The composer called this, his first opera, The Maid of Pskov, after its heroine, Olga, a young noblewoman of nebulous parentage. Billing the show as Ivan the Terrible, Grange Park Opera follows the impresario Serge Diaghilev, who introduced it to Parisians in 1909 with the scene-stealing phenomenon Feodor Chaliapin in the new title role. Mind you, this is by no means the monster who has haunted movie lovers’ nightmares since the age of Sergei Eisenstein. Suffice it to say the monarch takes a peculiar interest in Olga and eventually dispels the mystery surrounding her birth—though not in time to prevent her tragic demise. Like Glyndebourne, Grange Park Opera offers the singular British experience of classy country-house opera far from the London bustle. —M.G.
Grange Park Opera West Horsley Place, Epsom Rd, West Horsley, Leatherhead KT24 6AN, United Kingdom Get Directions »