Longborough Festival Opera: the first 30 years

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Longborough Festival Opera: the first 30 years is a new book that tells the story of opera at Longborough, written by Richard Bratby.

When Martin and Lizzie Graham first began hosting opera evenings in their garden, neither they nor anyone else could have imagined what Longborough Festival Opera has become today: an internationally recognised opera company that punches far above its weight. 

You might remember early days sitting on bales of hay, or perhaps you’ve discovered Longborough more recently: but everyone who attends an LFO performance makes their own memories of Britain’s most magical – and ambitious – summer opera festival. 

Full of anecdotes, recollections and photographs, from the early days in a stable yard to the triumphant staging of Wagner’s Ring cycle in a purpose-built theatre, this book celebrates Martin and Lizzie’s remarkable achievement: how a dream became bricks, mortar and sublime music on a Cotswold hillside.

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Longborough Festival Opera: the first 30 years (hardback, limited edition)

Richard Bratby (author)

162 pages

ISBN: 9781739547806

Dimensions: 201 x 258mm

Published: 11 November 2023

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Longborough Festival Opera: the first 30 years (paperback)

Richard Bratby (author)

162 pages

ISBN: 9781739547813

Dimensions: 192 x 252mm

Published: 11 November 2023


About the author

Richard Bratby

Richard Bratby is a critic for The Spectator, Gramophone, Bachtrack and The Birmingham Post, and writes on music, opera and culture for the BBC, the Salzburg Festival and concert promoters around the world. Formerly an orchestral cellist in the now-defunct Sri Lanka Philharmonic, he worked as a concerts manager for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and later the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, where he founded and managed the CBSO Youth Orchestra. 

His books include Forward: 100 Years of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (“a gem”: The Oldie), Classical Music: An Illustrated History and Refiner’s Fire: the Academy of Ancient Music and the Historical Performance Revolution. Born on the Wirral, Richard studied History at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and worked briefly as a History teacher before entering the classical music business. He is married to the theatre historian Dr Annette Rubery, and they live in Lichfield with their cat Rusty and several miniature steam locomotives.