OPERA lovers in the Cotswolds are now able to buy tickets for the Longborough Festival Opera 2019 season, which runs from June 5 to August 3, and includes Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Cavalli’s La Calisto, and the first production in Longborough’s new Ring cycle, Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

Based near Stow-on-the-Wold, Longborough Festival Opera’s auditorium seats just 500 people, enabling the audience to experience the drama and emotion on the stage on an almost personal level.

This year will mark Polly Graham’s second year in the post of artistic director.

Season highlights include the launch of the Ring cycle with a brand new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

The entire cycle will be conducted by Longborough music director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus, and brought to life by Royal Opera House head staff director Amy Lane.

After Das Rheingold, they will stage brand new productions of Die Walküre (June 2020); Siegfried (June 2021) and Götterdämmerung (June 2022), culminating in the full cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen (June 2023).

Another highlight this year will be the return of conductor Jeremy Silver and director Jenny Miller, following their 2018 production of L'incoronazione di Poppea, for an exhilarating bel canto masterpiece, Donizetti's tragic Anna Bolena.

Longborough will also present a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with conductor Thomas Blunt and director Martin Constantine. Sung in the English translation by Olivier award-winning librettist Amanda Holden, this bold production explores how society can be complicit in the exploitation and abuse committed by those taking advantage of positions of power.

The Festival also showcases a Young Artist production each season, offering world-class performance opportunities to artists at the beginning of their careers. For 2019, conductor Lesley Anne Sammons and director Mathilde Lopez bring to life Francesco Cavalli’s rarely-performed La Calisto.

This new orchestration by Lesley Anne is rescored for recorders, accordion, clarinet, double bass and percussion.

Martin and Lizzie Graham started promoting opera in the grounds of their home in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera. They are still very much involved in the day-to-day running of the Festival, which now takes places in a purpose-built Opera House.

Martin and Lizzie's daughter, the acclaimed opera director Polly Graham, was appointed as artistic director in 2018.

Visit lfo.org.uk for tickets