Opera Holland Park, owned and managed by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, are giving people the chance to ‘try before you buy’ in their new ‘Opera Challenge’. As part of the company’s new Inspire Project, they are making one hundred tickets per night available to opera goers in a bid to get opera aficionados to expand their repertoire and to encourage absolute newcomers to enjoy a slice of late Italian opera.

The ‘Opera Challenge’ is allowing 700 people to watch this season’s OHP signature piece, Francesca da Rimini, to see if they like it or not.  If they do they are invited to make a donation to the Friends of OHP charity who help fund the Inspire Project. If not, they can walk away and pay nothing.

Michael Volpe, General Manager of Opera Holland Park says “The innovative ‘Opera Challenge’ being offered by the company is a way to introduce new audiences to opera, which is a major aim of our Inspire Project. Francesca da Rimini is not for opera enthusiasts alone – it is, in reality, a perfect first time opera too and appeals to those who either don’t know or who listen to opera rarely.”

The ‘Opera Challenge’ is part of OHP’s ongoing audience development and education programme, the Inspire Project, which is a comprehensive outreach, community and education scheme. The OHP ‘Opera Challenge’ will rely on an ‘honesty’ system, in order to provide enough donations from this initiative, to enable them to carry on the work of introducing the art form to young and old alike in the community.

Volpe continues “We understand that people may simply decide not to make a donation, but this is genuinely about encouraging people to try something different – and we are so confident that people will enjoy the piece that we are happy to offer the opportunity to so many.”

Patrons will be given a donation form with their tickets and are invited to make a minimum donation of £30 up to a maximum of the value of the tickets they have occupied.  To apply, they simply need to telephone the box office (0845 230 9769) and book their preferred date by quoting “Opera Challenge”.  Tickets are strictly limited to 100 per performance (1,000 seat auditorium) so it is subject to availability. They will then receive tickets and an information pack. This challenge is not bookable online.

Francesca da Rimini opens on 30 July and has seven performances through to 13 August.

For further information about the ‘Opera Challenge’ visit www.inspire.operahollandpark.com