The Grange Festival 2024


Nominated for ‘Festival of the Year’ at the prestigious 2023 International Opera Awards, the Hampshire-based Grange Festival 2024 takes place from 6 June – 6 July and will celebrate the best of dance, opera and jazz with a programme featuring world-class performers and creatives. Each production benefits from the purpose-built and RIBA award-winning theatre, housed within the historic, Grade I-listed mansion, while the 100-minute dining interval lends the affair a party atmosphere, albeit a highly sophisticated one. The Grange Festival has been delighting opera lovers since 2017, but the exciting addition of dance and most recently jazz to the programme grants a wider audience the chance to experience this unforgettable event.

The 2024 Festival opens on 6 June with the first-ever visit to the UK by The National Ballet of Brno (Národní divadlo Brno Balet). In celebration of this and the Company’s centenary, Artistic Director, Mário Radačovský, has curated Oktetto for The Grange Festival (6 June). From jewels of the classical ballet repertoire through neoclassical choreography to contemporary dance, Oktetto includes classical pas de deux from Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Harlequinade and Don Quixote, choreographed by Marius Petipa, to original choreography by Mário Radačovský with music by Schubert, Rossini and a newly-commissioned choreography of John Tavener’s The Hidden Face. A significant part of the programme will be Nacho Duato’s captivating ballet Gnawa, set to music incorporating Spanish and North African sounds.

Opera remains a cornerstone of the Festival, however, and 2024 boasts three highly anticipated new productions spanning over 300 years; Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Puccini’s Tosca and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Premièred in 1643 and regarded as the first great work of baroque musical theatre, Monteverdi’s last opera L’incoronazione di Poppea (7 to 22 June), in partnership with Oper Halle, sees David Bates making his Festival debut conducting La Nuova Musica, an ensemble dedicated to the music of the Baroque and Classical periods, whilst the creatives behind the acclaimed 2018 production of Agrippina, including director Walter Sutcliffe and designer Jon Bausor reunite for this baroque masterpiece. The international cast includes Italian mezzosoprano Anna Bonitatibus as Ottavia/Virtu, British tenor Sam Furness as Nerone, American countertenor Christopher Lowrey as Ottone, German soprano Vanessa Waldhart as Drusilla with British mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately and New Zealand bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Poppea and Seneca respectively.

Director Christopher Luscombe and designer Simon Higlett, along with other members of the accomplished team behind the Festival’s critically acclaimed 2019 production of Falstaff, reunite to bring Puccini’s Tosca to The Grange Festival for the first time (8 June to 5 July), with Francesco Cilluffo conducting the Festival’s resident orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Italian soprano Francesca Tiburzi in the title role. Tiburzi has wowed audiences throughout Europe with her portrayal of the great diva Floria Tosca and is making both her Festival and UK debut alongside Uruguayan tenor Andrés Presno (a former Jette Parker Young Artist who made his Festival debut in the 2022 production of Macbeth) who returns in the role of Cavaradossi.

The Rake’s Progress is the third new production of the 2024 season (23 June to 6 July), created by director/designer Antony McDonald, conducted by Tom Primrose and featuring a cast of UK-based talent including tenor Adam Temple-Smith and soprano Alexandra Oomens as the young lovers Tom Rakewell and Anne Trulove, while having made his Festival debut in L’incoronazione di Poppea, baritone Armand Rabot, winner of the 2023 Grange Festival Prize for Most Outstanding Young Performer, returns to the stage as The Keeper of the Madhouse, sharing the role with Dan D’Souza.

The final offering of the 2024 season is a jazz lover’s dream, with Grammy-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and pianist Dan Tepfer in A French Salon. Presenting an array of Gallic-related music (28 and 29 June), including chansons made famous by Josephine Baker, Barbara and Edith Piaf and the world première of a song cycle written by Tepfer for Cécile Salvant with lyrics by Haitian poet Virginie Sampeur. The Festival’s resident Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, will accompany Tepfer in a performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major before joining Salvant and Tepfer for the finale of new orchestral arrangements by Philippe Maniez of French songs, including Édith Piaf’s captivating chanson Mon Dieu and Jacques Brel’s classic Ne me quitte pas.

The Grange Festival 2024, The Grange, Northington, Alresford SO24 9TG from 6 June – 6 July. For more information and tickets please visit the website.