Upcoming Events

Coverwood Lakes Opera Concerts

Friday 8th June, Saturday 9th June and Sunday 10th June


Join us in our 22nd year of top-quality opera and music at Coverwood Lakes. Nestled in the heart of the glorious Surrey Hills, Coverwood is a working farm specialising in the production and sale of pedigree Hereford beef and Ryeland lamb. The farm is also home to some stunning gardens and lakes.

This year under our new banner ‘Coverwood Lakes Opera’; we are delighted to offer you a broader musical programme with a particular emphasis on grass roots opera.

In this new chapter the audience can enjoy not only the traditional frivolity of a Coverwood music event as well as the rising young stars of the National Opera Studio; in a series of scenes from some of the world’s most famous operas (Saturday).

Friday 12th June - Kit Hesketh-Harvey and James McConnel

Kit Hesketh Harvey (best known for thirty years as the singer-songwriter of Kit and the Widow, 'Just A Minute' veteran and co-star on the first-ever BBC Comedy Prom at the Albert Hall) has now teamed up with the composer and accordionist James McConnel (fellow Sondheim pupil and love-child of Hugh Grant and Prince Andrew). In a completely new programme of his original cabaret and theatre songs, both hilarious and moving, they will explore contemporary events, local scandals and the extraordinary vagaries of the human heart. 'Achingly funny' (Times). 'Cabaret royalty' (Time Out)

Kit and James will be joined by international soprano, Kathryn Harries for an unforgettable evening of wit, satire and operatic singing.

Saturday June 13th - Opera Scenes, National Opera Studio & Four Hands

Enter the amazing world of opera as six brilliant young singers from the National Opera Studio perform scenes from some of the most famous operas in the world. Experience the love and heartbreaking beauty of Puccini’s La bohème and the lust and danger of Bizet’s Carmen. Comedy and tragedy sit side by side in this evening of passion and drama.

These stars of tomorrow are joined by international piano duo, Richard Saxel and Faith Leadbetter who will entertain you between scenes as you make the transition between one operatic landscape and another. Presented by Kathryn Harries, Director of the National Opera Studio, this is the first time staged operatic scenes have been performed at Coverwood – an evening not to be missed.

Sunday June 14th - Diamond Jubilee Special

The hugely popular traditional Coverwood concert brings our weekend to a close. Regular favourites Linda Ormiston and James Nicol will amuse and entertain you with their side-splittingly funny comedy routines whilst international trumpeter, Crispian Steele-Perkins will astound you with his virtuoso playing.

Mezzo soprano, Kathryn Harries, baritone, Oliver Dunn who made his Coverwood debut so successfully last year and outstanding pianist, Angela Livingstone complete the team for this evening’s performance.


The gardens and lakes will be open for picnics from 4pm. In the event of rain, covered space is available for picnics. The Friday performance will begin at 7.30pm whilst Saturday and Sunday performances will begin at 7pm and finish at about 10pm. Swingtime will play during the picnics.

Tickets are solely available from Coverwood Farm, Peaslake Road, Ewhurst, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 7NT.

Telephone: 01306 731101 Fax: 01306 731158

Email: opera@coverwoodlakes.co.uk

Booking begins on 1st April 2012

Prices (which include coffee/tea served in the interval):

£30 each night. Black Tie or Lounge Suit Preferred. Please note that dogs are not permitted and performances will not be suitable for very young children.

SEATING ARRANGEMENTS – Seats are not numbered and are reservable on the night after 5pm. A number of reserved seats are available each night at an additional cost of £2 per ticket. Please request numbered seats on booking which will be sold on a first come first served basis.

Cheques to be made payable to ‘Coverwood Lakes Opera.’ If you wish your tickets to be sent by post, please include a stamped addressed envelope.

Surrey Hills Operatic Weekends

I'm planning an exciting series of operatic weekends in the stunningly beautiful Surrey Hills. This area of designated outstanding natural beauty is wonderful for walking, horse riding, mountain biking and simply relaxing.

The courses will begin on Saturday morning at 9.30 am with an introduction to the weekend, and a chance to meet fellow singers. The weekend will finish at 9.30 pm on Sunday evening with a concert featuring those singers on the programme who wish to take part.

Participants will be able to enjoy individual and group training in vocal technique: drama; singing in English, French, Italian, German and Czech; they will have the opportunity to learn about stage craft and stage make-up; and above all they will experience coaching from some of the world's greatest musicians.

Cranleigh is the largest village in the UK. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, this friendly community boasts a great variety of shops, restaurants and amenities.

Bed and breakfast in the village can be arranged and if you would prefer to stay in a more rural setting, this too is possible should you have your own transport.

Guildford is only fifteen minutes from Cranleigh by car and you can enjoy a leisurely bus ride into Surrey's famous and historic county town from the centre of the village.

The Course

Each singer will be offered an hour of individual vocal technique, and an hour's individual coaching on both days.

There will be master classes so that singers can benefit from performing to an audience whilst receiving constructive and encouraging advice from an international professional singer.

Individual and group sessions can be arranged to improve singing in Italian, French, German and Czech.

Professional opera singers, directors and repetiteurs will offer advice on how to improve performance on the operatic stage and concert platform.

The aim of SHOWS is to help singers of all standards to improve in a friendly and inspiring environment. All instruction will be carried out in a constructive manner which will bring the best out of every student.

I believe that the superb, high-level tuition will improve not only students' skill in singing but also build confidence in performing. Enjoyment is the key word for students and teachers alike.

If you are interested in SHOWS, do please let me know and I shall put you on the mailing list. A leaflet containing information about dates, location and artists taking part in this exciting new venture will be available in the autumn.

An Evening of Words and Music

Internationally renowned soprano Kathryn Harries, popular broadcaster Margaret Howard and virtuoso young pianist Sarah Beth Briggs have recently joined their considerable talents to create a series of programmes.

Margaret Howard became a household name through BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Week.

Also well known as a founder presenter of Classic FM, Margaret's awards have included:-

The Sony Radio Personality of the Year 1984

The Voice of the Listener Award for Individual Excellence in Broadcasting 1991

Television and Radio Industry Personality of the Year 1996

Acclaimed world-wide as a "great singing actor", Kathryn Harries' performances in 2004 and 2005 included dates in Antwerp, Ghent, Hambur

g, Amsterdam and Chicago. She stunned audiences and critics alike as the Kostelnička in Janacek's Jenufa at the 2004 Glyndebourne Festival.

"Kathryn Harries was terrific in the central role of the Kostelnička. Her singing was superb; the part has a huge range and Harries gave it everything in terms of colour, expression and piercing, focused pianissimo." (The Sunday Telegraph)

Kathryn, Margaret and Sarah have created a number of fascinating programmes with themes as varied as 'Women and Love', 'In Praise of England' and 'The Elements', designed to attract and enrapture audiences wherever they are performed.

An inspiring combination of music selected from the best of opera, concert arias and lieder, together with gems from the solo piano repertoire, is complemented by Margaret Howard's carefully chosen readings – some thought-provoking, some light-hearted.

Highlights from the first of these evenings, 'Women and Love', include extracts from Schumann's 'Frauen Liebe und Leben', operatic arias from Mozart, Puccini and Verdi and solo piano music by Beethoven, Chopin and Brahms.

Inventively-themed poetry and prose complete this rather special trio's performance in a collaboration sure to delight concert-goers everywhere.

Click here to view the programme.