Thursday, 6 March 2014

Grange Park Opera

Last week I attended the Grange Park Opera party at the Royal Academy of Arts. The Royal Academy is a beautiful building and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening listening to performances from Christina Petrou and Alberto Sousa on the grand steps, and sipping on G&Ts and Moscow Mules (listening to opera is thirsty work).

Apart from having a good time chatting and listening to some damn good singing, the purpose of party was all about reigniting (or in some cases *me* igniting) a love of opera within the younger generation. And who better to persuade you of your love for the Arts than Stephen Fry?

He gave a delightful speech at the event and I was really impressed by the passion with which he spoke about his support for Grange Park. They are one of the few organisations that are truly dedicated to making the arts accessible for people of all ages and budgets. In their own words, they have a “commitment to promoting international and rising talent, introducing British audiences to little heard operas and bringing in a new audience to hear opera for the first time. To help develop the next generation’s love of opera”.

In order to do this, they run schemes which offer free tickets to young people and reduced prices for those under 35. Even if you are not opera’s biggest fan (I myself have only ever been once) I thoroughly recommend having a look at their website. The location is stunning, set in a 17th century country mansion just outside of Winchester and with the intervals being over an hour, it is positively encouraged to bring a picnic and a bottle or two to share with friends in the lavish grounds.

Tickets are on sale now and with Spring just around the corner I can’t think of anything better to look forward to than an evening at Grange Park filled with Opera, picnics, good wine and friends.


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