-tier opera house with a superb acoustic. Take your seat for Act 1 with internationally recognised artists, rousing opera choruses and 60+ players in the orchestra pit. The leisurely long interval is all-important. Many say the restaurant – within that house of deep history – tops all country house offerings. Where else can you walk on the very flagstones trod by a Tudor King and Queen? Alternatively claim your own secret picnic spot within a parterre.

A luxurious evening . . . with luxury casts in epic operas. What better way to spend a summer evening?

Many say it is like opera in the old days.


The Operas

Bryn Double: blood & bounty Rachmaninoff & Puccini
Sir Bryn Terfel takes centre–stage in a tragedy / comedy pairing of bloodshed and bounty.

Aleko is Rachmaninoff at his most effusive, in an exquisite score brimming with his trademark soaring melodies. In marked contrast, Bryn is Puccini’s comic trickster Gianni Schicchi called in by the wealthy Donatis to solve a the problem of a Will. If you’ve never laughed out loud at an opera, try this.

Daughter of the Regiment Donizetti
Delicious French whimsy: a canteen girl brought up by a rollicking regiment of soldiers. Much hilarity and many high notes from both the canteen girl and her lover Tonio. Harriet Thorpe (Ab Fab, EastEnders and much more) is The Duchess of Crakentorp.

Katya Kabanova Janáček
One of the 20th century’s greatest operas has music of blazing intensity, inspired by the composer’s own love for a young woman. Director David Alden (ROH, the Met, Munich, Vienna) creates the claustrophobic village for acclaimed soprano, Natalya Romaniw in the title role.

Island of Dreams Bolton
To direct this world première, we welcome back opera giant Sir David Pountney who adopts an ingenious filmic approach to conjure the magic of Shakespeare’s island. Baritone, Simon Keenlyside, takes the role of Prospero.

Wynne whizzes it up Final Fling
For the last night of the season Winner of Celebrity Masterchef and the GoCompare man, Wynne Evans, is on the whisk rustling up six dishes with interludes from ballet dancers, xylophones, some opera and more.