Thursday, 29 April 2010

New home for Garsington?

Has Garsington Opera found a new haven? Garsington Opera has now started consultations with the local community, and relevant authorities to apply for planning consent to locate the festival at Wormsley Estate, the home of the Getty family.

If anything, Wormsley will be even more spectacular. It's set in 18 acres in the lush Chiltern countryside, with an 18th century walled garden, a deer park and woodlands. Each year a special pavilion will be raised around a group of houses, built in flint in the traditional Chiltern style. The architect's drawings show an airy, attractive structure, nestling among trees.  Wormsley's only 15 miles from Garsington, even easier to get to from London. In theory, it's taxiable from Henley-on-Thames or Reading. If you have a party of four and champagne, taxi costs might not be disproportionate. Yet Wormsley's in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where there are lots of huge estates, many of historic importance. Could it rival Glyndebourne?

Anthony Whitworth Jones, General Director of Garsington Opera, said: "Over the years Garsington Opera has become known for introducing lesser known works of genuine interest and artistic merit, and for attracting young and talented singers on the threshold of their careers. Our new home at Wormsley will enable us to continue that tradition in a thrilling environment, not far from Garsington, and marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our history."

Mark Getty added:"We are delighted to welcome Garsington Opera for a summer season each year. I see Garsington Opera forming a central part of a vibrant cultural future for Wormsley Estate. It is also important to us that Garsington Opera will bring its terrific outreach activities to benefit schools and others in the local area with an interest in the performing arts. We are very pleased to be associated with a successful arts organization which enjoys such a high reputation for excellence in its field both nationally and internationally."

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