THE Grange Festival near Alresford has announced its repertoire for its inaugural season next year.

The new festival is replacing Grange Park Opera which is moving to Surrey after this summer's last season at Northington Grange.

Four operas to be presented including rare UK appearance for Teodor Currentzis and Musica Aeterna with Così fan tutte.

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Carmen and Albert Herring are to be staged for the first time at The Grange.

Artistic director, Michael Chance, announced details of the first operas to be presented by the newly-formed company.

Opening in June 2017, The festival is dedicated to building on the great tradition of opera productions in the award-winning theatre near Alresford.

In its first season, The Grange Festival presents three operas that have never before been staged at The Grange: Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Bizet’s Carmen and Britten’s Albert Herring.

The Grange Festival is unique among UK opera companies in having an opera singer as its artistic director. For the 2017 season’s first new production, Chance himself will take on the musical direction of the first staging at The Grange of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, in the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas and for its first performances at The Grange will reunite director Annabel Arden and designer Joanna Parker.

Exactly 70 years on from its first performances at Glyndebourne, Britten’s Albert Herring is another pillar of the inaugural season.

Chance is bringing together the perfect Britten team of conductor Steuart Bedford, chosen by Britten to replace him when he became too ill to conduct the world premiere of Death in Venice, and director John Copley, who also knew Britten, and whose distinguished career has made him one of the most beloved figures in the opera world.

In a coup for the company’s inaugural season, Chance has secured a rare UK appearance for firebrand conductor Teodor Currentzis and his exciting orchestra Musica Aeterna, resident in Perm.

Mr Chance said: "I am thrilled to launch The Grange Festival, a new opera company presenting world-class performance in the heart of Hampshire. The award-winning theatre at The Grange is an exceptional musical venue and I am incredibly excited about the artistic collaborations, directors, designers and singers who will join us for such a broad range of work in our first season.

"I look forward to welcoming new and established audiences to the theatre and going with them on an entertaining and enriching journey.”

Details of these productions, priority booking and further news will be announced in due course and anyone interested in hearing more about