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Our story


Martin & Lizzie Graham

Martin and Lizzie Graham started promoting opera in the grounds of their home in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera. Longborough Festival Opera has since grown into an established opera company, situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, with an annual season taking place in a purpose-built opera house seating 500.

Longborough Festival Opera remains a family affair: Martin and Lizzie's daughter, the acclaimed opera director Polly Graham, was appointed as Artistic Director in 2018. A privately funded opera company, the charity relies on ticket sales and the generosity of members and audience.

Throughout Longborough's history, Martin and Lizzie have achieved what some might have said to be impossible:  in 2013 they presented a full-length production of Wagner's Ring Cycle with minimal budgets but to great critical acclaim, establishing the Festival as a destination for Wagnerians in the UK and abroad. The company has now embarked on a new Ring, with Das Rheingold in 2019 and culminating in the full cycle in 2024.

"without big budgets, production gimmicks or star names, Wagner's vision has been honestly and thrillingly honoured"

Rupert Christiansen, Opera, April 2013

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About our aims to become a sustainable operation, reducing our carbon emissions and working toward the principles of the Theatre Green Book.

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Longborough Festival Opera: the first 30 years

Our new book celebrates the story of opera at Longborough: how one couple took an empty field and a dream of an idea and turned it into bricks, mortar and sublime music.


Past productions

See an archive of previous productions at Longborough Festival Opera.

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The Longborough Podcast

Get behind the scenes at Longborough with our free podcast, available on most podcast providers.

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Meet the Team

Find out more about the team at Longborough Festival Opera.

01 Banks Fee Opera 1991


Follow our interactive timeline of Longborough's journey through the years.