Storbritannien/Irlands operahistoria med länkar till operahus och operascener och klassiska musikfestivaler i England
- Bampton Classical Opera
- Grand Opera House Belfast
- Opera della luna
- Birmingham Opera
- Buxton Festival Opera
- Chelsea Opera Group
- Classical Opera Company
- Clonter Opera
- Dorset Opera
- ENO i London
- Garden Opera
- Garsington Opera
- Grange Park Opera
- Hand Made Opera
- Hat Stand Opera
- Holland Park Opera London
- Iford Arts
- Longborough Festival Opera
- Opera North
- Opera UK
- Pegasus Opera
- Carl Rosa Opera
- Scottish Opera i Glasgow
- Stanley Hall Opera
- Street Wise Opera
- Welsh National Opera
De enskilda länderna/Landsdelarna
UNITED KINGDOM/UK: England
Isle of Man
Varje landsdel/land beskrivs med dessa rubriker:
Konserthus med operainslag
Youtube – I anslutning till resp. operahus/ensemble
Operahögskolor o. dyl.
Storbritannien och Irland förefaller vara operatätast i Europa, med föreställningar i både storstäder, småstäder och på rena landsbygden. (Det kommer att visa sig när hela Europa har inventerats på samma sätt som i detta kompendium.) Storstäderna har både institutionsteatrar och fria grupper, småstäderna tar emot turnerande sällskap och på landsbygden finns flera mer eller mindre kända festivaler. Många operasällskap bygger på en blandning av amatörer och inhyrda proffs, vilket ger ytterligare spridning. Trots att de två länderna drabbats av flera krig har operakonsten alltid återuppstått, när freden kommit. Den starka dominansen av Gilbert & Sullivan-operetter sedan glansperioden på 1800-talet, har varit till fördel för operakonsten, eftersom dessa på många teatrar har blivit en inkörsport till mer traditionell opera.
The first English opera is generally regarded as Davenant’s The Siege of Rhodes which was performed in 1656 at Rutland House. In 1661 Davenant converted a covered tennis court into Lincoln’s Inn Fields theatre and presented an expanded version of The Siege of Rhodes. This was also the first theatrical production to use perspective scenery.
Operan kommer till Storbritannien ca 1670 – Landet befann sig i inbördeskrig under 1600-talet vilket störde mycket av kulturlivet, och det fanns ingen naturlig utveckling från den blomstrande elisabetanska tiden. Med Thomas Shadwell gjordes tidiga försök att använda musik i teatersammanhang, i t.ex. Shakespearestycken. Shadwell satte 1673 upp Psyché uppbyggd enligt samma mönster som Molières och Lullys comédie ballet med samma namn. England utvecklade också en specialvariant av opera som kallas Masque. Det innehåller drama, dans, musik, pantomim, masker och praktfull dekor.
Henry Purcell (1659–95). Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar. Singing was rarely required from the professional actors who took the lead roles. Purcell’s most famous opera, Dido and Aeneas, based on Greek mythology, was written in 1689 for the Young Gentlewomen of Mr. Josias Priest’s Boarding School at Chelsey. Unusually for the time this was an all-sung opera and designed for private performance. As Court composer to Charles II, James II, and William and Mary, he wrote songs and instrumental music, but the public knew him best for his incidental music for the theatre. In Purcell´s lifetime, people had tried to introduce opera into England from France and Italy, but without much success. In the last five years of his life, Purcell devised the semi-opera, a peculiarly English form, which combined singing and spoken dialogue, with elaborate costumes, scenery and effects, dancing and music. The mixture horrified the French and Italians, for whom opera was very formal, and one French traveller of the time described it as a ‘Hotch Potch’. All-sung opera in English was not established for another 200 years. The Fairy Queen, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was the most lavish of Purcell’s semi-operas. It was barely performed after Purcell’s death in 1695 until the 20th century, and then only rarely.
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) föddes i Tyskland, var utbildad i Italien, där han också först blev känd som tonsättare, men tillbringade större delen av sitt liv i England. Han var starkt påverkad av såväl de italienska barockmästarna som de brittiska, som exempelvis Henry Purcell och hans egen musik kom att i sin tur påverka tonsättare som Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven och Gluck. Händel kom att dominera det engelska operalivet med flera av sina mästerverk. Händels operor är ariaoperor enligt Neapelskolans form.
Viss framgångsrik reaktion mot italiensk opera förekom från och med The Beggar’s Opera – Tiggarens opera är en satirisk s.k. Balladopera i tre akter från 1728 med musik samlad och arrangerad av Johann Christoph Pepusch.
Pepusch gjorde grundliga musikstudier och utvandrade 1700 till London, där han sedan innehade olika anställningar vid teaterkapell och som organist. Han stiftade 1710 den länge verksamma Academy of ancient music, komponerade åtskillig kyrko- och instrumentalmusik med mera samt gjorde mycken lycka med sin folkliga musik till Gays ryktbara sångspel The beggar’s opera (1727), som är förebild till Tolvskillingsoperan . Pepusch skrev en Treatise on harmony (1731).Libretto av John Gay (1685 – 1732).
John Gay, född 30 juni 1685 i Barnstaple, Devon, död 4 december 1732 i London, var en engelsk poet och dramatiker. Han är bäst känd för Tiggaroperan (1728) med musik av Johann Christoph Pepusch. Rollfigurerna Captain Machheath och Peachum i Tiggaroperan är baserat på Jack Sheppard och Jonathan Wild, berömda brottslingar från Gays samtid.
Gay föddes i Barnstaple, England och utbildade sig vid stadens grammar school. Efter utbildningen arbetade han som silkeshandlare i London, dit han flyttat för att ägna sig åt författandet, och blev vän med Alexander Pope. 1716 utkom hans Trivia, or the art of walking the streets of London, en dikt i tre band, innehållande humoristiska Londonskildringar. 1727 utgav Gay sin berömda Fifty-one fables in verse och 1728 uppfördes med framgng hans The beggar’s opera. Dess fortsättning Polly (1729) blev förbjuden. Gays herdeopera Acis and Galate tonsattes av Georg Friedrich Händel och uppfördes 1732. Gay begravdes i Westminster Abbey. Hans Poetical works utgavs 1926 av T. C. Faber.1
- Fabler öfwersatte (översättning Hans Bergeström, Karlskrona, 1771)
- Aderton visor ur Tiggarens opera (översättning Per Erik Wahlund, Natur och kultur, 1960)
- Tiggarens opera: i det skick vari den framförts på Kungl. Dramatiska teatern vid Nybroplan (The beggar’s opera) (översättning Per Erik Wahlund, Natur och kultur, 1964)
- Tiggarens opera (The beggar’s opera) (otryckt översättning av Jan Mark, bearbetning Johan Wahlström för Helsingborgs stadsteater 2009)
Trots att både Purcell och Händel kom att utveckla operan till avancerade nivåer hade de ringa inverkan på utvecklingen av konstformen i det stora hela. Geografin satte effektivt England i periferin. Operan erövrade med andra ord hela Europa – men förde en tynande tillvaro i England. Efter Händels tid skrevs nästan ingen ny engelsk opera på drygt 200 år.
The outlook for the next 150 years was particularly bleak and with the exception of a few passing fancies, Michael Balfe’s The Bohemian Girl, 1843, and William Wallace’s Maritana, 1845, which are basically Italian operas with English texts, there were few significant works (and if you’ve heard either of those live we’re very impressed…). Plenty of operas were performed but the fashions were for Italian, French and later German works with the end result being that English works just weren’t written.The outlook for the next 150 years was particularly bleak and with the exception of a few passing fancies, Michael Balfe’s The Bohemian Girl, 1843, and William Wallace’s Maritana, 1845, which are basically Italian operas with English texts, there were few significant works (and if you’ve heard either of those live we’re very impressed…). Däremot blomstrade den anglosachsiska operetten.
I England fanns Arthur Sullivan (1842 – 1900) som tillsammans med sin librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836 – 1911) i Offenbachs efterföljd gjorde stor lycka med verk som H.M.S. Pinafore (1878) och Mikadon (1885). De lyckades finna en marknad för anständig lättsam underhållning, som riktade sig till den stora borgerliga publiken. I drottning Victorias England ansågs kontinental operett med stycken som Sköna Helena och Orfeus i underjorden som moraliskt opassande. 1881 stod The Savoy Theatre klar och där spelades sedan G & S-operetterna.
Den största succén var Mikadon och i samband med dess tillkomst uppstod slitningar mellan kompanjonerna. Flera gånger höll de på att splittras, men samarbetet fortsatte ändå till 1896. Deras verk, bl.a. Mikadon (1885), blev omåttligt populära både i Storbritannien, USA och den övriga engelskspråkiga världen men inte så mycket därutöver.
Opera Comique var ett operahus i London där ett antal av Gilbert och Sullivans operetter fick sina urpremiärer mellan 1877 och 1881. Teatern var i bruk 1870–1899 och byggnaden revs 1902. Den låg i stadsdelen Westminster. Numera ligger Bush House på samma plats.
The Beecham Opera Company was an opera company founded by Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) which presented opera in English in London and on tour between 1916 and 1920. The initiative was conceived as part of Beecham’s campaign to foster musical life during World War I, after the forced closure of the Covent Garden opera company, where the conductor had been mounting opera seasons. Supported financially by Beecham’s father, Joseph, the new outfit quickly turned into a successful touring company with casts of mainly British singers, including Frank Mullings, who was entrusted with some of the key lead roles.
Beecham’s company provided the wartime public with opera performances both around the provinces and in London (at the Drury Lane, Shaftesbury and Aldwych theatres), even during the 1917 Zeppelin raids. The repertoire was extensive, and included productions of works as ambitious as Boris Godunov (in French) and Tristan und Isolde. Although Beecham had intended the company to be a permanent venture, it was disbanded in 1920 when financial problems over buying the Bedford Estate forced him to withdraw temporarily from the music scene. Many of the performers joined the British National Opera Company (1922–1929), a replacement venture which bought the entire assets of the Beecham Company, comprising the scenery, costumes, scores, instruments and performing rights for 48 operas.
Things began to change quite dramatically in the 20th Century. Britain started to produce operatic composers. Against a background of decline on the global opera scene, neither German nor Italian opera ever quite recovered from the end of the Romantic period, the English language resurgence was remarkable In Britain, Gustav Holst (1874-1934) and Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1978) were first out the gate producing a series of operas, including The Perfect Fool 1923, by the former and Riders to the Sea 1937, by the latter.
The real game changer however was Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), whose early masterpiece Peter Grimes1945, fast entered the repertory and hasn’t left since. Today Benjamin Britten is, by some margin, the most performed opera composer born after 1900: his output from the 1940s to the 1970s dominates contemporary opera. At a time when classical music had become what many might call “difficult”, Britten produced operas whose accessibility has seldom been matched.
Musikaliskt är Britten väldigt svår att kategorisera. Precis som Dmitrij Shostakovitj övergav han inte den traditionella tonaliteten – ett inordnande i en särskild tonart – trots att resten av Europa tycktes göra just det. Han lät sig dock inspireras av modernister som Alban Berg, Béla Bartók och Igor Stravinskij, och utvecklade därigenom ett unikt tonspråk. Likaså blev släktskapen med engelsk folkmusik och Henry Purcell fruktbar.
Michael Tippett (1905 – 1998) framstod från 1950-talet jämsides med Benjamin Britten som Storbritanniens främsta musikdramatiker. I operor som The Midsummer Marriage (1955), King Priam (1962) och The Knot Garden (1970) förenade han en tillgänglig modernism med jungiansk symbolik. Tippett var en av de första som propagerade för Schönbergs musik i Storbritannien. Hans egen stil utvecklades från en rytmiskt komplex, försiktig tonalitet till allt större vågstycken.
Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016) betecknas som en dogmfri kosmopolitisk modernist, vilken dels anknutit till framför allt medeltida musik, dels gärna arbetat i kontakt med de musiker som skall uppföra hans stycken
Hos Thomas Adès (1971) finns historia och förebilder som prismor; han låter dem skickligt stråla samman i högst personliga vändningar med enastående musikalitet och spelsinne. På så sätt kan exempelvis en minimalismens John Adams och modernismens Alban Berg mötas axel mot axel i förflutenhetens musikkorridorer, där också senromantiker passerar förbi. Hans musik träffar lyssnare direkt och verkningsfullt. I pendlingar mellan det snabbt igenkännbara och det suggestivt svårgripbara rör sig Thomas Adès. Och inget är egentligen vad det synes vara.
Ann Cargill 1760-1784
Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa 1836-1874
Mary Garden 1874-1967
Stella Andreva 1909 -?
Peter Pears 1910-1986
Alfred Deller 1912-1979
Kathleen Ferrier 1912-1953
Kenneth McKellar 1927-2010
Jacqueline Delman 1931
Rita Hunter 1933-2001
Gwyneth Jones 1936
Thomas Allen 1944
Simon Keenlyside 1959
Sarah Connolly 1963
Bryn Terfel 1965
Alfie Boe 1973
Scottish opera singers
Due to the limited opportunities available to Scottish opera singers, many performed abroad, such as Mary Garden who found fame in the USA, Morag Beaton and David Hamilton who found fame in Australia, but England is perhaps the most popular destination. Some have also worked in Continental Europe, such as Joseph Hislop and Marie McLaughlin.
Welsh opera singers
Many Welsh opera singers have made international careers. These include the sopranos Dame Gwyneth Jones , Dame Margaret Price, Rebecca Evans and Catrin Wyn Davies; mezzo Della Jones, tenors Dennis O’Neill , Robert Tear, Stuart Burrows, Gwyn Hughes Jones; baritones and basses Sir Geraint Evans, Robert Lloyd, Bryn Terfel, Neal Davies, Jason Howard, Jeremy Huw Williams and Karl Daymond.
W. S. Gilbert librettist 1836-1911
Gustav Holst 1874-1934
The funds and work of The Arts Council (see below!) and Culture Ireland is and will remain an absolute necessity for a lot of cultural activities in Great Britain and Eire, all opera productions included! Another financial relief for opera Companies is the Charity registration, which entitles to tax reduction on certain conditions. .
Other supportive organizations – not financially though – are
This website was created with the belief that opera should be available everywhere, and to everyone. While large-scale opera continues to flourish in grand opera houses, a recent surge of small production companies are striving to transform opera’s image, bringing both classic and contemporary works to new spaces and new audiences. Fringe Opera will tell you what’s on and where, along with reviews of current productions and behind-the-scenes features. Great for anyone keen to break tradition but not the bank, or simply wanting to experience an exciting alternative to the opera house
Our aim is to present an insight into the world of opera, focusing on new talent. Starting a career and getting a name in opera is exceedingly difficult, mostly because of the lack of exposure for new talent. We provide exposure for talented opera singers, musical directors, producers, stage managers and designers at the beginning of their careers. Operatalent.com targets all those who are involved in operatic productions. We publish their photos, biographies and recording samples to help promote their careers and also provide a forum for their opinions through articles on current issues. We reveal details of auditions, a vital element of an operatic career.
mission is to provide aspiring artists with the chance to work with and learn from some of the most highly regarded singers, conductors, directors, actors and choreographers in the business today; to provide invaluable, paid performance opportunities; and, through this association with people of influence, give them a helping hand at the beginning of their career. This is done through a comprehensive training development programme, under the umbrella title of Connections – where participants can work on every aspect of opera in workshops, Masterclasses, private coaching and on the summer development programme. The company also tours productions around the country.
