About Kennet Opera

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.

In everything we do we strive for high professional standards, while always remembering that the point of our existence is to give pleasure to our audience, and in doing so to have a really good time ourselves.

We are a registered charity, number 1110637.

Main productions

We present one large-scale production, sung in English, each year. In November 2016 it was Rossini's La Cenerentola at Arlington Arts just outside Newbury. We're returning there in 2017.

Check our 22 years of grand opera …!

The concert stage

At Stockfest Through spring and summer, in churches, halls and even people's gardens, you'll find Kennet Opera on song. Our 2016 season saw us perform in Wantage, Hungerford and Stockcross. As well as Verdi and Rossini, programmes featured G&S, and an extended selection from Dido and Aeneas. The picture from Stockcross shows Zerlina (Lucy Fitt) about to yield to the charms of Don Giovanni (James Mitchell) in 'La ci darem la mano'.

2017 rehearsals

While we are unable to use our usual rehearsal venue, Phabrix in Thatcham, we're meeting in The Majendie Hall, Church Lane, Speen, Newbury RG14 1SA. Free parking! As always for Wednesday rehearsals, times are 7:30–10:00 pm. 2017 programme…

If you haven't sung with us before, or are considering returning, do come along. Our Musical Director and all the company will be very happy to meet you!


Max Fane Max Fane, Musical Director Max (pictured) took over as Musical Director of Kennet Opera in the autumn of 2016, leading us through our production of Rossini's La Cenerentola. It was a delightful partnership as Max already runs his own opera company–Raucous Rossini. Originally from the Newbury area, Max recently returned after five years in Glasgow, studying at both the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Strathclyde, all while running several choirs. Describing himself as a musical entrepreneur, conductor and singer, his mission is to explore the potential for music to change lives. He believes that singing is for everyone.

At our February 2016 AGM, James Mitchell was elected Chair. James has been an opera lover, both as performer and spectator, all his life. He is currently Artistic Director of Opera Unmasked which aims to encourage enjoyment and understanding of Opera. He is determined to build on the strong foundation of Kennet Opera. Cathy Black and Christine Crerar are now sharing the role of Secretary to Kennet Opera.

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