In past seasons we’ve been treated with some operatic rarities but, while the Donzietti is no regular in the opera houses, this year is a relatively safe programme. The remaining works are Hänsel und Gretel, La bohème, Orpheus in the Underworld and, perhaps most testing of all for the company, Un ballo in maschera.

A range of excellent artists will appear during the course of the 11-week season, including Majella Cullagh and Mark Stone (Roberto Devereux), Anne Mason and Donald Maxwell (Hänsel und Gretel), Linda Richardson and Aldo di Toro (La bohème), Amanda Echalaz (Un ballo) and Sophie Duprels, Tom Randle and Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts in the Janacek.

Conductors will include Richard Bonynge, no less, and OHP regulars Stuart Stratford and Peter Robinson, while direction will be in the hands of distinguished directors, Lindsay Posner, Olivia Fuchs and Martin Lloyd Evans among them. Adam Cooper will choreograph the opening Donizetti.

If Glyndebourne, Garsington and Grange Park are out of your reach, a trip to London’s own Summer opera festival (champagne and peacocks included) promises a sparkling experience, with something for most tastes.

It’s also more affordable with tickets ranging from just £10 up to £54. They are bookable at www.ohp.rbkc.gov.uk or 0845 230 9769 (from Monday).

- Simon Thomas