De enskilda länderna/ landsdelarna
Se ovan: Överensstämmer med historiken i hela Storbritannien!
Operahus och operascener i London
Royal Opera House Covent Garden ROH
During the first hundred years or so of its history, the theatre was primarily a playhouse. George Frideric Handel´s first season of opera, at Covent Garden, was not presented until 1734. From 1735 until his death in 1759 he gave regular seasons there, and many of his operas and oratorios were written for Covent Garden or had their first London performances there.
In the 19th century, opera was mainly confined to short seasons at a major London theatre, usually Her Majesty’s or the Royal Opera House. Opera continued to be a fashionable entertainment and watching the audience was as important as watching the stage. When electric lighting was installed and the auditorium lights were lowered during the performance, opera audiences complained that they could not be seen. Until the mid-20th century, the Royal Opera House was only used for opera for part of the year and the rest of the time presented plays, pantomimes, revues and even ice shows.
During World War II (1939 – 45) it was a dance hall. In 1947 Covent Garden Opera Company gave its first complete opera performance after the war, Bizet’s Carmen. With George Solti´s arrival as Music Director in 1961 that the Company took its place as one of the world’s leading opera companies.
The Royal Opera, under the direction of Antonio Pappano, now remains one of the world’s leading opera companies. Based in the iconic Covent Garden theatre, it is renowned both for its outstanding performances of traditional opera and for commissioning new works by today’s leading opera composers, such as Harrison Birtwistle, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Thomas Adès.
Some of the world’s most famous singers have performed with the Company, including Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel, as well as the late Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland.
The Paul Hamlyn Hall is a large iron and glass structure adjacent to, and with direct access to, the main opera house building. Historically, it formed part of the old Covent Garden flower market, and is still commonly known as the ‘floral hall’, but it was absorbed into the Royal Opera House complex during the 1990s redevelopment. The hall now acts as the atrium and main public area of the opera house, with a champagne bar, restaurant and other hospitality services, and also providing access to the main auditorium at all levels.
English National Opera ENO
English National Opera (ENO) is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin’s Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. ENO’s productions are sung in English. English National Opera traces its roots back to 1931 when Lilian Baylis established the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company at the newly re-opened the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Baylis had been presenting opera concerts and theatre in London since 1898 and was passionate about providing audiences with the best theatre and opera at affordable prices, a belief that remains today at the heart of ENO. During the Second World War the Sadler’s Wells Theatre was closed and the company toured the provinces, returning to its home in June 1945 for the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, which proved to be the most important British opera since Purcell’s time. Britten remains at the heart of ENO’s repertoire and a new, sold-out production of Peter Grimes in 2009 was universally acclaimed. In 1968 Sadler’s Wells Opera relocated from Sadler’s Wells Theatre to the London Coliseum. Six years after the move to the London Coliseum, the Company was renamed English National Opera.
Opera Holland Park
Opera Holland Park is a summer opera company which produces an annual season of opera performances staged under a temporary canopy in Holland Park, a public park in a wealthy district of west central London of the same name. The venue is fully covered but is open at the sides. There are now 1,000 seats. As part of a drive to improve artistic standards “Opera Holland Park” was established in 1996 to produce all future productions, and in recent years the company has enjoyed a long string of hits with major achievements in productions of more obscure repertoire such as Mascagni‘s Iris, Cilea‘s L’arlesiana, and many others. It is now considered one of the most accomplished non-state opera companies in the UK. The resident orchestra is the City of London Sinfonia. Each season around half a dozen operas are staged. Most of them are well known classics but the company has developed a reputation for producing works from the verismo repertoire and a very adventurous production policy. There are nearly fifty performances in the season. They are sung in the original language and surtitling is used.
Imperial Productions is a dynamic theatre company based in the centre of London, England. Formerly known as Imperial Opera, founded in 1979, we perform a diverse range of material, and pride ourselves in our innovative and creative style. We often produce rarely-performed works, which have in the past ranged from Sondheim and Bernstein to Purcell and Vaughan-Williams.
Charles Court Opera
Charles Court Opera – One of the leading lights in the recent explosion of small companies taking opera and musical theatre into previously inaccessible places, and leading the current reinvigoration of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Charles Court Opera was formed in 2005 by its Artistic Director, John Savournin.
Performances are normally at ‘Upstairs at the Gatehouse’ (the Gatehouse pub), Highgate Village.
Hampstead Garden Opera
Hampstead Garden Opera (HGO) was founded in 1990 by the late Dr Roy Budden as an evening class at the Hampstead Garden Institute, and became a charitable trust (registered charity no. 1092649) in 2002. HGO is affiliated to NODA. Each year it performs two fully-staged operas with orchestra and in English, at ‘Upstairs at the Gatehouse’, a 100-seat community theatre in Highgate, North London, which has been its base since 2001.
OperaUpClose is a touring opera company, based in London and led by Artistic Director Robin Norton-Hale. The company was founded in 2009 to produce its début production, Robin Norton-Hale’s Olivier Award winning, modern adaptation of Puccini’s La bohème at The Cock Tavern Theatre. OperaUpClose produce new English language versions of the standard repertoire and World Premieres of new operas. Of the standard works, La bohème stands out as having been particularly successful in runs for extended periods and has transferred to a West End location. OperaUpClose was resident at The King’s Head Theatre in Islington from September 2009 to January 2015 and from that date “the company will work in a variety of larger venues in London, including Kings Place, Soho Theatre and Tricycle Theatre, and further develop its touring output across the UK.” The company is an Associate Company of Soho Theatre and it tours within the UK and internationally. OperaUpClose has produced at least four operas a year, all in new English versions.
Fitzroy Square Opera
What could be more of a challenging location to stage opera than a garden square right in the heart of London? Fitzroy Square Opera relishes this challenge and, for one night each year, transforms this elegant square, designed by the Adam brothers in the 18th century, into a cultural oasis. Fitzroy Square Opera seeks to bring innovative opera productions to the whole of our diverse and vibrant community – including residents, businesses and visitors – in an enjoyable and accessible way.
Opera Loki was established by Jane Gray and Fred Broom in 2001 to give singers who are training or early in their careers the opportunity to perform opera in English. Part of a growing trend of bringing popular opera to small scale venues, Opera Loki focuses a rising generation of new singing talent. Opera Loki have produced a succession of vibrant and popular productions of Mozart, Bizet and Rossini opera over the last decade. Cast members have moved on to sing at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, ENO, WNO and English Touring Opera.
Pegasus Opera Company
1992 saw the birth of Pegasus Opera Company, now the leading multi-racial medium sized touring Opera Company in the United Kingdom. The Company was founded by the current Artistic Director, Lloyd Newton, a nominee for The Creative Briton Award in 1998 & 1999 through ABSA. He also received a certificate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Black community at local and national levels, from The Voice Newspaper. Pegasus came about following his involvement in Porgy and Bess at Glyndebourne 1986-87 and later at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1992.
The Glyndebourne production of Porgy and Bess had an array of talented black opera singers and then the repeat production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden had even more. The birth of Pegasus was mainly due to long gaps between opportunities for black and other ethnic minority opera singers, indigenous to Britain, to perform their art. There was a great lull after Glyndebourne. There were some opportunities but not enough. The inception of Pegasus was to create and ensure on-going opportunities, not to wait until Porgy and Bess or Show Boat returned to the opera houses to provide the platform to perform.
Pegasus seeks to break down stereotypical racial casting, to allow singers of all ethnic backgrounds an opportunity to play the roles for which they would not normally be cast. Pegasus aims to set a precedent for more multi-racial productions, as evidenced by our casting. We feel that it is only through the nurturing of these diverse talents that a new form of cultural harmony can be achieved, a harmony which encourages talent equally without regard to its cultural heritage or ethnic background. We aim to model “Harmony in Diversity” by encouraging talent equally and to empower those who are continually marginalized and feel pushed towards the periphery of the opera world.
Raymond Gubbay arrangör av klassiska konserter balett och opera
Now in its 48th year, Raymond Gubbay presents a wide range of concerts, opera and ballet in major venues in London and across the country and is established as one of the leading promoters of popular classical music in the United Kingdom. The popular Christmas Festival concerts have become part of a festive tradition in the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican in London, and in Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh. In addition, the highly successful Classical Spectacular celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and has been seen by over two million people worldwide in Europe and Australia. In spring 2015, the company presented Madam Butterfly in-the-round, in partnership with the Royal Albert Hall.
Tête à Tête
Tête à Tête was founded in 1997 by Director Bill Bankes-Jones, Conductor Orlando Jopling and administrator Katie Price. Our first production, The Flying Fox, (Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss), was performed at BAC Opera 98 and at the Purcell Room. The inaugural Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2007 was a huge success and comes out of our desire to be seen as not just a producing opera company, but also one that plays a key role in the development of artists and audiences for new opera outside our own portfolio of productions. The festival builds on and is an extension of developmental events like line dancing and speed dating, as well as giving artists the opportunity to test ideas and gain audience feedback, it also gave the audience the opportunity to share in and gain insight into the creative process. The Opera Festival 2015 The world’s largest festival of new opera took place 21 July–9 August 2015 in venues, streets and public spaces in and around King’s Cross
Established in 1997 Classical Opera is one of the leading exponents of the music of Mozart and his contemporaries. Under the direction of founder and conductor Ian Page, and with our own specialist and highly acclaimed period-instrument orchestra, we regularly present benchmark performances of operas and orchestral works in some of London’s most prestigious venues and, increasingly, abroad. In 2012 we embarked on an unprecedented recording cycle of the complete Mozart Operas (20 releases in total, released at the rate of one a year), and in 2015 we launched our ground-breaking MOZART 250, described by The Observer as “among the most audacious classical music scheduling ever”. MOZART 250 sets out to explore the music that was being written by Mozart and his contemporaries exactly 250 years previously.
Fulham Opera presents Large Operas in an intimate Space. In 2014 we produced two complete Ring Cycles and Verdi’s Falstaff. In 2015 we will present a Puccini Double Bill and Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Holländer”. We also run orchestral workshops, which have included sections of The Ring, Strauss’s “Salome” and “Elektra” and in 2015 will include highlights from “Peter Grimes” and “Dialogues des Carmelites”
Hashtag Opera Company
Hashtag Opera Company is a new wave of Opera Company – an opera collective made up of singers, conductors and instrumentalists planning performances together via the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Founded in 2012, Hashtag Opera Co started with a concert performance of Don Giovanni with piano. The goal was to support singers in building their experience and repertoire in a supportive, low-pressure environment. We’ve expanded to bring instrumentalists into the fold, with our first fully orchestrated performance of Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco, performed in January 2015. We set out to inspire our audiences with an alternative approach to opera. Using social media, we organize concert performances of rarely performed operas (as well as a few popular gems) to perform “on the fringe”. We believe in opera for all.
Opera Integra, originally the performing name of The Opera Workshop, was founded by Brian Galloway and Janet Colebrooke in September 1971 as part of the Addison Adult Education Institute, in turn part of Hammersmith & Fulham Educational Services. It was run as an opera workshop, where singers were given an opportunity to study music best suited to their voices. Concerts were held each term to give students platform experience. Opera Integra has continued to be able to attract talented young opera directors, who have gone on to commercial success in major opera companies, such as The Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne and opera festivals such as Buxton and Wexford.
The Chelsea Opera Group
Early in 1950, two young musical enthusiasts, David Cairns (now a leading music critic and biographer of Berlioz) and Stephen Gray (later to become general manager of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), persuaded a twenty-two year old clarinetist called Colin Davis to put on a concert performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford. Thus the Chelsea Opera Group was born, so called because both its co-founders were then living in Chelsea. Since its foundation COG has led the way in performing concert opera, reviving unjustifiably neglected works and lesser known versions of familiar favourites. Many of the works rediscovered by COG are now in the repertoires of professional opera houses. See all COG’s performances since 1950. COG has provided invaluable experience for conductors and singers at the beginning of their careers, as well as the opportunity for talented amateur musicians to experience opera at a very high standard. Among other well-known conductors who appeared with COG early in their careers are Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, and Sir Roger Norrington. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Willard White, Sarah Walker, Sir John Tomlinson, Robert Lloyd and Jill Gomez are among the singers who were to become familiar to all opera lovers.
Opera Gold is a university based opera company attached to the large music department of Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London, UK. It draws its casts from the solo trained singing students of Nan Christie both past and present. Singers from outside i.e. Trinity, R.C.M. or R.A.M. are occasionally also invited to take part. Opera Gold was formed in 2004 by classical singing teacher Nan Christie, who directs and produces with student specialists (from Drama or Art).
Opera Gold was formed to give the singing students something to ‘work towards’ as concerts staged by the department were instrumental or choral/instrumental with soloists being externally hired. It is part of the philosophy of Opera Gold to produce opera in original languages to prepare the singers for the vocal parts and really engage with the works and their full vocal demands. This philosophy has enabled many singers to go on to work for Opera Houses abroad without too much difficulty.
Second Movement was founded in 2004 by director Oliver Mears, conductor Nicholas Chalmers and producer Abigail Toland to provide a platform for young artists in the professional production of fully staged opera. The company specializes in rarely performed and risk taking modern repertoire. Second Movement, committed to bringing new audiences to opera and challenging preconceptions about the form, stages its operas in unexpected places which have included an old banana warehouse in Covent Garden and a Victorian music hall in Hoxton. Second Movement hosts rough for opera, a scratch night for new opera at the Cockpit Theatre in London.
The D´Oyly Carte Opera Company
The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company was a professional light opera company that staged Gilbert and Sullivan‘s Savoy operas. The company performed nearly year-round in the UK and sometimes toured in Europe, North America and elsewhere, from the 1870s until it closed in 1982. It was revived in 1988 and played seasons in London and on shorter tours until 2003. Another revival took place in 2013. The Times has praised “the company’s unique performance style, which may be summarized as a combination of good taste and good fun”
The London Handel Festival
The London Handel Festival has been running for over 25 years, celebrating Handel’s music at venues across London with an extensive six-week season of concerts, talks and walks. Venues include the delightful St George’s Church in Mayfair, Handel’s own parish church, where the Handel Singing Competition and dozens of intimate performances take place. 2015 programme began in March with a performance of Semele at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Collaborations with the Royal College of Music continued with the opportunity to attend the modern UK premiere of Handel’s 1739 pastiche Giove in Argo. This annual festival blends concerts, recitals, public talks and education initiatives, in a wide-reaching celebration of Handel and such contemporaries as J.S. Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi.
Grimeborn is an annual East London musical theatre and opera festival which coincides with the world famous East Sussex Glyndebourne Opera Festival. Founded by Arcola Theatre’s artistic director Mehmet Ergen in 2007, the festival is held at Arcola Theatre in Dalston, East London. It runs for two weeks during August and is considered a dynamic alternative to the traditional “summer season”. The festival’s name is a punning reference to Glyndebourne, as it deliberately supports emerging performers and writers, rather than the polished, prestigious output of Glyndebourne. The “grime” comes from it having a “dirtier” backdrop in a converted textile factory in the congested bustle of Hackney as opposed to the scenic gardens of East Sussex. The festival showcases new and experimental works. Many see Grimeborn as the fashionable alternative to Glyndebourne, due to its E8 location.
