Our story

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.

Longborough Festival Opera is now an established opera company, situated in the heart of the Cotswolds. Its intimate auditorium seats 500 people, enabling the audience to experience the drama and emotion on the stage on an almost personal level. This has firmly secured Longborough's summer season into the diaries of a loyal and ever increasing audience. Audiences have grown from 400 in 1991 to more than 7,500 in 2015.

Longborough Festival Opera is a privately funded opera company; with no public subsidy, the organisation relies on ticket sales and the generosity of our members and audience. Longborough has long been known for showcasing upcoming Wagner singers.

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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. The success of the Ring Cycle was a landmark for Longborough Festival Opera: it created a new momentum, as audience and performers alike wanted to come back for more.

"The critical and audience consensus has so far been little short of ecstatic: without big budgets, production gimmicks or star names, Wagner's vision has been honestly and thrillingly honoured"

Rupert Christiansen, Opera, April 2013

​Our aspirations for the future

Longborough aspires to be well-loved by our audience and supporters and to receive critical acclaim for our productions. Our operatic repertoire is wide and expansive, and our goal is to present operas that will come alive in our 500-seat theatre.

Our goal is to stay committed to the quality of the productions, seek out inspiring performers and dedicated professionals to work with our team, to attract supporters who are excited by our potential and who share our ambitions.

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Timeline

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

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Meet the Team

Find out more about the small but passionate team behind Longborough Festival Opera

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Past productions