Longborough Festival Opera has introduced a new venue for 2021: the Big Top. Three of the festival’s 2021 productions will take place in this new venue: Cosi fan tutte, The Return of Ulysses and The Cunning Little Vixen.
The indoor/outdoor space offers different and exciting theatrical possibilities for the creative teams, as well as excellent seating flexibility, allowing for a larger socially distanced audience than the Longborough theatre can offer. The space can also be turned into an outdoor venue as required, with the possibility of performing with the sides removed.
Video: Inside the Big Top
Longborough Artistic Director Polly Graham comments: “We are determined to bring our audience a wonderful and unforgettable season, and the safety of everyone involved is our priority. I am delighted that we can offer this exciting new venue for 2021 and keep live opera happening through such a challenging time. Opera in the round opens up so many different ways of expressing a story. Audiences will feel drawn in and almost part of the action. It’s opera undressed, as the focus shifts to the music, text and performance, rather than big sets and costumes, and the space itself also becomes a part of the storytelling.”
The Big Top is a purpose-built auditorium with a socially distanced seating plan. The stage and amphitheatre will be clad in timber, to assist with the even spread of sound. As with the productions in the theatre, surtitles will be present for every production and visible from every seat.
2021 Performance Dates
Die Walküre: 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14 June 2021
Cosi fan tutte: 23, 26, 27, 29 June, 1, 3, 4 July 2021
The Return of Ulysses: 13, 15, 17, 18 July 2021
The Cunning Little Vixen: 29, 31 July, 1, 3 August 2021
The news of the new venue follows the success of Longborough’s 2020 fundraising campaign, which generated over £300,000 for freelance artists involved in the postponed festival and the generation of future work.