Riverside Opera gives non-professional singers, from all walks of life, the opportunity to experience live performance to the highest standard. Working with an experienced President and Artistic & Music Director, Riverside Opera has existed since 1995 and continues to be shaped and developed by the community, within and without, the company. Riverside Opera aims to put Opera at the heart of its Community. Amateurs and established professionals work together through performance, and delivering varied education programmes, to offer a unique opportunity for community members of all ages and backgrounds to experience the thrill of music, on and off the stage.
Sadler´s Wells Theatre
Sadler’s Wells Theatre is a performing arts venue located in Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington. The present day theatre is the sixth on the site since 1683. It consists of two performance spaces: a 1,500 seat main auditorium and the Lilian Baylis Studio, with extensive rehearsal rooms and technical facilities also housed within the site. Sadler’s Wells is renowned as one of the world’s leading dance venues. As well as a stage for visiting companies, the theatre is also a producing house, with a number of associated artists and companies who produce original works for the theatre. Sadler’s Wells is also responsible for the management of the Peacock Theatre in the West End.
Independent Opera took its first steps as an opera company in 2005, with a production of Rossini’s La Scala di seta at London Oratory School under the Artistic Directorship of Alessandro Talevi. The talent and commitment of everyone involved convinced its founders of the need for more formalized support for opera practitioners. The following year, Independent Opera established a relationship with Sadler’s Wells, and presented three productions over three years in the Lilian Baylis Studio there: Handel’s Orlando; a double bill of one-act operas by Elizabeth Maconchy, The Sofa and The Departure; and a new chamber orchestration of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. In 2007, Independent Opera launched a programme of scholarships and fellowships. These offer financial support to those involved in the staging and production of opera at the outset of their careers. They are complemented by mentoring and access to practical advice from a network of professionals. IO has supported singers from the UK’s leading music colleges (Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and National Opera Studio), along with an artistic director and a conductor, designers, choreographers, producers and sponsored artists. Singers from around the world have benefitted from an exclusive voice fellowship, the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera Voice Fellowship.
Streetwise Opera is an award-winning charity that uses music to help people who have experienced homelessness make positive changes in their lives, through weekly music programmes in homeless centers and arts venues across England, and through critically-acclaimed opera productions starring their performers. Streetwise Opera’s workshop programme in London will be inspired by ENO’s repertoire, with opportunities to see ENO productions and pop-up performances by ENO singers in homeless centers. The partnership will also include further collaborative large-scale community projects, skills sharing and staff training, and ENO work placements for Streetwise performers.
University College Opera
University College Opera is student Opera Company based at University College London. The entire chorus and orchestra are drawn from the talented students of UCLU Music Society, as well as some principal and production roles. UCOpera has a rich history of high-quality student productions out of the renowned Bloomsbury Theatre, going back more than 60 years as an opera company.
Konserthus med operainslag
Wigmore Hall was not originally named Wigmore Hall – it was launched on 31 May 1901 as Bechstein Hall, named for the great German piano maker Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Bechstein whose London showroom was next door. But the outbreak of war in 1914 changed everything, sealing the fate of many German companies including Bechstein, whose affairs were wound up in 1916by order of the Board of Trade. The Hall was resurrected on 16 January 1917 rechristened as Wigmore Hall,
The third significant period in the Hall’s history began in May 1946 when the Arts Council took over the lease. Wigmore Hall enjoyed a number of long associations with the great artists of the 20th century including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Ángeles, Sergey Prokofiev, Shura Cherkassky, Paul Hindemith, Andrés Segovia, Peter Pears, Benjamin Britten, Joyce DiDonato and Francis Poulenc.
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, best known for holding the Proms concerts annually each summer since 1941. It has a capacity (depending on configuration of the event) of up to 5,272 seats. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation and receives no public or government funding. Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world’s leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage and it has become one of the UK’s most treasured and distinctive buildings. Each year it hosts more than 390 shows in the main auditorium, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and banquets. A further 400 events are held each year in the non-auditorium spaces.
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe. The Centre hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory. The Barbican Centre is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.
The London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are based in the Centre’s Concert Hall. In 2013, it once again became the London-based venue of the Royal Shakespeare Company following the company’s departure in 2001.
The Barbican Centre is owned, funded, and managed by the City of London Corporation, the third-largest arts funder in the United Kingdom. It was built as The City’s gift to the nation at a cost of £161 million (equivalent to £480 million in 2014) and was officially opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth II on 3 March 1982. The Barbican Centre is also known for its brutalist architecture.
Turnerande sällskap med bas i London
The Carl Rosa Opera Company
The Carl Rosa Opera Company was founded in 1873 by Carl August Nicholas Rosa, a German-born musical impresario, to present opera in English in London and the British provinces. Wikipedia about Carl Rosa Opera Company The company premiered many operas in the UK, employing a mix of established opera stars and young singers, reaching new opera audiences with popularly-priced tickets. It survived Rosa’s death in 1889, and continued to present opera in English on tour until 1960, when it was obliged to close for lack of funds. The company was revived in 1997, presenting mostly lighter operatic works including Gilbert and Sullivan. The new Carl Rosa Opera Limited under the artistic direction of Peter Mulloy has, since then, performed West End seasons and toured in the UK and internationally, offering a new repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan, continental operettas and a few serious operas such as La bohème, often performed in the original languages.
English Touring Opera
English Touring Opera started as Opera 80 – a touring company founded in 1979 to bring high quality opera to areas of England that normally would not have access to opera productions. In 1992 the company changed its name to English Touring Opera. For the past 25 years English Touring Opera has travelled the length and breadth of England forming important relationships with communities through touring productions, education and outreach projects and local community involvement. In its first 25 years, English Touring Opera has presented some of the country’s leading principal singers including: Sarah Connolly, Mary Plazas, Paul Nilon Alison Hagley, Susan Gritton and Jonathan Veira. ETO has also shown the work of such groundbreaking directors as Richard Jones, Robert Carsen and Stephen Pimlott. The ETO orchestra has been led by such guest conductors as Ivor Bolton and David Parry.
Garden Opera at Prior Park Bath 2013
Garden Opera visits a huge variety of outdoor (and indoor) venues every year. In 24 hours we transport, set up our stage, perform, and take it all down, ready for the next day.
We have performed in gardens, village greens, town squares, a farmer’s field, a slate cavern, Royal Parks and many more. Its name might suggest another country house opera set-up, with pastoral picnics, but Garden Opera has taken its work, quite literally, to the people, performing in town squares, car parks and school playing fields.
The Black Cat Opera Company
The Black Cat Opera Company was formed in late 2013, and staged its first full production, Don Giovanni, in July 2014. The company brings together highly-experienced professional singers and instrumentalists with those at the beginning of their careers. In addition to our full-scale productions, our singers and instrumentalists are available to hire for private events and parties.
Hand Made Opera
Hand Made Opera was founded by Colin Baldy and Gulliver Ralston in 2000. The express purpose was to make opera available to those venues and areas of the country where full-scale professional opera was difficult to mount. To this end, the sets are deliberately kept as simple as possible, enabling us to appear in churches, hotels, country houses and halls as well as real theatres. The company has performed in venues around the UK and in Europe, and has appeared on Maltese National Television.
Hatstand Opera was founded by mezzosoprano Kirsty Young, making their company debut on Classic FM in a live broadcast just before Christmas 1993. From the very beginning Hatstand were touring the country performing for rural touring schemes, an initiative to bring the best quality entertainment to small and often isolated rural communities across England and Wales. Today, we concentrate on private functions for charities, businesses and individuals rather than public performances, plus regular appearances for music societies and past clients who just keep asking us back!
London Festival Opera
Established in 1989, London Festival Opera has over 25 years’ of opera performance experience and has established itself as the UK’s preeminent touring opera company. The London Festival Opera brings together established performers from some of Britain’s leading opera companies, including the Royal Opera House, The English National Opera and Glyndebourne.
London Festival Opera the associate company of Opera Interludes which is the UK’s leading private opera company providing opera singers for special events. We provide artists of the highest caliber for all ranges of special events. From private occasions such as a birthday party, anniversary or wedding up to large scale conferences or charity and corporate events.
Diva Opera, Britain’s foremost chamber opera company, was founded by Anne Marabini Young and Bryan Evans in 1996 and since then has given more than 2,000 performances of 50 different operas and concert programmes for festivals, theatres and charities throughout Great Britain, the Channel Islands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Greece, Slovenia, Japan and Italy. Each year the company presents two new or three productions which tour throughout Europe and the United Kingdom to great critical acclaim. This year’s productions are Mozart’s LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and DON GIOVANNI, Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, along with our popular Christmas Show in December.
The European Chamber Opera
The European Chamber Opera was founded by Artistic Director Stefan Sanchez in 1992 after a chance conversation with Spanish Agent Gonzalo Augusto in a restaurant in El Escorial, final resting place of the Kings and Queens of Spain and sumptuous setting for Verdi’s musically brilliant but historically wildly inaccurate Don Carlo. Echo productions are sought after by major theatres, historic venues and educational institutions the length and breadth of Britain, throughout Europe, Asia and The Middle East. Echo audiences range from opera buffs to the newly converted and we aim to prove that opera can and does reach everybody. EchoOpera dedicates itself to the traditional opera repertoire the masterpieces we all know and love but always approaching them with fresh vision and panache. We have an unrivalled reputation of performing excellence.
The New London Opera Players
The New London Opera Players is a professional touring opera company offering full-scale productions, as well as tailored performances and workshops. Founded in 2011, The New London Opera Players strives to continue the work of the original London Opera Players, founded and guided for over fifty years by Elisabeth Parry until 2006. Many of those involved sang for Elisabeth over the years, and we continue to strive to employ the best artists to deliver a range of productions to any type of audience.
Opera a la Carte
Opera a la Carte is a UK-based chamber opera company located in London. It was founded in 1993 by its present General Director, Nicholas Heath, who was a member of the chorus of the Royal Opera from 1993 to 2006. Since 1996, its wide range of operas performed runs from La traviata to the 2011 season Rigoletto taking in the popular Mozart operas such as Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro and those of Puccini, such as Tosca and La bohème.
Building on the success of Opera a La Carte which he founded in 1993, Nicholas Heath has in 2015 formed its sister company,
Regents Opera. Whilst Opera Opera a La Carte will continue to focus primarily on small, intimate productions and corporate entertainment, Regents Opera builds performances from proscenium to promenade installations.
Ormond Opera was formed in 2015 by Justin Bindley and Rosalind O’Dowd
With a view to presenting staged, costumed opera concerts and full operas with piano accompa-niment. The aim is to mix emerging and experienced artists in a diverse repertoire that will see us perform operas by Puccini, Sullivan and Verdi amongst many others in the future. Our first season sees us presenting scenes from five popular operas by Puccini, followed by a concert of Gilbert & Sullivan. Plans for 2016 will be announced shortly.
Opera Restor’d is a touring company specializing in seventeenth and eighteenth century English opera and music theatre. These centuries provided a wealth of attractive, accessible music which is not well known yet part of our musical heritage and still entertaining today. Supported by the expertise of specialists in the field, yet always bearing in mind the expectations of modern audiences, the company seeks to bring this repertory to a wide audience both at home and abroad. In recent years we have focused on small-scale, fully-staged, flexible productions of eighteenth century works from both England and Europe, sung in English and supported by a small orchestra. The company has performed in theatres, concert halls, historic buildings and major festival venues throughout Britain and has toured to France, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey. Since its creation in 1986 the company has attracted considerable acclaim for re-creating and making accessible the rich musical life of earlier centuries.
The Opera Group and Mahogany Opera
In 2014 The Opera Group and Mahogany Opera joined forces to create Mahogany Opera Group. The Opera Group was founded in 1997 by John Fulljames to present contemporary work and new commissions at a time when these were largely neglected in the wider UK opera sector. The company has commissioned 15 new operas since then and toured across the UK as well as presenting performances in Paris, Barcelona, Bregenz, Zurich and New York. Mahogany Opera was founded in 2003 by Frederic Wake-Walker, producing site-specific opera that draws on various theatrical methods. Mahogany has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, Buxton Festival, City of London Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, LSO St Luke’s, Courtauld Museum, the Village Underground and at the Hermitage Theatre in St Petersburg to high acclaim, working regularly with Aurora Orchestra and Jubilee Opera.
TOPS Musical Theatre
The Twickenham Amateur Operatic Society was founded (now called TOPS) in 1927. As well as Richmond Theatre TOPS presents its productions at various venues in the area. In 2013 The Pirates of Penzance was performed in the magnificent surroundings of The Normansfield Theatre in Teddington, a Victorian theatre which formed a wonderful backdrop for G&S. Being a member of TOPS is a fun experience because as well as appearing in the “big” productions we are invited to appear in professional productions when “extras” are needed.
Operasällskap för barn och ungdomar
W11 Opera for Children & Young People
W11 Opera for Children & Young People Since it was founded in 1971 W11 Opera for Children and Young People has commissioned and produced 34 new operas, more than any other UK company, providing a rich repertoire for its cast of 9 to 18 year old children and young people. Our productions are staged each year with auditions in September, rehearsing at St. James Norlands Church, London W11 through to the performances in December, which from 2006 to 2012 were at the iconic Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. In 2013 we moved to the Posk Theatre in King Street, Hammersmith, where we successfully continued with our high production standards, again enjoyed by an audience of over 1,000, including our Community performance. W11 Opera has a strong community base in the West London area and provides a unique opportunity for young people and children from all backgrounds to become involved in opera. It is also an invaluable showcase for contemporary composers and directors.
British Youth Opera
British Youth Opera was founded in 1987 to provide professional rehearsal and performance opportunities for emerging singers, musicians and technical trainees on the threshold of their careers. Now regarded as one of the country’s foremost opera training companies, we work to provide the very best professional development through an annual programme of workshops, masterclasses and operas.
English Pocket Opera Company (EPOC)
English Pocket Opera Company (EPOC) is an opera company with a difference: it produces opera for, by, and with children and young people. In 2001, with the help of funding from, amongst others, Arts Council England, the Peter Moores Foundation and English National Opera Baylis, the company established its first programme of education work offering inspirational, innovative and accessible and education programmes to schools and communities. Since 2001, EPOC has worked with close to half a million children in over 500 schools from 20 English boroughs and counties. As a performing company, EPOC specialized in works in the English language, re-interpreting classic operas in an intimate format. It attracted artists, singers and partners of the highest caliber, and performed regularly at prestigious festivals including Bermuda, Edinburgh, Covent Garden, Longborough and Ryedale.
Outside London there were occasional performances by a touring opera, such as the Moody-Manners Company or the Carl Rosa Opera. Fanny Moody was one of the singers who began to give the lie to the old prejudice that the English singers were not suited to opera. She was born in 1866 when most opera was confined to London and limited seasons. She sang with the Carl Rosa Opera, a touring company, where she met her husband Charles Manners. In 1892 she was the first English Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. In 1898, she and her husband formed the Moody-Manners Opera Company. They appeared at Covent Garden, but most of their life was spent touring Britain. In the late 19th century, the musical capital of England was not London, but Manchester, and then, as now, cities like Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham all had orchestras and choirs and audiences who had a great understanding of music. Fanny sang a wide range of roles, including Wagner, although she was most suited to roles like Cio-Cio-San the heroine of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly. Amateur Opera Societies play the most important role when the demand of opera increased outside London. They attracted professional singers and conductors and many of the companies around England gradually became professional. Today there are more local opera companies than ever before and the amount increases further south.
