Rural music venues
Country Living's pick of the best
Aldeburgh Festival, Snape, Suffolk
10-26 June 2011, Benjamin Britten was inspired by the big skies and brooding seascapes of Suffolk and in 1948 he co-founded the Aldeburgh Festival, which now has its permanent home at the Snape Maltings. This will be Pierre-Laurent Aimard's third year as artistic director, and his reputation for the dynamic and innovative looks set to continue.
www.aldeburgh.co.uk, 01728 687110
Buxton Festival, Buxton, Derbyshire
9-27 July 2011
The 17-day-long Buxton Festival in the heart of the Peak District is one for those who love to combine literature with music. Known for showing rarely staged operas, this year's include Donizetti's 'Maria di Rohan' and Handel's classic oratorio, 'Saul'. A bonus is that you can dip into the literary events that run in tandem, with talks by novelists and biographers.
www.buxtonfestival.co.uk, 01298 70395
End of the Road Festival, Near Tollard Royal, Dorset-Wiltshire border
2-4 September 2011
If you like the idea of a music festival but aren't so sure about the mud and mayhem of Glastonbury et al, this is a civilised, friendly alternative. The music is mostly folk with an indie feel - Midlake are lined up for 2011 - and is accompanied by author talks, crafts for children, comedy and films. It takes place at the Larmer Tree Gardens, tucked into the folds of Cranborne Chase.
www.endoftheroadfestival.com, 020 8769 7571
Garsington Opera, Wormsley, Buckinghamshire
This year sees Garsington relocate 15 miles up the road to Wormsley, a country estate of peaceful deer parklands. A Japanese-style pavilion to seat 600 will be the venue, creating a unique, tranquil setting for 'The Magic Flute', 'Il Turco in Italia' and 'La Verità in Cimento'. Guests are encouraged to picnic or you can opt for fine dining in the restaurant, which overlooks Wormsley cricket pitch.
www.garsingtonopera.org, 01865 361636
Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex
21 May-28 August 2011
This uniquely British institution is an essential date in the opera lover's social season. Evening dress and black tie are de rigueur, as is a champagne picnic - and we're talking crystal flutes rather than plastic beakers. Expect the cream of operatic performances and high demand for tickets (members have priority booking).
www.glyndebourne.com, 01273 813813
Grange Park Opera, Alresford, Hampshire
2 June-3 July 2011. Musical maverick Wasfi Kani OBE has established this country-house festival as an exciting, operatic treat. It takes place in two neo-classical temples on Lord and Lady Ashburton's estate, lending the often innovative productions an Arcadian air. This year's offerings include Rigoletto, Tristan and Isolde and Tosca, which then transfers to Nevill Holt, near Market Harborough.
www.grangeparkopera.co.uk, 01962 737366
The Henley Festival, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
6-10 July 2011
Hot on the heels of the Regatta, Henley hosts a wide-ranging musical extravaganza of classical, jazz, opera, comedy, dance and rock, plus sculpture, street theatre and art. Expect champagne, boaters, big names (Will Young, Bryn Terfel and Nigel Kennedy headlined last year), and plenty of riverside frolics.
www.henley-festival.co.uk, 01491 843404
Lammermuir Festival, East Lothian
16-25 September 2011
In only its second year, Lammermuir proves that small and remote can be the perfect setting for quality music. With the slogan Beautiful Music in Beautiful Places, last year saw the likes of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Choir of Scotland play in East Lothian venues from intimate churches to Lennoxlove House.
www.lammermuirfestival.co.uk, 0131 473 2000
Longborough Festival Opera, Longborough, Gloucestershire
16 June-30 July 2011
The Glyndebourne of the Cotswolds, with an avowed commitment to Wagner, and this year Anthony Negus will conduct 'Siegfried'. Other highlights will be 'Così fan Tutte' and 'Falstaff'. Small in opera terms, with a 500-seat theatre overlooking the lovely Evenlode Valley. Perfect for the discerning opera lover.
www.lfo.org.uk, 01451 830292
Serenata, Broadlands, Kimmeridge, Dorset
2011 date tbc
Hailed as 'Britain's first Classical Music Festival', Serenata is the more urbane festival atmosphere, with High tea served a 4pm, (and a Mad Hatter's Tea party for children) with plenty of alternative activities to keep everyone occupied, including musical workshops, acting, ballet and music therapy,
Performers at 2010 festival included Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, and Blake.
Wexford Festival Opera, Wexford, County Wexford
21 October- 5 November 2011, Wexford's knack for discovering talented singers means it has earned itself a central role in the cultural life of Ireland. 2011 will be a milestone, marking 60 years of the festival, which manages to mix operatic excellence with local involvement, staging a popular street party and fireworks.
www.wexfordopera.com, 00 353 (0)53 91 22 144
Country Living Magazine is celebrating culture in the countryside. Click here to discover its pick of venues, including museums, art galleries and studio trails, bookshops and booktowns, theatre and literary festivals