Summer Opera In Chiswick House Gardens

Win two tickets to Gala evening by answering a simple question


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Chiswick House Friends have announced that this summer, for the first time, they will stage two nights of opera in the gardens (an increase on previous years when only single events were staged).

On Wednesday 22nd June there will be a Gala Evening of popular arias and a Gilbert & Sullivan medley.

The following night, Thursday 23rd June, a production of Puccini’s La Bohème will be staged. Both performances will be sung in English by Opera Brava, Britain’s leading outdoor touring opera company.

Chiswick House Friends have joined with sponsors Fuller Smith & Turner to offer registered members of a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Gala evening on 22nd June PLUS a bottle of champagne to enjoy on the night. To enter answer the following question:

Q: In which European city is the opera La Bohème set?

Please email your answer to before the end of Wednesday 8th June. Winner will be picked at random. You must be a registered member of the site to be entered into the draw.

This year will be the seventh opera event promoted by the Friends in the gardens of Chiswick House. Both productions will take place in the evening and will include an interval of 45 minutes to allow for picnicking in the grounds. Tickets are £26 for the Gala Evening and £28 for La Boheme and can be obtained through the Friends’ website

Staging of the two nights will be on the magnificent lawns at the rear of Chiswick House. The fully restored gardens and the attraction of Chiswick House itself are expected to provide a splendid ambience to enhance the performances. The audience is encouraged to bring rugs, seating and to picnic on the lawns.

The event’s main sponsor is again local brewer Fuller, Smith & Turner who will provide a bar pavilion in the grounds for purchases of wine, champagne and beer each evening. A food village will offer hot drinks, pastries, a selection of salads and cold meats and ice cream and picnic hampers can also be pre-ordered through Chiswick House Cafe.

Last year the one night performance of the Marriage of Figaro in the gardens of Chiswick House attracted almost 1,000 people to the event. Jan Grandison, this year’s Chair of the Friends’ Opera Committee, explains that the Summer Opera is one of the Friends’ key fundraising events, proceeds of which are used to support Chiswick House and its gardens: “By adding an extra night and by providing a more varied programme this year, we are hoping to attract many more people to this wonderful local event. The Gala Night offers a chance to enjoy some of the most popular opera arias. We are aiming to raise more money than last year and are hoping local businesses and those further afield will take advantage of the opportunity to support the event.”

La Bohème was first performed at the Teatro Regio, Turin, on February 1st, 1896. Puccini uses the opera to express every facet of human emotion with its rich and colourful music.
Set in Paris in the 1830s among a group of impoverished Bohemians, the opera centres around the tragic love affair between the seamstress, Mimi, and Rodolfo, a poet. Frivolity, joy, tenderness and sorrow are all expressed in the wonderful music of this most treasured of operas.

The Gala Night offers both committed opera devotees and people with a general love of classical music a programme that will contain a feast of opera’s most inspiring music. The audience will enjoy such favourites as Nessun Dorma, the Lakme duet, the Pearl Fishers duet and Champagne from Die Fledermaus. There will be Gershwin melodies to entertain and Bernstein’s West Side Story and a popular medley from the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, interspersed with informative and comic anecdotes. All performed by singers from English National Opera, Covent Garden and International Opera house, and sung in English.

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March 2, 2012

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