The Tyne Opera House Theatre is a 2,920 capacity theatre in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It is located within the Winter Gardens, a large entertainment complex in the town centre and originally opened in 1889, although it has been rebuilt twice, in 1910 and 1939. The Opera House Theatre is one of the largest theatres in the United Kingdom. The present theatre is the third one to have been built on the site. The Opera House Theatre hosts many theatrical performances in addition to variety shows and music concerts.
Northumberland Music Festival
The First Northumberland Music Festival was held in November 2011. Over the years, full length opera, G&S, Northumbrian music and Gala Events have proved to be extremely popular, with tickets in short supply. Opera, Brass, Gilbert and Sullivan, Bach and the Northumberland Pipes are to feature in a ten day Festival being held in three of Northumberland’s finest houses, Guyzance Hall, Doxford Hall and Eshott Hall.
Winter Gardens in Blackpool
The Opera House Theatre is a 2,920 capacity theatre in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It is located within the Winter Gardens, a large entertainment complex in the town centre and originally opened in 1889, although it has been rebuilt twice, in 1910 and 1939. The Opera House Theatre is one of the largest theatres in the United Kingdom. The present theatre is the third one to have been built on the site. The Opera House Theatre hosts many theatrical performances in addition to variety shows and music concerts.
The Heritage Opera
Heritage Opera began in Leyland, Lancashire in 2006, when conductor Chris Gill arranged a short tour of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, which visited several Lancastrian venues. The tour went well, and he arranged and conducted at least three opera tours a year until 2011. Chris Gill’s ambition to make Heritage Opera an artistic force to be reckoned with has paid off, and Heritage Opera is now regularly invited to play at top stately homes, large theatres, festivals and for corporate and private entertainment. Recent developments include touring to various new venues in Scotland and Southern England, a repeat booking with the Northumberland Music Festival, a Young Artists Programme, and intimate “A Passion For…” concert tours.
The New Theatre, as it was named, opened on Boxing Day 1912. Struggling to compete with other establishments, it was sold to United Theatre Ltd in 1915 and was renamed the New Queens Theatre. Between the years of 1916 and 1920, Sir Thomas Beecham chose to perform there on several occasions and it was in honour of this great man that, in August of that year, the theatre was renamed The Opera House. Over the years this building has ‘seen’ life change around her. Surviving the Second World War, it operated as a cinema for a time and later became a bingo hall.
In 1984 the Opera House became a theatre once more and over the years, has staged the most magnificent shows such as Barnum, Phantom of the Opera, Oliver and many more. After major refurbishment in 2003 the Opera House continues to attract the best in entertainment, standing proud on Quay Street as a part of Manchester History.
Opera Seria was formed for singers by singers in Manchester in 2011 to promote, for the public benefit, the appreciation of the art of opera particularly, but not exclusively, in the North West of England. Beyond this, our secondary goal is to give emerging artists (of any age!), particularly those with North West roots, the opportunity to perform roles they might not otherwise get to explore in the early stages of their career.
Opera North was established in 1977 as English National Opera North, and its first performance (of Saint-Saëns‘s Samson and Delilah) was given on 15 November 1978. It started life as an offshoot of English National Opera and had the specific intention of delivering high-quality opera to the northern areas of England which, up to that point, had had no permanently established opera company. The founding Music Director of the company was David Lloyd-Jones
Chester Operatic Society
Chester Operatic Society celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2012 and continues to go from strength to strength, attracting members across all age ranges and from the wider local community. The Society performs a mix of stage shows, both classical opera and stage musical, together with a lively concert programme.
Yorkshire and the Humber
Grand Opera House i York
The Grand Opera House is a theatre in York, England. It is operated as part of the Ambassador Theatre Group. It plays host to touring productions of plays, musicals, opera and ballet, one-off performances by comedians, and other theatrical and musical events. The Grand Opera House was not built as a theatre. It was a conversion of two buildings, one a warehouse, the other a corn exchange designed by G. A. Dean in 1868. The architect, Mr J. P. Briggs of London, was commissioned to perform the conversion, which took three months and cost £24,000. The theatre opened as the Grand Theatre and Opera House on 20 January 1902 with a performance of a pantomime (Little Red Riding Hood), starring Florrie Forde.
The Grand Opera House York is a theatre was formed in 1966 under the name of City Opera Group, York. In the 40 years of its existence York Opera has brought many operas to the city that would not otherwise have been seen here. Carl Orff’s ‘The Moon’ was performed in 1972 and again in 1996. Other rarities that have had at least two productions are Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’ and Vaughan Williams’ ‘Hugh the Drover’. Further 20th century works have been Britten’s ‘Albert Herring’ and ‘Peter Grimes’ (the latter probably our greatest and most rewarding achievement), and the world première of Hans Gal’s ‘Rich Claus, Poor Claus’ (Die beiden Klaas). It was created to fill a perceived gap in the musical life of the city: while there were two first-rate amateur companies performing musicals, there was no opportunity for those wanting to sing opera.in 1878 in a backlash to the music hall tradition which was thought by ‘polite society’ to lower the tone of entertainment via the sort of humour presented in these pub-based establishments. The Grand Theatre celebrated the 125th anniversary of its opening in 2003. It is widely regarded as a major milestone in Victorian theatre building.
Leeds Grand Opera
The Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House was built in 1878 in a backlash to the music hall tradition which was thought by ‘polite society’ to lower the tone of entertainment via the sort of humour presented in these pub-based establishments. The Grand Theatre celebrated the 125th anniversary of its opening in 2003. It is widely regarded as a major milestone in Victorian theatre building.
The Northern Aldborough Festival
The Northern Aldborough Festival was born in 1994, centred around the picturesque village of Aldborough near York. It has fast established itself as one of the most prestigious classical music events in the country and was recently described by the Times as ‘well on its way to being one of the leading fixtures on the classical music calendar’. The Festival has continued to thrive through the years, and celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2013. Whilst it does not raise money for the church specifically, it brings many people to the village to view this stunning setting for many of the Festival’s concerts.
Theatre Royal Wakefield
Theatre Royal Wakefield, the jewel in Wakefield’s crown, was the design and vision of famous architect Frank Matcham. In 1893 Matcham starting to work on the design for Theatre Royal Wakefield, and the following year the theatre opened to the public on 15 October 1894.
Theatre Royal Wakefield is one of the smallest remaining Matcham theatre auditoriums; it is a shining example of his work and demonstrates his incredible ability to deliver a beautiful theatrical environment within a very tight space! Matcham made what were groundbreaking changes, as he dispensed with the idea of public boxes flanking the theatre stage and utilized the concept of boxes at the rear of the dress circle seating area.
Leeds Youth Opera
Leeds Youth Opera offers young people in Leeds a unique opportunity to work with industry professionals on fully staged productions whilst learning about all forms of musical theatre in a nurturing environment. Founded in 1971, LYO has been delighting audiences for over 40 years. The society performs two works per academic year, in February and July, with past shows ranging from Mozart classics and UK premières of works by Phillip Glass through to the more musical theatre style works of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein.
LYO also perform in several concerts and special events throughout the year.
Sheffield City Opera
Sheffield City Opera is an opera chorus that is dedicated to the fun and enjoyment of performing opera and musicals. The company performs local concerts throughout the year and also stages full operas. New members are especially welcome and no audition is required. Sheffield City Opera is open to anyone over the age of 18.
Opera performances began at a farm in the heart of the Cheshire countryside in July 1974 – and, remarkably, are still going strong. It really is an astonishing achievement, thanks to opera enthusiast and dairy farmer Jeffery Lockett, son of opera singer Betty Bannerman. The farm is still the family home of Jeffery and Anita Lockett, and Clonter Farm Music Trust is a registered charity providing training and performance opportunities for emerging professional singers, products of the UK’s leading music colleges. As part of Clonter Opera Theatre, the Clonter Farm Music Trust is committed to providing the highest quality training and performance opportunities for young singers. The mission is to ‘bridge the gap’ between conservatoire and professional work. Many now-established stars, including Simon Keenlyside (now Clonter’s president), Amanda Roocroft, Jonathan Lemalu, Katarina Karnéus and Kate Royal, got some of their first big chances here. These days, more than 150 singers audition each year for roles in the main summer opera production, masterclasses, showcase concerts and oratorio opportunities.
A scene from Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Mozart’s King Idomeneo, staged in 2008 in a disused canal- side factory.
Birmingham Opera Company
Birmingham Opera Company is a professional opera company based in Birmingham, England, that specializes in innovative and avant-garde productions of the operatic repertoire, often in unusual venues. The company was founded by leading international opera director Graham Vick and conductor Simon Halsey as City of Birmingham Touring Opera in 1987, acquiring its current name in 2001. While City of Birmingham Touring Opera’s works were performed nationwide and internationally, Birmingham Opera Company has since 2001 produced shows on an annual basis, working with large numbers of volunteers from local communities alongside professional musicians and performers. The Company is also notable for its use of unconventional locations for its productions, ranging from a large tent in Aston Park for 2002’s Fidelio, the former Municipal Bank on Broad Street for He Had It Coming (based on Mozart‘s Don Giovanni) in 2007, and most recently the Argyle Works, a disused chemical works in Digbeth. On a much larger scale, however, the Company also performed Verdi‘s La traviata to an audience of almost 10,000 people at the National Indoor Arena in 2007.
Armonico Consort is a British company founded in 2001 by conductor and organist Christopher Monks, which specializes in producing performances of Renaissance music and Baroque music. In 2002 the company oversaw the creation of a series of academies designed to provide choral training for schoolchildren. The company’s period musicians and instrumentalists have an international reputation in the field, and its partners and collaborators have included Sir Willard White, Dame Emma Kirkby, and Dame Evelyn Glennie. Armonico Consort is known for its innovative productions, most notably its 2005 production of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen and its performances of Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Barbican Centre in London in 2007. In 2012 Armonico Consort’s opera, Too Hot To Handel, featuring the music of Baroque composer George Frideric Handel, attracted highly positive reviews from critics.
Buxton Opera House
Buxton Opera House is in The Square, Buxton, Derbyshire, England. It was built in 1903 and designed by Frank Matcham, one of Britain’s finest theatre architects. He also designed two famous London theatres: the London Palladium (1910) and the London Coliseum (1904). It is a 902-seat opera house that hosts the annual Buxton Festival and, from 1994 to 2013, the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, among others, as well as pantomime at Christmas, musicals and other entertainments year-round. Hosting live performances until 1927, the theatre then was used mostly as a cinema until 1976. In 1979, it was refurbished and reopened as a venue for live performance.
The restored Buxton Opera House became the venue for the first Buxton Festival in 1979 with presentations of Lucia di Lammermoor (in its first ever complete performance in Britain), followed by Peter Maxwell Davies‘ The Two Fiddlers. The festival continues to present less well-known opera from celebrated composers, alongside a programme of classical concerts, late-night jazz and a thriving Literary Series.
Royal & Derngate Theatre
Royal & Derngate Theatres was formed in October 1999 to manage The Royal Theatre and Derngate as one combined organisation. The Royal Theatre, which opened in 1884, was designed by the renowned Victorian theatre architect C J Phipps who also designed the Theatre Royal Bath, The Lyceum in Edinburgh, Theatre Royal Glasgow and the Grand in Wolverhampton. In complete contrast The Derngate was opened in 1983. A Northampton Borough Council initiative, the venue was designed by RHWL for multi-purpose use. It can be configured to stage a variety of events including classical concerts, musicals, opera, dance and even ‘in the round’ events such as snooker tournaments. It has a maximum capacity of 1,500 for classical concerts, with 1200 seats for ‘lyric’ performances and has been run as a touring theatre since.
Opera on Location
Opera on Location, created after the success of the production ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Benjamin Britten) in August 2013, is a new vibrant opera company based in Sheffield with one simple aim: to perform exciting opera in real locations!
Nevill Holt Opera
Nevill Holt Opera produced its first festival season in June 2013, staging a brand new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Opera has been performed at Nevill Holt for a decade in the Stable Block Theatre. A history of high quality, touring productions here has created a desire for a festival that is permanent and invested in the local community. Nevill Holt Opera is unique in its celebration of the best of young British talent. NHO deliberately casts young singers, and by offering them a platform at NHO, has provided this young talent with an invaluable stepping stone to the larger professional productions. Singers from past NHO seasons have been engaged by English National Opera, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House for work in future years. NHO works with organizations including the National Opera Studio and the Jette Parker programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, to ensure their most talented graduates appear on the NHO stage.
East of England
The composer Benjamin Britten was inspired by the vast skies and moody seas of the Suffolk coast, and in 1948, along with singer Peter Pears and writer Eric Crozier, he founded the Aldeburgh Festival. Long before arts organizations thought of engaging in education and supporting young artists, Britten and Pears established both. They brought together international stars and emerging talent, including world-renowned figures such as Fischer-Dieskau, Menuhin, Svjatoslav Richter and Rostropovich, and young stars in the making such as Söderström, Perahia and Bream. At first the Festival used local halls and churches but in 1967, Britten and Pears created a permanent home at Snape, 5 miles from Aldeburgh, by converting a Victorian maltings into an 832-seat venue. This is the legacy behind the flourishing organisation known today as Aldeburgh Music, which now has a world-wide reputation as an outstanding year-round performance centre, and as a place where artists at all stages of their career can stretch themselves, explore new ground and perform.
Aldeburgh Music is an international performance centre set in a stunning landscape on the Suffolk coast with artist development and education as its creative engine. Our year-round programme has grown out of the Aldeburgh Festival, founded in 1948 by Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears and Eric Crozier, and is the realization of Britten’s vision for a special place where established stars, young artists, amateurs and audience members come to broaden their horizons in an exhilarating creative and natural environment.
Jubilee Opera was formed in 1987 as a result of a production of Britten’s ‘Noye’s Fludde’ in Aldeburgh Church, the first time it had been performed there. Such was the enthusiasm in the local community that it was decided to start an opera company for young singers and musicians to work with professionals on productions of the highest possible quality and standard. An important fact was to give children who did not have much opportunity to discover their own abilities the chance for them to develop their musical and performance skills. The first production in 1988 was ‘The Little Sweep’ from Britten’s ‘Let’s Make an Opera’. The original idea of young raw talent and enthusiasts working with professionals is central to the ethos of Jubilee Opera, but community involvement is also a crucial element and we rely heavily on local goodwill and volunteer help. It is hoped that the experience is beneficial to all and has a lasting influence by stimulating young peoples’ love of music and performance. The response to our efforts has been building steadily, so much so, that we started Jubilee Opera Chorus three years ago, which comes together periodically for a number of sessions during the spring and summer terms. This gives committed children the chance to work on their singing and performance skills in readiness for an autumn production. Jubilee Opera Chorus forms the nucleus of Jubilee Opera and is the first port of call for casting the next production.
The Barrandov Opera
The Barrandov opera is possibly Britain’s smallest and most intimate opera house, the fulfilment of an opera lover’s dream inspired by the cultural tradition of Prague. The Barrandov Opera opened its first season in 2003 with two opera productions ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘Così fan tutte’. The Barrandov opera is set in glorious Suffolk countryside near Needham Market in a magnificent barn restored by Carol and John Dearlove on the 200 acre family arable farm. They had often held private opera evenings in the old barn and in the garden.
