Vineyard & Winery | Ditchling, East Sussex, England.

popup opera hansel and gretel

A scene from Pop-up’s recent opera, Humperdink’s Hansel & Gretel.   Photo: Bob Workman

Events at Court Garden

Upcoming events

Pop-up Opera are taking a break from producing operas next year. After 6 years continually growing and delighting audiences up and down the land the founders are having a sabbatical to recharge their creative minds, I am sure they will be back, but in the meantime we are planning some entertainments for the year ahead; please see our dedicated Opera page for updates.

Recent events

humperdinck hansel and gretel

Pop-up Opera:
Englebert Humperdink’s Hansel & Gretel

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th November 2017

Composed by Englebert Humperdink in 1893 and based on the Fairy Tale by the Grimm brothers. Magical and dark, this is perhaps the most popular operatic fairy tale of them all.

Brother and sister Hansel & Gretel are drawn into the idyllic yet dangerous world of the forest, where they encounter the Sandman, the Dew Fairy and, most frightening of all, the Witch. In the dizzying excitement of the Witch’s Ride and the serene beauty of the children’s evening prayer, Humperdinck’s music magically evokes the contrasting worlds of the story. A story that will enchant and thrill, a wintry delight.

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

brighton singers summer concert

The Brighton Singers:
Blue Skies, Birds… and the Bard
A Late Summer Concert

Sunday 24th September 2017

Following a successful performance here in July, the choir has been invited to repeat the programme on September 24th at 5pm.

Liz Woodhouse directs songs around the theme of Blue Skies and Birds. These include settings of well-known favourites by Irving Berlin, Thomas Morley, Eric Coates. And to celebrate Shakespeare we sing George Shearing’s lovely settings of Songs and Sonnets by the Bard.

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

pop-up opera cimarosa

Pop-up Opera:
Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto
(The Secret Marriage)

28th May, 25th June, 10th June 2017

An 18th-century Italian comic opera by Domenico Cimarosa. You can hear the influence of Mozart in the music. Filled with comic intrigues and confusions, the story is about following your heart, and makes a perfect summer opera filled with special Pop-up Opera humour, sparkle and fun.

Its premiere was the occasion of the longest encore in operatic history; Leopold II was so delighted that he ordered supper served to the company and the entire opera repeated immediately after!

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

pop-up opera bellini

Pop-up Opera:
Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
(The Barber of Seville)

Saturday 24th September 2016

Experience opera like you’ve never seen before, as Pop-Up Opera take to the stage with this incredibly fast-paced comical farce in their adaptation of this much loved score. Witness razor-sharp timing as the ever resourceful barber, Figaro, tries to help the young Count Almaviva win the hand of the beautiful Rosina out of love rather than for his wealth. Soon the pair set about to produce many disguises for the count, and thus the farce ensues…!

Rossini’s famous opera buffa is brought to life by the critically acclaimed Pop-Up Opera.

Not sure what to expect? Here’s a short account with a few photos from last June’s performances of L’Italiana in Algeri; and don’t just take our word for it; read Elisabeth Else’s review on her blog!

Sung in Italian, captions in English.

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

English Wine Week

Court Garden Flying the flag in English Wine Week

Saturday 28th May to Sunday 5th June 2016

Celebrating English Wine Week 2016, we will be at the following events:

Saturday 28th May

Alan will be at Budgens in Hassocks 10:30am to 1:30pm

And at Grape and Grain in the Broadway Haywards Heath 2:00 to 4:00pm

Lisa will be at Dulwich Vintners 1:00 to 6:00pm

Sunday 29th May

Howard and Hugo will be at the Brighton and Hove Food Festival, Hove Lawns 12:00 to 5:00pm

Monday 30th May

Howard and Jenny will be at the Brighton and Hove Food Festival, Hove Lawns 12:00 to 5:00pm

