Why on earth would you want to see an opera?
Opera can be monumentally dull; we’ve fallen asleep in many a traditional performance. So in 2007 we set out to show people how opera, sung in a language you can understand, with words you can hear clearly and in which the singers convince the audience, really does thrill with its drama, delight with its comedy and tug at the heartstrings.
You don’t need to pay a fortune or wear formal evening dress to see operas like this. You don’t need to know anything about the music or the story before you go. You don’t even need to travel too far, because you can see our live performances in towns and villages from Sussex to Yorkshire, Somerset to Norfolk & in Northern Ireland. You could say that at least once a year we’re at a church or theatre near you. (And if we aren’t, then let us know and we’ll get in touch with your local venue and see whether we can oblige.)
If you’re an opera fan already, then you may well have come across our stage and music directors, all of whom have international careers. You may also have seen some of the singers from our shows, for we’re often a stepping stone on their way to the top, and have been fortunate enough to have engaged 37 singers who have subsequently gone on to develop international solo careers.
Many of the operas that are rarely performed burst into life with one or two hidden musical gems. You may know that music theatre is the direct descendant of opera by way of Victorian music hall, Edwardian parlour songs, jazz and cabaret. So our shows often bring these musical strands together, offering you a romantic, comic, wicked or just plain silly selection from over 400 years of music.
But you don’t have to accept what we say. Since our first production in 2007, over 67,000 of you have seen our performances, and many of you have written to us. Here are a few examples:
“Thank you for opening my eyes to how opera can be such a fundamentally moving experience”
“I have never been to a concert before where the entire audience stood and cheered at the end”
“I was astonished, to say the least. The energy, the singing, the acting and the playing were all beautiful”
“Immediate and full of emotion and passion...one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen”