Leonard Ingrams, Founder of U.K.'s Garsington Opera, Dies

Classic Arts News   Leonard Ingrams, Founder of U.K.'s Garsington Opera, Dies
Leonard Ingrams, founder and chief executive of the Garsington Opera, died last week, the London Telegraph reports. He was 63, and died of a heart attack while driving home from a performance at Glyndebourne.

Garsington, a "house" opera company, presents an annual summer season that takes place on a terrace adjoining the Oxfordshire manor house that Ingrams bought in 1982. (The house is well known as the one where Lady Ottoline Morrell hosted the Bloomsbury artists and writers.) The first production there—Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro—was staged by English Touring Opera as part of a fundraising drive for Oxford Playhouse, and Garsington Opera presented its own first season in 1990.

During the 1990s, the number of performances steadily increased, despite ongoing battles with Ingrams's neighbors, who complained about the noise.

Ingrams, the Telegraph notes, attended every one of his company's performances.

The staff and directors of Garsington Opera told the London Guardian that the company would continue after Ingrams' death. "Leonard will be irreplaceable," said Bill Birch Reynardson, one of the company's directors. "But we have a very good staff who can carry on at the moment. We will have a meeting of the directors early next month and I imagine we will elect a chairman then to take Leonard's place."

He added, "There is no question of Garsington folding."

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