Peterborough Opera, founded in 1969, exists to bring annual live performances of opera in English to Peterborough and the surrounding area. We also give concerts of operatic and other music several times during the year. Although we are based in Peterborough, our singers come from a wide area and include all ages from teenagers to septuagenarians. We rehearse on Friday evenings for most of the year, with extra rehearsals in the run-up to our annual staged production.
The Winterbourne Opera
The seeds of Winterbourne Opera were germinated in 2000 when a local string teacher and founder of the Teenage Classical Players, joined forces with a local soloist, to set up a teenage master-class on Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The success of the venture and the enthusiasm generated naturally led on to a fully staged production of Figaro organized in conjunction with Hope and Homes for Children in the thatched Barn at the Grange at Winterbourne Dauntsey, which became the opera’s home for eleven years. In 2012 we had the opportunity to embark on an exciting journey of venue-specific operas From the Marriage of Figaro in Salisbury Cathedral Close, to Carmen in the Cattle Ring in Salisbury Livestock Market we have shown ourselves to be brave and innovative.
Shipton Moyne Opera
You may have come across previously the performances by Opera a La Carte at Distillery Farm, Minety Organized by Antonia and Charles Filmer and their Committee. They have hosted many inspirational and innovative performances but have now decided to cease after ten years. The mantle has been taken up by a new Shipton Moyne Committee. The performances will take place at Street Farm, Shipton Moyne courtesy of James and Beth Birdwood.
Longborough Festival Opera
Longborough Festival Opera is an opera festival which presents a season of high quality opera each June and July in the English Cotswolds village of Longborough in north Gloucestershire. It began in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera by presenting concerts, and moved forward with operas presented by a travelling company. This was followed by converting a barn into an opera house. Audiences grew rapidly in the 1990s and, during the last decade, a focus on Wagner‘s operas led to three complete Ring Cycles being performed in 2013.
Bristol Opera Company
The Company was founded in 1923 by the professional operatic tenor Robert Percival, as the Bristol Opera School. The company’s original aim was to train opera students to perform operas not normally included in the British professional repertoire. The School was later renamed Bristol Opera Company, and is now generally known as Bristol Opera. We provide an opening for anyone in the community wishing to take part in opera, and we always welcome enthusiastic new members. Both amateur and professional musicians and singers take part, as well as those with an interest in the back-stage and non-singing elements of staging operatic productions. We aim to present as wide a range of opera as possible. By doing so, we hope to increase public appreciation of the art of opera.
This exciting new multi-genre singing festival, presenting the UK’s leading vocalists and involving an entire community, launches in Salisbury, Wiltshire in October 2014. The six-day singing celebration will see top professional opera, jazz and folk singers and vocal amateurs creating music with a host of inspiring events in the city. We kick off with a mass flash mob-style sing on the city’s market square Sing City, and present a programme of award winning jazz, folk and opera artists. And so nobody is left out, we have a sparkling family concert, outreach projects in the community and a weekend of vocal workshops culminating in the ultimate grand finale concert for participants and professionals.
Bath Opera has been presenting a variety of operatic works since 1977. Each year we perform a fully staged opera with orchestra at the Wroughton Theatre (King Edward’s School). Next year’s main production will be Verdi’s Macbeth, which will be performed for three nights in February 2016. We also present concerts and touring productions that raise money for charities in and around the City of Bath. Recent productions include Peter Grimes (Britten), Street Scene (Weill), Nabucco (Verdi), and The Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky).
Now in its twenty-first year of consistent evolution Iford Arts reflects its host venue, the Peto Garden at Iford in its emphasis on organic growth offering a select audience of 90 the opportunity to see world-class opera within the glorious environment of the exquisite Italianate cloister. In 1995, a new planting, the Magic Flute, by local amateurs, Opera Piccola, proved the outstanding sales success of the season. Since then over 50 operas have been produced for, or by Iford Arts, productions staged, uniquely for the Iford cloister. Growing year on year the festival in 2015 culminates in 20 nights of opera, 3 very popular picnic proms and 2 cloister concerts.
In 1976 Dorset Opera was registered as a charity with the object of presenting opera with professional soloists and orchestra, and at the same time giving large numbers of young people the opportunity to take part in the chorus and other production roles. Since then an opera has been performed every summer to much critical acclaim. For many young people this has been their first exposure to fully staged opera and is frequently the beginning of a lifelong passion.
The Dorset Opera Festival – Dorset Opera became a fully-fledged festival in 2011, with a remit to present at least two major opera productions each summer. In 2012 three operas were presented, and in 2013, it is two Festival operas and a tour of La bohème in association with the Dutch National Touring Opera (Nationale Reisopera). The Dorset Opera Festival and Summer School is based in the beautiful setting of Bryanston, near Blandford Forum. The Coade Theatre is particularly well equipped for the staging of opera.
Devon Opera is the only professional opera company based in Devon. It offers a programme of intimate and affordable performances designed to complement the large-scale productions of the national touring companies. We believe opera is for everybody and as well as opera enthusiasts, we wish to attract “first timers” to experience the pleasure of fine singing and beautiful music in some of the most magical settings in Devon.
Opera Sulis is an ensemble made up of professional singers, who are based in and around the city of Bath and the South West region of the UK.
AAC Opera for All
AAC presents Opera for all is a multi-cultural company based in Brent, whose aim is to bring opera in English to the community. We perform innovative opera productions in English. They are fully staged and costumed and have a small orchestra. It has a mixture of talented singers drawn from many different nationalities, ethnic groups and generations. The company was formed in September 1990.
English Chamber Opera
was established in December 2006 by sopranos Rebecca Cooper, Beverley Worboys and Sarah Moule, and businessman Lukas Fluri. Our goal is to offer compelling, thoroughly entertaining, theatrical and musical experiences that will appeal to opera enthusiasts and first-timers alike. English Chamber Opera has made a fantastic start. In March 2007 we launched the company with a hugely successful tour of Ireland that included a performance of Don Giovanni to a capacity audience of 1,500 at The Royal Theatre, Castlebar. In April we made our London début with the same production at the 20th Century Theatre, Notting Hill, and received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from our audience.
New Chamber Opera
New Chamber Opera was founded in 1990 by Michael Burden and Gary Cooper to work in the fields of chamber opera and music theatre. With its own Baroque orchestra, The Band of Instruments, New Chamber Opera has produced recordings of Charpentier’s stage music and a collected edition of Rameau’s cantatas for ASV; other discs include Purcell’s Gresham Autograph and Music for Ceremonial Oxford. The Company has a particular commitment to young singers through the New Chamber Opera Studio, which stages two student productions and a recital series of twenty-four concerts in which they take part.
Garsington Opera is an annual open air summer opera festival founded in 1989 by Leonard Ingrams. For 21 years it was held in the gardens of Ingrams’s home at Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire. Since 2011 the festival is held in Wormsley Park, the home of the Getty family near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England. After Ingrams’s death in 2005 Anthony Whitworth-Jones became its General Director.
Garsington Opera for All
Garsington Opera for All will work with secondary and primary schools for a week in each area where the film will be screened. These free public screenings, together with extensive education projects, are part of the Garsington Opera for All programme, set up by Magna Vitae and the Coastal Communities Alliance after a successful bid made in the autumn to Arts Council England.
Kennet Opera is a local amateur opera company formed in 1993 by a group of friends who wanted to perform the music they loved in their home town. Over the years, this ever-widening group has remained dedicated to bringing opera and concert song to Newbury and the West Berkshire area.
Opera Lyrica was founded by director Paola Cuffolo and producer Nicholas Simpson in July 2012 as a platform for performers just starting out on their careers. We believe that talent can come from any source, and that young musicians, designers and technicians, whether or not they have yet been to Music College, can have great experience and knowledge. However, they also need performance opportunities to be able to increase these.
Opera Anywhere has always been about doing opera, well, anywhere. Not just conventional theatres — although they do those too — but also village halls, libraries, shops, railway stations and ice rinks. They pop up as ‘singing waiters’ at private functions, and last year put on one of their biggest extravaganzas to date — a huge operatic entertainment, complete with a horse and camels, at a private birthday party in the Cotswolds. The couple behind all this wackiness are husband and wife Mike and Vanessa Woodward, who have an infectious passion for all things operatic. They met just over 30 years ago in a youth choir in Colchester, and have been singing in perfect harmony ever since. They started Opera Anywhere 15 years ago.
Bampton Classical Opera
Bampton Classical Opera is an opera company based in Bampton, Oxfordshire specializing in the production of lesser known opera from the Classical period. Performances are always sung in English. Bampton Classical Opera was founded in 1993 by its current artistic directors, Gilly French and Jeremy Gray, in order to perform classical period opera in English. It works with a variety of conductors and ensembles and does not have a permanent music director.
Opera Della Luna
Opera Della Luna was established in 1994 to take over the work of The English Players. The aim of the company is to create new and innovative productions of musical theatre in English. Our work complements that of the larger companies by performing pieces which rarely appear in their repertoires. Through this work we hope to reach a wider and more diverse audience, and bring actors and singers together to profit from their exchange of skills and give them the chance to take leading roles. The company is the UK’s leading exponent of operetta and comic music theatre. Wikipedia om Opera Della Luna
Surrey Opera is a semi-professional English opera company based in the county of Surrey. Using professional singers for the leading roles and an amateur chorus, the company stages two productions a year. While opera forms the majority of its repertoire, the company also performs operettas and musicals. Surrey Opera was founded by the late Joyce Hooper MBE in 1969. The company’s first production was Mozart‘s The Magic Flute, performed in the Market Hall, Redhill, Surrey in June 1970. Over the years, productions of all Mozart’s major operas followed, as well works by other composers.
Bury Court Opera
Our interest in producing opera at Bury Court was initiated by chance in 2006 when visiting the annual music festival in the Tuscan hill town of Anghiari. We focus on using young singers and a young production team and we take great trouble selecting for the freshness, vitality and motivation they will bring. This not only gives our young singers an opportunity to perform roles they might otherwise not have a chance to tackle for many years but also provides them with a stepping-stone in their professional careers and assists them in building their CVs. We also maintain a close relationship with Southbank Sinfonia as our accompanying orchestra.
Southampton Operatic Society began life in 1924 as the Guild of the Above Bar Congregational Church and is the oldest musical society in the city. Since 1998 the Society has been a regular contestant at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival held annually at Buxton Opera House and has won several awards, most recently for the Best Concerted Item in for ‘The Matter Trio’ from Ruddigore in 2008.
Woodhouse Opera Ampitheatre
In 2005 the Woodhouse Opera Amphitheatre was inaugurated with a performance of Dido and Aeneas by H Purcell. Built next to the lake and in a forest clearing with the classic raked auditorium seating of a Greek amphitheater, it must rank as unique in the UK having also a specially dug orchestra pit in front of the stage. Since 2012 Woodhouse has two opera venues. Fully stage productions of small scale operas are now performed in our Opera Hall. In 2012 and 2013 our program was dedicated to late baroque / early classical period composers (G.B.Pergolesi, P.Telemman, and D.Scarlatti).
Opera South is the name of a semi-professional British opera company based on the borders of Surrey, Hampshire, and West Sussex. Specializing in staging lesser-known operas, the company was founded in 1984 as Opera Omnibus at Haslemere and was soon incorporated as a registered charity (1985) and limited company (1986). The company rebranded itself as Opera South in the first years of the 21st century. In 2005 the Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra joined the company and plays at the fully staged productions. The company is currently presided over by Ann Murray.
Guildford Opera Company
Guildford Opera Company has been performing opera and operetta since 1971, most recently at the Electric Theatre in Guildford. Working with experienced Music and Stage Directors and performing with talented soloists and an orchestra, we seek to achieve the highest musical and dramatic standards. We attract many young soloists who then go on to successful careers both in the main UK opera houses and internationally.
Opera at Bearwood
Formed in Spring 1993, Opera at Bearwood is one of Berkshire, England’s, most energetic and talented opera groups. This group of dedicated amateurs and budding professionals was created to bring the live opera experience to Reading, Wokingham and central Berkshire. We are lucky to be able to perform at the superb Reddam House Bearwood Theatre, situated in the extensive grounds of Reddam House School, Winnersh, southeast of Reading, Berkshire
New Sussex Opera
Founded in 1978, NSO – New Sussex Opera – is presenting a wide range of opera, including lesser-known works. Our performances involve professional and amateur singers and musicians. We also run educational projects in order to develop and sustain interest in opera.
Opera Foundry is an innovative opera company dedicated to the development and performance of living, breathing opera. Based in Surrey, but with singers travelling from all over the South East, they perform across the county and London area. They aspire to present distinctive opera that captures the imagination through talented voices, committed acting, and most importantly, a passion for taking a fresh perspective on the repertoire they sing.
Midsummer Opera was founded in 1985, and its repertoire encompasses much baroque and classical as well as romantic and modern opera. The company has toured throughout the UK (Brighton Festival; Holland Park Festival; Edinburgh Festival Theatre; Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon; Lyric, Hammersmith; Donmar Warehouse, London; Polesden Lacey; Grand Theatre, Blackpool), Europe (Tours; Halle; Luxembourg), and has visited the Bermuda Festival three times.
OperaCoast is a diverse music establishment that aims to give an opportunity to the young and upcoming professional singers to develop their skills in operatic performance, for ambitious amateur singers to make their way into opera, for professional music and theatre professionals to pass their skills on, and for all of us to enjoy wonderful music making in a company of like-minded people.
Founded in 2004, Claxton Opera stages annual performances in the Old Meeting House. This was once a Strict and Particular Baptist chapel erected in the 1750s and could hold 500 in its heyday, but finally closed for worship in 1943. It is now a private house but the living room becomes a theatre for two or three months a year when the annual opera is staged.
White Horse Opera
White Horse Opera was founded over 20 years ago by the late Keith Lawley and his wife Geraldine to bring full scale opera to the community of Devizes. Since then it has produced at least one main opera a year and recently has introduced a Touring Opera which performs in local venues such as churches, village halls and gardens as a community fund raiser.
Grange Park Opera
Grange Park Opera is a professional opera company whose base is The Grange in Northington, Hampshire, England. The company was founded in 1998 by Wasfi Kani, OBE and Michael Moody. It stages an annual opera festival in the months of June and July in an award-winning theatre seating 550 people, contained within a Greek revival temple. The repertory has a focus on large-scale romantic opera and Wagner. However, rare operas are also regularly performed, as well as musicals. The English Chamber Orchestra is the resident orchestra
Opera House, Tunbridge Wells – Construction was completed in 1902 to designs by architect John Briggs. The Opera House was bombed in the Second World War. The bomb did not explode but instead got caught in the proscenium arch above the stage and set fire to the inside of the Opera House, leading to a renovation before eventual re-opening in 1949. It was later turned into a bingo hall in the 1960s after threats to demolish it. In 1996, the Opera House was purchased by J D Wetherspoon and was turned into a public house. In 2006, the Opera House again hosted an opera performance, of Handel‘s Tamerlano. More recently there have been annual performances by Kent-based ‘The Merry Opera Company’ with Troy Boy, La traviata, The Magic Flute and in 2014, Kiss Me, and Figaro!
