About Bath Opera

What we do

Bath Opera has been presenting opera in Bath, sung in English with a full orchestra, 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 Janacek's Jenufa, which will be performed for at 7.30 pm on Thursday February 15, Friday February 16 and Saturday February 17 2018.

We also present a smaller fundraising opera tour during the months of June and July.

Recent main productions include Nabucco (Verdi), Street Scene (Weill), Peter Grimes (Britten), Peter Grimes (Britten), Macbeth (Verdi) and Beatrice and Benedict (Berlioz).

Andrew Havers, Rupert Drury and Peter Redfern in Beatrice and Benedict, 2017

History

The Early Years

Bath Opera was established and mounted its first fully staged production - Verdi's Macbeth - in 1977. Leading roles in this opera were sung by Jill Fowles and David Edwards, who started the group and continued to oversee it for the next two decades, shaping its policy, ensuring its survival and attracting singers, conductors, instrumentalists, directors, designers and technicians of the highest possible calibre.

From the outset, whilst not neglecting the operatic mainstream, Bath Opera's repertoire included pioneering work from the field of Eastern European opera, featuring Glinka's Ruslan and Ludmilla and two operas by Smetana for which new English translations were provided from within the group. Bath Opera has continued in this adventurous tradition performing works by Kurt Weill, Aaron Copland, Benjamin Brittern and Menotti alongside such popular hits as Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, Madame Butterfly and La Boheme. Upholding our tradition, in February 2018 we will be performing Janacek's 'Jenufa'. This powerful piece will provide the sort of challenge that Bath Opera relishes.

Venues

Bath Opera has performed at a number of venues in and around Bath, from the wide stage of the university to the intimate space of the Rondo Theatre, Larkhall. Our main production now takes place in the Wroughton Theatre at King Edward's School.

Summer Tour

As well as our staged productions with full orchestra, we have been very active taking small scale fully staged operas to a wider audience than just Bath.

We have toured as far afield as Surrey and closer to home in Midsomer Norton, Seend, Great Chalfield Manor, Widcombe Manor, The Neeld, Chippenham and The Rondo, Larkhall.

The Chorus

One of our criteria is to ensure that there is as much as possible for the chorus to sing. This means that our members can take a very active part at all times. We are delighted that we have a large number of dedicated choral singers, many of whom take solo parts as well. We were delighted to win The Wilfred Roe Trophy for the best opera chorus singing in the South West. We welcome new members to join our friendly company. Please contact our secretary Jo (secretary.bathopera@hotmail.co.uk) or any member for details.

Peter Grimes (2015)
 

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