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IF YOU GO DOWN TO THE WOODS…

The roof is on and the walls are taking shape at Britain’s newest opera house, set in the magnificent environs of West Horsley Place, a forgotten rural idyll within easy reach of London. It’s here that Grange Park Opera is preparing to establish a festival in its splendid new theatre this summer.

She’s the doyenne of the country house opera scene in Britain, but for now, Wasfi Kani thoughts are focused on door hinges. ‘I’ve just seen some lovely doors in the new theatre at the Menuhin School,’ she tells me, just back from a trip to Manchester to see the Menuhin Hall. ‘The parliament hinges are just gorgeous.’

Kani’s current preoccupation with fixtures and fittings is understandable: she is is in the process of putting the finishing touches on the Theatre in the Woods, Britain’s newest opera house, in which Grange Park Opera will take up residence this summer. It’s an extraordinary turnaround in the fortunes of a company that Kani founded 20 years ago and which was made homeless at the end of last summer following the abrupt termination of the lease on its former home at Northington Grange in Hampshire.

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About Opera Now

Baritone Thomas Hampson discusses his influential role as ambassador for opera and the art of singing; composer John Adams on turning 70 and his new opera about the California Gold Rush; Grange Park Opera gets ready for its relaunch at Britain's newest opera house; and the indomitable prowess of the great American soprano Leontyne Price. Plus, introducing a new opera inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall; movement and pictures in the stagings of Japanese-born director Anna Etsuko Tsuri; the revelations of Dame Felicity Lott; American opera in the age of Trump; a weekend in Boston; and our pick of the best new works coming up stateside.