Kentish Opera is a pro/am opera company, founded in 1953, that stages a wide range of operas giving 4 to 6 performances generally twice a year in the Kent areas of Bromley, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. The company is professional other than the highly trained amateur chorus and the many volunteers who help behind the scenes.
Merry Opera Company
Since 2007 Merry Opera Company has produced operas throughout southern England and in Central London. Merry Opera has staged performances in major town theatres, a pub, a school, open-air amphitheatres, churches and a shopping street. In the last five years, they have reached an audience of over 19,000 people.Merry Opera produces accessible opera throughout London & the SE. Currently working on staged Messiah and gala programmes & a new production for 2016.
Under the supervision of the Christie family, the festival has been held annually since 1934, except in 1941–45 during World War II and 1993 when the theatre was being rebuilt, for a 1994 reopening. Gus Christie, son of Sir George Christie and grandson of festival founder John Christie, became festival chairman in 2000. Since the company’s inception, Glyndebourne has been particularly celebrated for its productions of Mozart operas. Recordings of Glyndebourne’s past historic Mozart productions have been reissued. The primary resident orchestra for the Glyndebourne Festival is the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The festival’s associate orchestra is the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Performances start in the afternoon, enabling Londoners to leave town after lunch, and finish in time for them to catch the last train back. A long interval allows opera-goers the opportunity for picnic dinners on the extensive lawns or in one of the restaurants in the grounds.
In 1968, Glyndebourne Festival Opera established a touring ensemble, Glyndebourne on Tour, which in its first season took opera productions to Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Oxford. In addition to bringing the work of Glyndebourne Festival Opera to audiences some distance from Glyndebourne. The schedule involves three weeks of performances at Glyndebourne, and then one week in each of the six cities and towns that the touring company visits each year.
Commedia has more than 15 years of experience in the presentation of fully staged music theatre.
Initially, productions were traditionally presented in the original language and setting with full chorus and orchestra. In recent years the trend has been towards a more accessible approach with the use of new and original translations and the implementation of the Virtual Reality Orchestra.
Marlow Operatic Society
Marlow had an Operatic Society in the 1920s. It performed in the Masonic Hall in St. Peter’s Street. However, the Second World War intervened and it was not until 1955 that the current society was reformed. For more than 50 years, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas were the favourite choices of performers and audiences, but in 2009 a major decision was made to leave the traditional nineteenth century productions behind and venture into the world of modern musicals.
Royal Academy of Music (RAM) utgör en del av University of London, och är en av de främsta musikhögskolorna i världen. Den grundades av Lord Burghersh 1822 med hjälp och idéer från den franske harpisten och kompositören Nicolas Bochsa. År 1830 fick skolan ett Royal Charter av kung Georg IV. Royal Academy Opera is a specialist and intensive Postgraduate Advanced Diploma for singers with the potential and aspiration to succeed as principals at the highest international standard.
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, UK. It offers training from the undergraduate to the doctoral level in all aspects of Western classical music including performance, theory, history, conducting, and composition, and serves as a centre for research in musicology, performance practice, and music psychology. The RCM’s main concert venue is the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall: a 468-seat barrel-vaulted concert hall designed by Blomfield, built in 1901 and extensively restored in 2008–09. The Britten Theatre, which seats 400, was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986 and is used for opera, ballet, music and theatre. There is also a 150-seat recital hall dating from 1965, as well as several smaller recital rooms, including three organ-equipped Parry Rooms.
The Royal Northern College of Music is a conservatoire in Manchester, England. In 1893 Sir Charles Hallé founded the Royal Manchester College of Music. In 1973 this institution merged with the Northern School of Music, and the RNCM was born. Today, the College is a thriving conservatoire with around 320 teaching staff and over 800 students from 60 different countries. Complementing this role, the RNCM is also a vibrant live music venue offering unparalleled opportunities for students to perform regularly to public audiences and to work alongside professional musicians and visiting artists. Housing four major performance spaces, including a professionally-staffed, fully-equipped Theatre and recently refurbished Concert Hall, the College presents in excess of 400 concerts each year ranging from RNCM orchestras and ensembles and large-scale opera productions, to a host of touring companies and external hires. Opera and Vocal Studies offers opportunities to work with renowned international coaches, directors and conductors, develop performance skills through intensive one-to-one coaching, vocal consultancy and language coaching, experience a wide range of classes focusing on stage skills, and major roles in the College’s opera productions.
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is an independent music and dramatic arts school which was founded in 1880 in London, England. Students can pursue courses in Music, Opera, Drama and Technical Theatre Arts. The modern Guildhall School is the only major European conservatoire which is both a music school and a drama school, and one which is involved in technical theatre, professional development and music therapy. The School currently numbers almost 900 students, approximately 700 of whom are undergraduate and postgraduate music students and 175 on the Acting and Technical Theatre programmes. In any given year, about 40% of the students are from outside the UK, typically representing over 50 nationalities. The Theatre in Milton Court, with its 223 seats on three levels and optional forestage, relieves demand on the Silk Street Theatre and provides an enhanced training experience for Guildhall School actors.
The National Opera Studio in London, England was established by the Arts Council as a link between the music colleges and the six main UK opera companies. It was resident at Morley College in Lambeth until 2003, when it gained use for the first time of its own dedicated premises in Chapel Yard, Wandsworth. Its director is the soprano Kathryn Harries, who succeeded Donald Maxwell at the start of 2009, its Head of Music is Mark Shanahan. It is responsible for the training of approximately twelve singers each academic year, as well as three piano répétiteurs. Its funding comes in part from the six main UK opera companies – Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Representatives from each company sit on the final audition panel for selection of each year’s intake. The one-year course usually includes residencies at two of the national opera companies, as well as four opera scene performances in London throughout the year.
For singers passionate about operatic music, Opera Coast gives privileged hands-on experience of taking part in a unique intensive opera course. You are invited to The Birley Centre, Eastbourne, UK, each year to explore one opera in one weekend. The project aims to bring together singers of different backgrounds and abilities from all over the world to learn about the psychology of opera, the skill of singing and acting, the connections between words and music and much, much more.
The Rose Bruford Training College of Speech and Drama, as it was first known when founded in 1950, was started as an alternative to other London drama schools. It was Rose Bruford’s mission to train actors who could teach and teachers who could act. It its early days the College had a commitment to community and theatre in education. This proud heritage is something we still embrace even as the College has diversified into new areas. Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance is London’s International Drama School. Students from over 40 different countries study with us on our15 different vocational and professional degree courses, producing over 75 separate productions a year.
The College is located in Lamorbey Park, Southeast London.
Arts Council England was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. It is a non-departmental public body of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganization in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation. Arts Council England is a government-funded body dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England. Since 1994, Arts Council England has been responsible for distributing lottery funding. This investment has helped to transform the building stock of arts organizations and to create lots of additional high quality arts activity.
Searching for its typical and characteristic features, Scottish opera (and Scottish classical music as a whole), has often been under strong foreign influence. Italian, French, English and German operas have served as models, even when composers sought to introduce characteristically national elements into their work. This dualism, to a greater or lesser degree, has persisted throughout the whole history of Scottish opera. The Italian style of classical music was probably first brought to Scotland by the Italian cellist and composer Lorenzo Bocchi, who travelled to Scotland in the 1720s. Growing audiences for classical music can be seen from the drawing up of a constitution for The Musical Society of Edinburgh in 1728 and the opening of a new concert hall for the Society in Edinburgh, in 1762. From the late-Victorian period onwards, opera-loving Scots had to make do with the offerings of small or family-based companies that toured extensively throughout the British Isles. What the standards were like in those days long before recording can only be imagined. However the creation in 1873 of the Liverpool-based Carl Rosa Opera Company was hailed at the time as offering touring opera of an ambition and standard never before seen in Scotland. The quantity of performances and companies in Scotland is not known in much detail.
Operas on Scottish themes or subjects
The works of Walter Scott proved popular with nineteenth-century composers, and “the Scottish play” Macbeth by English playwright William Shakespeare has also been adapted several times. I.e. Bizet – La jolie fille de Perth, Donizetti‘s Lucia di Lammermoor and Rossini, Gioachino – La donna del lago, The subject of Mary, Queen of Scots was a common one. Usually the operas dealt with the section of her life when she was being persecuted by Elizabeth I of England: Donizetti – Maria Stuarda and others. Macbeth was a genuine historical figure: Macbeth (1847) by Giuseppe Verdi
Operas by Scots
Opera was a late starter in Scotland, because the 17th and early 18th centuries were a tumultuous period in Scottish history. Not only was the country riven, first by religious conflict and later Jacobitism, but the departure of court and parliament to London removed potential sources of support and patronage. The traditionally Calvinistic outlook of the Scottish middle class in the Victorian era, which frowned upon public entertainments in pursuit of pleasure and promoted thrift, not ostentation, may also have inhibited the kind of municipal patronage which enabled opera’s transition from a predominantly aristocratic art form to one increasingly patronized by the bourgeoisie in 19th-century Europe. Two main composers stand out in the 19th century, and early twentieth – the first being Hamish McCunn who wrote Jeanie Deans in 1894, commissioned by Carl Rosa. The other figure is William Wallace, whose 1896 piece Brassolis is a lyrical tragedy in one act.
Later twentieth-century Scottish opera composers include two surprises – namely the unusual number of female composers, and secondly, Scottish Gaelic opera (see below). Perhaps the best known opera composer resident in Scotland today is Peter Maxwell Davies. Davies, an Englishman, has lived in Orkney since 1971. Some of his works take Scottish themes. Another major composer, with a questionable Scottish background is Judith Weir. In 2014 she was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music, following on from Davies and becoming the first woman to hold this honorary role. Weir is of English birth, but Scottish heritage, and has worked both north and south of the border. She has used Scottish material in her opera, The Vanishing Bridegroom.
A far smaller body of work exists in Scottish Gaelic. Nonetheless, a handful of operas have been written in the language – Sweeney, William (Libretto: Aonghas MacNeacail) An Turus and Jean-Paul Dessy and David Graham, (Libretto: Iain Finlay Macleod). Ayrshire Opera Experience are an Ayrshire-based company who have worked in conjunction.
Scottish Opera is Scotland’s national opera company and the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland. The Company was founded by Alexander Gibson in 1962 and was inaugurated with a production of Madama Butterfly at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow. In 1974 Scottish Opera purchased the Theatre Royal* Glasgow, which reopened in 1975 as Scotland’s first national opera house.
The Orchestra of Scottish Opera was founded in 1980. We are committed to bringing the widest possible range of opera, performed to the highest possible standards, to the maximum audience throughout Scotland and the UK. Each year we perform in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness and over 30 other theatres, village halls and community centres across the country. * The Theatre Royal is the oldest theatre in Glasgow, located at 282 Hope Street in Cowcaddens. The theatre originally opened in 1867, the name changing to the Theatre Royal in 1869, and is the longest running theatre in Scotland.
The Edinburgh Festival Theatre (formerly Empire Palace Theatre) is a performing arts venue located on Nicolson Street in Edinburgh, Scotland used primarily for performances of opera and ballet, large-scale musical events, and touring groups. After its most recent renovation in 1994, it seats 1,915. It is one of the major venues of the annual summer Edinburgh International Festival and is the Edinburgh venue for the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet. The present theatre’s location is Edinburgh’s longest continuous theatre site, for there has been a theatre in that location since 1830. The site became the Empire Palace Theatre, opening on 7 November 1892.
The Edinburgh International Festival is an annual festival of performing arts in Edinburgh, Scotland, over three weeks from around the middle of August. By invitation from the Festival Director, the International Festival brings top class performers of music (especially classical music), theatre, opera and dance from around the world to perform. The festival also hosts a series of visual art exhibitions, talks and workshops.
The first International Festival (and the first “Festival Fringe”, although it wasn’t known as such in the first year) took place between 22 August and 11 September 1947. The Festival has since taken place every August.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. Every year thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. The Fringe story dates back to 1947, when eight theatre groups turned up uninvited to perform at the (then newly formed) Edinburgh International Festival, an initiative created to celebrate and enrich European cultural life in the wake of the Second World War. Not being part of the official programme of the International Festival didn’t stop these performers – they just went ahead and staged their shows on the ‘Fringe of the Festival’ anyway – coining the phrase and our name ‘(Edinburgh) Festival Fringe’.
Edinburgh Grand Opera is Scotland‘s oldest existing grand opera company, founded in 1955 by Richard Telfer. This Edinburgh Music Society is run by its non-professional chorus with advice and support from the professional Artistic and Musical Directors and Designers it engages. It was originally known as the Edinburgh Grand Opera Group, and it has also been referred to as Edinburgh Grand Opera Company. Its soloists are a mixture of amateur, semi-professional and professional singers from Scotland and abroad, many of whom are students or graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (previously the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance). It was the first amateur company to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre.
Fife Opera is a semi-professional grand opera company based in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. It has produced over 40 full-scale productions since its inception. The company was founded in 1975 with the impetus being provided by Kirsty Adam, who was then keen to draw together a number of opera enthusiasts and singers from across the county.
Edinburgh Studio Opera (ESO) was founded in 1968 as ‘Edinburgh University Opera Club.’ The first performance was the UK premier of Monteverdi’s opera
L’Orfeo. ESO is a student run society aiming to involve as many students in the organisation, running and performance of each annual show. Our members have an invaluable opportunity to work with professional and experienced directors providing a unique introduction to semi-professional operas.
Opera Camerata is a small, but perfectly formed, amateur opera company, based in Edinburgh, Scotland
We stage an opera once a year, in the Church Hill Theatre in Morningside, and occasionally perform at concert events.
The Opera Company Isle of Noise was founded in 2013 by Max Hoehn with the purpose of exploring this powerful strand of opera in adventurous and innovative ways.
Konserthus med operainslag
His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen is the largest theatre in north-east Scotland, seating more than 1,400. It opened in 1906. The theatre is regularly visited by Scotland’s national arts companies and hosts performances from other major companies and the annual Aberdeen International Youth Festival. The theatre is managed by Aberdeen Performing Arts which also runs The Music Hall, and The Lemon Tree. “And we are proud to be Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera’s home in the North-east.”
Eden Court was opened in April 1976. At the time, the design was strikingly modern. As the only large scale performance venue in the region, the building was designed by architects Law & Dunbar-Nasmith to house all types of performing arts from opera to popular music, concerts, ballet, modern dance, drama and films. Eden Court reopened in November 2007 as the one of the best equipped arts centres in the country. The Victorian Bishop’s Palace and 1976 theatre, both Grade A Listed, were retained and two new extensions added providing a second theatre, two new cinemas, two dance and drama studios and three floors of purpose built dressing rooms. The architects Page/ Park have successfully brought together buildings from thee different centuries to create the biggest arts centre in Scotland.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre was founded by John Stewart in 1951, originally situated in a tent in the grounds of Knockendarroch House in Lower Oakfield. The tent became semi-permanent and remained there for 30 years until the current building at Port-na-craig opened in 1981.