Tuesday 31st May

Alan will be at Southdown Garden Centre, Hassocks 12:00 to 3:00pm

Wednesday 1st June

Alan will be at Notcutts Garden Centre, Ditchling 11:30 to 3:00pm

Lisa will be at Lant Street Wine Co (Waterloo Wines), London SE1 5:00 to 7:30pm

Thursday 2nd June

Lisa will be at Philglas & Swiggot 5:00 to 8:00pm - Battersea Branch

Friday 3rd June

Alan will be at Henfield Village Store (Budgens): 11:00am to 2:00pm

Lisa will be at Highbury Vintners, Highbury Park London N5: 6:00 to 8:00pm

Howard will be at Southdown Cellars, Lindfield 5:00 to 7:00pm

Saturday 4th June

Howard will be at an English Wine Fair at Cellar Magneval, 3 Church Path Woking Surrey 11:00am to 4:00pm

Richard of Chichester

Sussex Day Faire
Harvey’s Brewery Yard

10am – 3.30pm Saturday 18th June

Actually Sussex Day is the Thursday before and St Richard will be being remembered at Harvey’s and elsewhere then.

Today, Harvey’s Brewery Yard hosts a celebration of Sussex Produce, where Court Garden will be properly represented and offering samples to the good folk of Lewes who are not shy at coming forward for a glass.

pop-up opera bellini

Pop-up Opera:
Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi
(The Capulets and Montagues)

7:30pm Saturday 2nd & 23rd April 2016

“You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you…”

Experience the most tragic love story of all time, where two star-crossed lovers – Romeo and Juliet – find their worlds ripped apart by criminal warfare against the backdrop of Italy’s bloody gang rivalry. Witness how their all-consuming passion tries to survive amidst violence, hatred and debauchery.

Bellini’s classic bel-canto opera is brought to life in an intense chamber production by the critically acclaimed Pop-up Opera,

Vicenzo Bellini wrote this Opera in 1830 and he is well known for his very long melodies, about which Verdi raved. It is the story of Romeo and Juliet, but the source is not from Shakespeare’s play, never the less a familiar tale.

James Hurley directed the last production for Pop-up, the fabulous L’Italiana, and he is directing this piece. It is no surprise that he is giving it a special twist and production is being set with a sense that the feuding families are rival Italian Mafia groups, which is a really exciting take on this age-old tale of Romeo and Juliet.

Sung in Italian, captions in English.

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

Christmas Tastings

Alan will be hosting the following tasting events:

Thursday 27th November

Budgens, Hassocks – part of ‘Light up Hassocks’

Sunday 29th November

Up Country (Festive Seasonal Fair), Scaynes Hill

Thursday 3rd December

Notcutts (Festive Seasonal Late night shopping), Ditchling

Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December

Ardingly Winter Fair, South of England Showground

Saturday 12th December

Rushfields (Festive Seasonal Tasting), Poynings

Saturday 19th December

Hove Farmer’s Christmas Market, Hove

popup opera l'italiana

Extra date Popup Opera:
Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri
(The Italian girl in Algiers)

5:30pm Sunday 27th September 2015

Rossini meets Casino / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, against a backdrop of glitz and grit at the Algiers Hotel, Nevada. Hotel employee, Lindoro, is down on his luck and in debt to the Algiers’ corrupt and extravagant owner, Mustafa. Lindoro’s Italian-American girlfriend, Isabella, arrives in Vegas under the pretence of auditioning as a show-girl to try and get Lindoro out of this mess. Mustafa, bored with his faded starlet wife, Elvira, is enraptured by the headstrong Isabella: but will she be seduced by his power and money? The surreal and dangerous world of Las Vegas breathes new life into Rossini’s absurd exotic comedy, as love and fidelity compete against the city’s tantalising promise of endless wealth and sensory gratification.

Sung in Italian, captions in English.

Proceeds to Alzheimer’s Society.

popup opera l'italiana

Popup Opera:
Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri
(The Italian girl in Algiers)

7:30pm Saturday 27th June
5:30pm Sunday 28th June 2015

“The players were all superb... with only delightfully energetic piano playing, a minimal set and simple costumes, the plot was brought to life in the small stage area, which occasionally, and delightfully, spilled out into the aisle.

If proof were needed that you can make an opera contemporary, witty and entertaining without dumbing down, then Pop-Up Opera provide that in spades. With a vineyard setting and local fizz, it’s an evening’s entertainment that would be hard to beat.”

Elisabeth Else from her blog at (click link for full review).

Proceeds to The Children’s Society.

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