Longhope Opera is a delightful annual event held on the Longhope Estate in Newton Valence, Hampshire. Every Summer since 2015, Mr & Mrs Janson have welcomed several hundred friends to their charming home. Guests take walks around the grounds and peruse the various events on offer before they are entertained with a comic opera from Scherzo Ensemble and enjoy a picnic dinner overlooking the South Downs.
Guests at Longhope have previously enjoyed several gala concerts, The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville and Il turco in Italia . This summer, having wowed thousands of guests since 2018, Scherzo Ensemble returned with their fifth production. To deliver Longhope Opera, Scherzo assembles an entire company (performers, creatives, technical staff and management) of emerging professionals. The central aim is to help young practitioners gain professional experience and build confidence, with the associated aims of fostering deeper respect and understanding between theatrical departments. These operas at Longhope have become the centre-piece of their annual professional development programme for young artists and this year on the 1st and 2nd of July they will present Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
To deliver Longhope Opera, Scherzo assembles an entire company (performers, creatives, technical staff and management) of emerging professionals under 30 years old. The central aim is to help young practitioners to gain professional experience and build confidence, with the associated aims of fostering deeper respect and understanding between theatrical departments and imparting a more holistic understanding of what goes into creating opera. Everyone involved is expected to help with some role outside of their specialism, enhancing team-spirit and, ultimately, insight into the artistic process.
A Day Out at Longhope
Leave plenty of time to get here. The grounds open 2 hours before the show starts so that you have plenty of time to explore the gardens and enjoy a drink, taking in the air and the views – and often some secluded chamber music.
Longhope’s kitchen garden is transformed into a covered auditorium in which Scherzo dazzles audiences with a comic opera in the Bel Canto tradition. These uplifting Italian shows are performed with full orchestra, costumes and staging, and with English surtitles.
A highlight of many country house operas is the long dining interval (often timed perfectly with the golden-hour). At Longhope guests bring their own hampers. Some picnic on the lawn with a blanket, others join our communal dining tables. Groups can dine in style, at round tables with the best views of the South Downs.
AT THE END
The opera continues after dinner with the second half and after the curtain call, you are welcome to enjoy drinks before departing.