1867, the lease was obtained by William McFarland at the invitation of the Grocers Society, and he moved out of the wooden Alhambra which had been declared dangerous. He promoted the venue as the Dundee Music Hall, later adding the words “and Opera House” – “at the foot of Castle Street, near the Royal Arch.” McFarland presented quality variety, drama, pantomime and some opera, managing the building with efficiency
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Conservatoire Rìoghail na h-Alba) formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a conservatoire of dance, drama, music, production and screen in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1845 as the Glasgow Educational Association, it is the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland with over 500 public performances each year. From 1 September 2011, the RSAMD changed its name to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The Scottish Arts Council (Scottish Gaelic: Comhairle Ealain na h-Alba, Scots: Scots Airts Cooncil) was a Scottish public body responsible for the funding, development and promotion of the arts in Scotland. The Council primarily distributed funding from the Scottish Government as well as National Lottery funds received via the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The Scottish Arts Council was formed in 1994 following a restructuring of the Arts Council of Great Britain, but had existed as an autonomous body since a royal charter of 1967. In 2010 it merged with Scottish Screen to form Creative Scotland.
Isle of Man
Community based, the Erin Arts Centre is the only organisation of its kind on the Isle of Man. The Centre serves an Island population of over 80,000 people and provides an essential and unique key to access to, and participation in, arts-based activities. Since the Centre’s foundation in 1971, it has fulfilled a unique and important role as a venue for music and theatre.
Opera in Wales as we know it today grew from a strong musical tradition.The revival of Celtic Literature in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century led to a number of opera librettos on Celtic legends. Welsh subjects, for example attracted Joseph Parry (1841-1903) and inspired him to incorporate traditional Welsh folk tunes into his opera scores. Parry´s Blodwen (1878) is a romantic tale set in fourteenth-century Wales, and his Arianwen (1890) is set in in eighteenth-century Wales. Welsh subjects also attracted Granville Bantock (1868-1946), Arwel Hughes (1909-1988) and Grace Williams (1906-72).
In Wales, the major national cultural institutions are the National Library of Wales (in Aberystwyth, founded 1907); National Museum Wales (founded 1907, which as well as the collection in Cardiff includes the St Fagan’s: National History Museum, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, a wool museum, a Roman museum, a slate museum and the Waterfront Museum in Swansea); Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (the Welsh medium national theatre, launched in 2003); National Theatre Wales (the English medium counterpart, launched 2008); and the Wales Millennium Centre; and BBC Wales (which began broadcasting in 1923, and now employs about 1,200 people).
Before the Second World War little full-scale opera was performed. Today the situation has completely changed, with Wales having become world-renowned for its opera performances as much as for its singers. The choirs of Wales’ collieries, steel-works and chapels had built up a great tradition of choral singing. Verdi’s early operas, such as Nabucco, were hymns to national independence. This may have made items like the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves especially popular with Welsh choirs!
At the start of the 20th century, several Welsh theatres, such as the Cardiff New Theatre and the Swansea Grand Theatre, were built with orchestra pits and large stages suitable for opera. Others, like the now-demolished Astra in Llandudno, began life as cinemas. With choruses, soloists and theatres, only one thing was needed for opera to begin in Wales – the companies to perform it.
Welsh National Opera (WNO) is an opera company founded in Cardiff, Wales in 1943. The WNO tours Wales, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world extensively. Annually, it gives more than 120 performances of eight main stage operas to a combined audience of around 150,000 people. It gives regular performances in Cardiff and Llandudno in Wales, and Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Plymouth, and Southampton in England. In 2004, WNO acquired its first permanent home in Cardiff in the Wales Millennium Centre, a performing arts centre in Cardiff Bay.
Welsh National Youth Opera (WNYO) is made up of enthusiastic, talented young singers and instrumentalists between 14 and 25 years old. The group meets regularly in Cardiff and works with experienced theatre professionals – directors, vocal coaches and musicians – to improve performance skills, as well as collaborating with composers and writers in the creation of totally new pieces. Each year WNYO mounts a full-scale production – opera, musical theatre, devised pieces – in the Weston Studio of Wales Millennium Centre.
The Swansea City Opera is a touring opera company founded in Swansea, Wales in May 2004. The company incorporates elements of Opera Box Limited, a touring opera company founded in 1989. Since its launch the opera has toured to 91 venues across the United Kingdom. The company places particular emphasis on touring within Wales, especially within Objective 1 and Communities First areas where performances are given at subsidized cost. It is Wales’ youngest opera company and it performs its repertoire in three different versions, depending on the size of the venue. This ranges from their base, Swansea Grand Theatre, to the smallest of halls. Their touring schedule in Wales takes in such places as Milford Haven, Newport, Cardigan and Rhyl and they are also taking their programmes into England. Swansea City Opera also has links with Opera School Wales, a postgraduate training school based at the Adelina Patti Theatre in the Swansea Valley.
The Faenol Festival (Welsh: Gŵyl y Faenol) was a music festival organized by Welsh singer Bryn Terfel, originally held annually on the Faenol Estate (Welsh: Y Faenol), near Y Felinheli in Gwynedd, north Wales. The festival was launched in 2000 and traditionally takes place on August Bank Holiday weekend. It includes both classical and Welsh popular music. Cancelled from 2009 onwards. Bryn Terfel wants a revival but no specific plans so far.
The first International Musical Eisteddfod was held in Llangollen in 1947. In the 60 years since then it has become one of the world’s great music festivals. It began as a way of healing worldwide wounds following the end of the Second World War. Llangollen’s place in world music is now immutable. Placido Domingo acknowledges that his first professional experience in the United Kingdom was at the 1968 International Eisteddfod, and in 1955 Luciano Pavarotti competed with his father in the male voice choir competition with others from their home town of Modena. The choir won its section, and Pavarotti returned for a spectacular concert in 1995. Kiri Te Kanawa, Jehudi Menuhin, José Carreras, Lesley Garrett, Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, Dennis O’Neil, James Galway, Nigel Kennedy, Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, and Montserrat Caballé are among the musical stars that have appeared in our Gala Concerts.
Mid Wales Opera has a passionate following among opera-lovers for its performances of major operas in intimate productions tailored to fit the smaller Welsh and English venues 29 of them in 2001. Founded in 1988, it holds an Annual Festival of Opera at Theatr Hafren, Newtown, Powys, then tours in Wales and the rest of the UK. Mid Wales Opera has its own chamber orchestra, conducted by Keith Darlington. Unlike the other Welsh opera companies, Mid Wales Opera is funded entirely by its box office sales. The company has its own chamber orchestra, conducted by Keith Darlington. Unlike the other Welsh opera companies, Mid Wales Opera is funded entirely by its box-office sales. Full scale productions of major operas such as Turandot, Aida, Carmen and Madama Butterfly have included international soloists from Covent Garden and the English, Welsh and Scottish National Opera companies. The specially adapted touring productions of more intimate operas have proved immensely popular in an ever increasing number of venues.
Music Theatre Wales was set up in 1988 by artistic director Michael McCarthy and music director Michael Rafferty to promote new music, Music Theatre Wales has gained a reputation as one of the few companies to regularly commission new operas. As well as commissions from such composers as Nigel Osborne, John Hardy, Michael Berkeley and Lynne Plowman, Music Theatre Wales also performs modern classics such as Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King and Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher. Music Theatre Wales tours widely throughout Wales and England. The company has also made several visits to Europe, including giving the French premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy. In Wales, the company performs in a number of venues, including Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Theatr Cymru in Mold, Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon and Cardiff’s New Theatre.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is a competition known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the outset of their careers. It has launched the careers of some major stars including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Jamie Barton. In 1983, BBC Wales created BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (J Mervyn Williams was the man credited with founding the competition) and continues to develop the format of the competition and its broadcast coverage. It takes place every two years and is organized in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by The City of Cardiff Council. The competition’s patron is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the artistic director is David Jackson. The competition is open to singers at the start of their professional careers, aged 18-32. After a three-stage selection process involving DVD and live auditions, 20 singers are invited to compete in Cardiff, to perform opera and concert music with full orchestra in four concerts, in front of a distinguished jury. The winner from each concert plus one wild card (the best of the rest) compete in the final in St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
Craig-y-Nos Castle and grounds were once the estate of the celebrated opera diva Adelina Patti who during her lifetime (1843-1919) became one of the world’s most famous and highly rewarded entertainers. The Adelina Patti Theatre is a Grade I listed opera house. Built to be Patti’s own private auditorium, The theatre continues to be used at intervals for performances of opera, however the fabric has deteriorated over time and some is in a poor state of repair. This is one of the most important private theatres in Britain and deserves exceptional effort to see it restored and brought back to fuller use.
Konserthus med operainslag
Wales Millennium Centre (Welsh: Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru) is an arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff, Wales. The site covers a total area of 4.7 acres (1.9 ha). Phase 1 of the building was opened during the weekend of the 26–28 November 2004 and phase 2 opened on 22 January 2009 with an inaugural concert. The centre has hosted performances of opera, ballet, dance, comedy and musicals. The Centre comprises one large theatre and two smaller halls with shops, bars and restaurants. It houses the national orchestra and opera, dance, theatre and literature companies, a total of eight arts organizations in residence.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre is one of the largest arts centres in Wales. Located on Aberystwyth University‘s Penglais campus, it comprises a theatre (312 seats), concert hall (900 seats), studio (80 seats) and cinema (125 seats), as well as four gallery spaces and cafés, bars, and shops. The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth began building Aberystwyth Arts Centre on its Penglais campus in the 1970s to serve the College, the town of Aberystwyth, and the surrounding counties.
The first phase was the concert hall (the Great Hall), which opened in 1970. The second and final phase was the theatre (‘Theatr y Werin’ literally ‘theatre of the people’), completed in autumn 1972. From the outset the Arts Centre pursued a diverse programming policy, supporting local groups and University ensembles as well as inviting leading professional companies. The project receives ongoing support from the University, the Arts Council of Wales, and the West Wales Association for the Arts. Festivals were seen as a way to develop the artistic programme and attract interested and committed audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. The Musicfest International Music Festival and Summer School was established in 1986, building on links with the University Music Department. The festival now stages more than 30 annual concerts and events, and some 100 young musicians from the UK and abroad attend the Summer School.
Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama was established in 1949 as Cardiff College of Music at Cardiff Castle, but has since moved to purpose-built accommodation within the castle grounds of Bute Park near Cardiff University. It later changed its name to the Welsh College of Music & Drama before being awarded its Royal title in The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, making it the fifth conservatoire to be awarded this title.
The Opera School Wales (Welsh: Ysgol Opera Cymru) is a postgraduate training school for operatic performers. The school is based in Craig-y-Nos, south Powys, Wales. The Opera School Wales was formed by Brendan Wheatley and Bridgett Gill in 1987 when the school offered its first residential postgraduate training course in Brecon, Powys. The Opera School Wales (TOSW) is Swansea City Opera – SCO’s training arm. It provides residential opera training courses for talented post graduate singers. TOSW is primarily a pre-professional training school for talented young Artists from Wales, the UK and abroad. It also provides expertise and support to SCO in the planning and delivery of its community and outreach opera education initiatives. In return SCO provides real career development opportunities to promising young Artists of the School, the most gifted of whom are offered Chorus and understudy work with SCO, leading to solo work.
The Wales International Academy of Voice (Welsh: Academi Llais Ryngwladol Cymru) was established by its founder, the Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE, to provide advanced voice, music and drama coaching to young professional opera singers from all over the world in the early stages of their careers. It was opened in 2007 as the Cardiff International Academy of Voice and was funded by Cardiff University. However following Cardiff University’s withdrawal of funding in 2010, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David took over the partnership in June 2011 under the new name of the Wales International Academy of Voice.
The Arts Council of Wales (ACW; Welsh: Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru) is a Welsh Government-sponsored body, responsible for funding and developing the arts in Wales. Established by Royal Charter in 1946, as the Welsh Arts Council (Welsh: Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, its English name was changed to the Arts Council of Wales in 1994 (the Welsh name remained the same), when it merged with the three Welsh regional arts associations. It became accountable to the National Assembly for Wales on 1 July 1999, when responsibility was transferred from the Secretary of State for Wales. The Welsh Government provides ACW with money to fund the arts in Wales. ACW also distributes National Lottery funding for the arts in Wales, allocated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The state of conflict in Northern Ireland is manifested in the names by which the Northern Irish identify themselves. Ulsters or Ulster Unionists identify themselves by ethnicity, religion, and political bent. These residents are generally Protestants from England who colonized the country in the nineteenth century and earlier supported William of Orange when he wrested the throne of England from the Catholic James II. The Nationalists are native Irish who were ruled by Irish chiefs. They are Roman Catholics who want Northern Ireland to be reunited with the Republic of Ireland, removing the northern counties from the sovereignty of England. The Ulster Unionists remain politically, religiously, and culturally loyal to England, yet feel that Northern Ireland is their homeland. Nationalists believe that the land is theirs, and their loyalty is to their compatriots in the Free State of Southern Ireland. Northern Ireland is two-thirds Protestant and one-third Catholic.
Read more here Symbols of Social Stratification. Protestants tend to comport themselves as British, members of the United Kingdom. In regard to owning land and businesses, Protestants constitute the economic, social, and political elite. Their accent and manners are in keeping with those of Great Britain. Catholics, who tend to be poorer and have larger families, speak Gaelic, although not fluently. Most Protestants belong to the Orange Order, which is dedicated to maintaining the Protestant religion and Protestant social superiority. Read more here or here
Audiences NI is an audience development agency established in August 2004 by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to grow and diversify audiences for the arts in Northern Ireland. Audiences NI is one of 15 such agencies in the United Kingdom. Most important aim is to build peace through the arts.
Until the mid-1950s Belfast was included on the regular tour schedules of the main opera companies operating in Britain, and so visits from Carl Rosa and Sadler’s Wells filled the needs of the opera public. However, economic difficulties prevented continuation of these visits, so a number of opera-lovers decided that a local company would be formed. With an amateur chorus (still applicable today), a locally recruited orchestra (drawn mainly from the BBC’s regional orchestra) and imported guest artists, the Grand Opera Society of Northern Ireland (GOSNI) was launched in 1958 with presentations of Carmen and Rigoletto.
At this time a general review of the presentation of opera was undertaken in association with the Arts Council, who were anxious to extend opera activities. A new company, Ulster Opera, presented a season in 1967. In 1970, the Northern Ireland Opera Trust came into being. The season in 1972 suffered greatly in this respect due to the prevailing conditions in the city. A bomb explosion at the side of the Europa Hotel late in April damaged the opera house on the other side of the street and caused virtually last-minute transfer of the productions to a suburban cinema-cum-theatre. Parallel to GOSNI and NIOT there has been the Studio Opera Group specializing in chamber opera or works of a small-scale nature not normally in the repertoire of a visiting company or one devoted to large-scale works as in the case of GOSNI. Founded in 1950 it has, therefore, given presentations of many Mozart operas, Rossini, Bizet, etc., but most importantly has given the fine Irish performances of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, Let’s Make an Opera, Albert Herring, The Burning Fiery Furnace. Part of the work of this company has been the presentation of opera on tours of Northern Ireland. One such tour has just been completed when Don Giovanni played to unprecedentedly large attendances at various centres
”So for me, culture can be a source of unity in diversity. It can be a resource to draw on to help heal the divisions which are at times, in part, created by opposing cultures. Above all, cultural engagement should be a process of mutual enrichment.”
