RODERIC DUNNETT visits Grange Park Opera
for Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin'
Is it possible to believe Grange Park's sensational summer opera seasons were launched only sixteen years ago? Founded by Wasfi Kani in 1998 with Irish-born director Michael Moody, already a force behind Pimlico Opera, and since then the brains behind production at the Grange, its stagings are housed on the splendid if ramshackle Ashburton Estate in Hampshire, in buildings of Greek-style splendour erected by the Barings family of 18th-20th century bankers.
Grange Park is less than a decade younger than Oxfordshire's Garsington (founded by Leonard Ingrams in 1989, and a company for whom Kani herself conducted some memorable productions); and ten years less than Pimlico Opera, the prison-energising company Kani set up in 1987, and Moody later directed.
Funding has been one of the company's triumphs, not without a good deal of sophisticated arm-twisting, crucial for a body that relies on box office, not state subsidy...
Copyright © 20 July 2013