Carmen in the garden
At the Abbotsbury Festival in Dorset, local schools have held dance, drama and craft workshops connected to the theme of Carmen and children and parents held a picnic and performance in the school playing field.
Although the Richmond performance was a fundraising event, other organisations stage the opera at cost price. "Some pay for the whole thing themselves (it costs between pound;4,000 and pound;5,000 to stage), others gather their local community to buy tickets to raise the funds, and some raise money for charity," says Lucy de Castro, Garden Opera manager.
The company provides the entire production - staging, crew, lighting, small chamber ensemble - and the host arranges the garden, publicity and ticket sales. Next year's touring opera is Cosi Fan Tutte.