Gladys Ganiel – Research Fellow in the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast
The Grand Opera House is a theatre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed by the most prolific theatre architect of the period, Frank Matcham. It opened on 23 December 1895. It became a repertory theatre during World War II and at the celebrations to mark the end of the war, Eisenhower, Montgomery and Alanbrooke attended gala performances at the theatre. The Grand Opera House was acquired by the Rank Organisation, which led to its use as a cinema between 1961 and 1972. Business slowed in the early 1970s with the onset of the Troubles, – The Troubles (Irish: Na Trioblóidí) is the common name for the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that spilled over at various times into parts of the Republic of Ireland, England and mainland Europe. The conflict began in the late 1960s and is deemed by many to have ended with the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement of 1998, although there has been sporadic violence since then. Internationally, it is also commonly called the Northern Ireland conflict and has been described as a war.1991 and again in 1993, the Grand Opera House suffered extensive damage following two car bombs in Glengal Street. In 1995 the running of the theatre was taken over by the Grand Opera House Trust. An extensive renovation was undertaken in 2006. The extension’s striking, modern appearance caused a certain amount of controversy and mixed reviews as some felt that it was not in keeping with the original theatre, however its improved facilities have been warmly received. The building is intended to host smaller musical, dramatic and comedy performances as well as a host of educational events. The theatre reopened with a Gala event on 21 October 2006.
NI Opera is an opera company founded in 2010 and based in Northern Ireland. Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, it began its first season with a remit for performing high-quality opera throughout Northern Ireland, while promoting young talent from the region and forming partnerships with arts organizations from Northern Ireland, Great Britain and further afield. The company is based in the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
New Lyric Operatic Company has a long and illustrious history, spanning the last 60 years. The company, originally known as the Lyric Opera Company, was founded in 1948 as an amateur operatic society in Belfast, Northern Ireland and opened with its first production New Moon at the much missed Empire Theatre. The company disbanded and re-formed in 1951 as the New Lyric Opera Company. A name which endured till 2002, when its members voted to re-christen the company the way it is known today, the New Lyric Operatic
Belfast Operatic Company was founded by John Mercer in 1960 as a church based choral group, Belfast Operatic Company (BOC) has flourished into one of Ireland’s best known and talented amateur musical societies. The Company prides itself on catering for a variety of tastes, with productions ranging from new musicals such as Titanic, to modern musical revivals such Hello Dolly, Kiss Me Kate and Annie Get Your Gun, through to traditional favourites such as Gilbert & Sullivan light operetta. Our regular concert performances also include a wide selection of old and new favourites from West End and Broadway shows as well as light opera classics. Whatever your taste in music, you can be sure that BOC will provide a great evening’s entertainment!
Spark Opera is a little company founded Belfast in 2012 with a big mission – to make new opera, youth opera and community opera a reality in Northern Ireland. We’d like to put living composers, artists-in-training and volunteers at the centre of opera through work that’s fresh, high quality and connected to its audience. And we’d like to do it at least once a year where we live.
The Arts Council was originally established in 1962 as a successor to the Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) which had operated since 1942. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (1994), a company limited by guarantee, ceased activity in August 1995. The new Arts Council became a statutory body on 1st September 1995. The Arts Council supports all aspects of Music and Opera, in a wide variety of musical styles – western classical/contemporary concert music, opera, music theatre and musicals, jazz and improvised music, contemporary popular music, world music and traditional music – and including voluntary, amateur, community groups, bands and festivals.
We encourage professional concerts and educational and training activities with national and international artists across Northern Ireland; and we support all scales of opera production, with appropriate education, outreach and training elements.
The Channel Islands (Norman: Îles d’la Manche, French: Îles Anglo-Normandes or Îles de la Manche ) are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, and are not part of the United Kingdom. They have a total population of about 168,000 and their respective capitals, Saint Helier and Saint Peter Port, have populations of 33,500 and 16,488, respectively. The islands were the only part of the British Commonwealth to be occupied by the German Army during World War II. Before German troops landed, between 30 June and 4 July 1940, evacuation took place. Thousands of children were evacuated with their schools to England and Scotland. The German occupation of 1940–45 was harsh: over 2,000 Islanders were deported by the Germans, and Jews were sent to concentration camps; British policemen assisted the Nazi occupiers in rounding up the Jewish population. Partisan resistance and retribution, accusations of collaboration, and slave labour also occurred. There was no resistance movement in the Channel Islands on the scale of that in mainland France. This has been ascribed to a range of factors including the physical separation of the Islands, the density of troops (up to one German for every two Islanders), the small size of the Islands precluding any hiding places for resistance groups, and the absence of the Gestapo from the occupying forces. Moreover, much of the population of military age had joined the British Army already. The islands are not part of the European Union, but Islanders are full British citizens, and therefore European citizens. Tourism is the major industry in the smaller islands (with some agriculture). However Jersey and Guernsey have, since the 1960s, become major offshore financial centres on the scale of the Cayman Islands or Bermuda.
The Jersey Opera House is a working theatre and opera house in La Vingtaine de la Ville, Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands. The theatre building is administered by the States of Jersey but is managed by Jersey Opera House Limited. The current building is a 1922 reconstruction (by Jesty & Baker) of the 1900 original building by Adolphus Curry (1848-1910), with additional extension facilities provided since. The façade has been described as “imposing and slightly frenchified”. Jersey’s previous main theatre, the Theatre Royal in Royal Crescent, Saint Helier, burnt down on 31 July 1863. It took two years for a new theatre to be built. Another fire broke out in the night of 29 March 1899. The Channel Islands Entertainment Co. Ltd. built a new theatre on the ruins of the Theatre Royal and Opera House. The Opera House was opened by Lillie Langtry on 9 July 1900, who performed in the first play produced in the new premises, “The Degenerates”. A fire on 12 May 1921 partly destroyed the building. In the 1920s the management started showing films, and this developed into a programme alternating cinema and live entertainment. When the Picture House, a cinema in Saint Helier, closed in April 1931, the Opera House became a cinema. It ran a regular cinema programme until the German Occupation. Immediately following Liberation on 9 May 1945, the Opera House reopened for a grand variety show on 10 May 1945 for released prisoners. After an extensive programme of rebuilding and renovation the new theatre opened its door on 9 July 2000 exactly 100 years to the day when the first Opera House had opened its doors to the public of Jersey. All opera and concert activities on the islands are concentrated to The Jersey Opera House.
There is evidence of music in the “classical” tradition since the early 15th century when a polyphonic choir was established at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and “city musicians” were employed in the major cities and towns, who performed on festive occasions. In the 18th century, Dublin was known as the “Second City” of the British Isles, with an active musical life culminating in, among other events, the first performance of Handel‘s famous oratorio Messiah. The Ballad Opera trend, caused by the success of the Beggar’s Opera, has left noticeable traces in Ireland, with many works that influenced the genre in England and on the continent, by musicians such as Charles Coffey and Kane O’Hara. While there were English, Scottish and Irish composers of opera, there is relatively little trace of their work in continuing repertoire. Two Irish composers, however, Balfe and Wallace, are remembered, respectively, for The Bohemian Girl and Maritana staged in London in the 1840s. Another composer of paternal Irish origin, Arthur Sullivan, survives triumphantly in his operettas, collaborations with W. S. Gilbert. The years after Irish independence were a difficult period in which composers tried to find an identifiable Irish voice in an anti-British climate, which included ressentiments against classical music as such. There are a number of classical music ensembles around the country, such as the RTÉ Performing Groups. Ireland also has three opera organizations. Opera Ireland produces large-scale operas in Dublin, the Opera Theatre Company tours its chamber-style operas throughout the country, and the annual Wexford Opera Festival, which promotes lesser-known operas, takes place during October and November.
Performers of note in classical music include Catherine Hayes (1818–1861), Ireland’s first great international prima donna and the first Irish woman to perform at La Scala in Milan; tenor Barton McGuckin (1852–1913), a much-demanded singer in the late 19th century; tenor Joseph O’Mara (1864–1927), a very prominent singer around the turn of the century; tenor John McCormack (1884–1945), the most celebrated tenor of his day; opera singer Margaret Burke-Sheridan (1889–1958); pianist Charles Lynch (1906–1984); tenor Josef Locke (1917–1999) achieved global success and was the subject of the 1991 film Hear My Song; the concert flautist Sir James Galway and pianist Barry Douglas. Douglas achieved fame in 1986 by claiming the International Tchaikovsky Competition gold medal. Mezzo-sopranos Bernadette Greevy and Ann Murray have also had success internationally.
National Opera House – The state-of-the-art building was opened in 2008 as a fitting home for the award-winning Wexford Festival Opera, as well as being built as an all-year-round multi-disciplinary performance art-form theatre. It has recently been granted further official recognition by being designated Ireland’s National Opera House by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced at the start of the 63rd Wexford Festival Opera, in October of 2014, by the Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys.
Cork Opera House is a theatre and opera house in Cork in the Republic of Ireland. It was originally built in 1855, and was built on a template that the architect had used for the exhibition buildings at the Irish Industrial Exhibition But since then its existence has not been discontinuous; having survived the burning of much of Cork by British forces in reprisal for an ambush of a military convoy in 1920 by Irish rebels, the Opera House nevertheless was burned down in its centenary year by a combination of old wiring and wooden materials. Although Cork had until then boasted the presence of a proper theatre in some form for over 250 years, it was not until 1963 that the Opera House was rebuilt fully and opened. The Cork Opera House is the only purpose built Opera House in the country.
Ballet and Opera Ireland is the artistic division of International Leisure and Arts. Our company have staged over ninety percent of all the international Ballet productions to visit Ireland over the last twenty years, and have recently embraced opera – our most recent presentation being the much-acclaimed Carmen by the Moscow State Opera featuring Celine Byrne, Ireland’s own star international soprano, at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre in March 2013.
We produced our first ballet in Ireland at ‘The Point Theatre’ in 1995 – The Nutcracker’ by The Russian State Ballet. Again the company was The Russian State Ballet and guest-starred Galina Stepanenko, Prima Ballerina of The Bolshoi Ballet partnering Alexander Volchkov, The Male Principal of The Bolshoi. Since the opening we have staged several successful Ballets and Operas at The Theatre.
Lyric Opera Productions was established in Kilkenny in 1994 by Vivian Coates, as a young opera company bringing popular opera to Irish audiences at affordable prices. In the past 20 years it has grown from single performances of semi-staged works, to main scale proscenium arch productions in Dublin and Belfast. The company presents 3 operas each season, with 2-3 performances of each production. Lyric Opera is in partnership with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, an orchestra of international renown. All productions are accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, under the baton of visiting international conductors.
The Drawing Room Opera Company made its debut in March of 1997 introducing a lively, high calibre event using operatic singers to combine their talents with an evening of fine cuisine. Since then the DROC has entertained many audiences in the course of the last 10 years including the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean de Chretien, The Australian Prime Minister John Howard the Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern, The former American Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Michael O’Sullivan. With an ever increasing demand for its versatility and talent, the DROC has entertained in many prestigious venues throughout Ireland.
The Wexford Opera Festival that takes place in the town of Wexford in south-eastern Ireland during the months of October and November. The festival began in 1951 under Tom Walsh and a group of opera lovers who quickly generated considerable interest by programming unusual and rare works, a typical festival staging three operas. This concept has been maintained over the company’s history under the direction of seven different artistic directors. From the beginning, the company embraced new and upcoming young singers, many of whom were Irish, but it also included new international names who made first appearances there.
Glasthule Opera Company is an Irish company since 2008. It is currently located in Dublin. DLR Glasthule Opera promotes Irish singers, conductors and directors. The casts are drawn from singers who are in various stages of their career and development from international names to those aspiring to be professional singers.
Carrick Water Music Festival founded in 2005 is an annual 5 day festival in Ireland’s loveliest riverside town incorporating music of all genres – Classical, Jazz, Indie, Trad, Workshops, Drama, Literature, Children’s Activities, Street Fairs & Markets
Irish Youth Opera
Ireland’s opera-lovers have cause to celebrate this year 2014 with the founding of a new opera company. Irish Youth Opera (IYO) aims to offer a crucial professional platform for young and emerging singers at the start of their careers. The company has been founded by three experienced performers, whose CVs include roles at Covent Garden, La Monnaie, English National Opera and Glyndebourne: tenor Paul McNamara, soprano Suzanne Murphy and mezzo-soprano Colette McGahon who also takes on the role of artistic director with the new company. Irish Youth Opera is a particularly welcome development for a country that has neither a national opera company nor an opera house in its capital. IYO hopes to help foster a national tradition hindered until now by lack of performing opportunities.
North West Opera was founded in 2008 by Ann Jennings after a number of successful shows including ‘Duelling Divas’ in the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey and a special performance Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute,’ in Letterkenny’s An Grianan Theatre in 2008. That saw a number of professionals from the Bavarian Operatic Repertory Company joined on stage by several local amateur singers, a model which was to become the hallmark of North West Opera, which was founded later that year.
Opera Theatre Company (OTC) is the National Touring Opera Company of Ireland. Founded to create high quality opera productions that can be presented anywhere: from a community centre to an Opera House. The company has toured to more than 100 cities, towns, and villages across the island of Ireland since 1986, as well as touring to UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, USA and Australia.
Konserthus med operainslag
Ireland’s National Concert Hall was originally built for the Dublin International Exhibition of 1865, converted to the National University of Ireland in 1908 and opened as the National Concert Hall in 1981.It is now regarded by performing artists as one of the finest concert halls
in Europe. At the heart of Dublin’s city centre it boasts a thrilling programme of the world’s greatest
performers and Ireland’s finest musicians. Ireland’s National Concert Hall is regarded by performing artists as one of the finest concert halls in Europe. At the heart of Dublin’s city centre it boasts a thrilling programme of the world’s greatest performers and Ireland’s finest musicians.
Although its facade is quite impressive, the venue’s acoustics have been criticized. It is also unsuitable for large-scale opera stagings, lacking full stage facilities. Consequently, calls for a purpose-built venue are made from time to time. Plans have been developed in the early 2000s which involve revamping the existing Auditorium, building a larger newer one plus another small auditorium. This comes after the UCD section was bought from the college to enlarge the Concert Hall.
The Royal Irish Academy of Music – In 1848 a number of musical enthusiasts in Dublin formed an association to found an Academy to “provide systematic instruction in instrumental music. The Academy held its first classes in the Ancient Concert Rooms in Pearse Street before moving to No 18 St Stephen’s Green. In 1871 the Academy moved to its present home at 36 Westland Row, acquiring the two neighboring houses of Nos 37 and 38 in 1911.
On 15th October 1890, the Dublin Municipal School of Music opened its doors at the Assembly Rooms in South William Street with classes in flute, piccolo, clarinet, horn and drums. New opportunities followed in 1978, when the College of Music became part of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Today the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama provides high quality, performance-based arts education encompassing a vibrant Junior Conservatory, third-level degree programmes and the largest music research centre in Ireland. It offers the broadest range of performing arts disciplines of any institution in Ireland with degree programmes in classical, jazz and Irish traditional music performance, composition, musicology, music education, opera, drama and, in association with partner colleges, rock and pop music, music theatre, and scoring for film and visual media. The Conservatory in 2017 embarks on another exciting chapter with the move to a stunning purpose-built facility for the creative and performing arts within the new DIT Grange Gorman campus in the heart of Dublin City.
Culture Ireland promotes Irish arts worldwide. We create and support opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. We develop platforms to present outstanding Irish work to international audiences, through showcases at key global arts events, including the Edinburgh Festivals and the Venice Biennales. Culture Ireland will present an international culture programme to celebrate the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme globally.