Lacking provincial venues, English opera took root in the grand country house in the 1930s, and it has evolved into a ritual involving evening dress, a gourmet picnic and a sense of exclusivity. Glyndebourne is the oldest of the élite, followed by Garsington and, since 1998, Grange Park, which keeps up with the others on all counts
setting, performances, food and a dapper audience. While they all have priority booking for members, the public can obtain tickets months before the season starts but be quick, since availability is limited.
The auditorium on...