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Sunny afternoon in Old Church House gardens, Wantage

 

Summer 2021 — THE GREAT OUTDOORS

We managed to bring opera alive in late summer 2020, with distanced outdoor concerts in Wantage and Newbury. We chose arias and choruses from grand operas that we all love – Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and more – and numbers that could be rehearsed and performed with social distancing. We called them Opera Unlocked and presented them in the gardens at Old Church House in central Wantage and on the lawns of Shaw House, Newbury.

For 2021, outdoor concerts are our startpoint once more. We've booked both those venues again for July. So join us at

Again we'll be performing the pick of choruses and arias from the great composers. Check back here for more details. And if you're interested in joining in as a singer, we'd be delighted to hear from you.

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Singing at Shaw House 2020, on a late summer evening

MUSIC FOR CHRISTMAS 2021

Looking well ahead, we're delighted to have found a pre-Christmas slot at our normal staged venue, Arlington Arts near Newbury. We look forward to another happy evening of opera choruses, arias and semi-staged works, and hope you do too! It's set for the evening of Wednesday 15 December. We'll also be looking out for other possible venues such as churches, village and church halls.

Early 2020— Amahl and the Night Visitors

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Together with Opera Unmasked, In January 2020 we presented a staged performance of 'Amahl and the Night Visitors', Menotti's beautiful one-act opera, AND a selection of Great American Songs. All in one show!

They played:

Amahl was marvellously sung and acted by 13-year old Edward Bennet, and the part of his mother, following illness in the company, was sung by Emily Kyte for two nights and Serenna Wagner for one. We were joined for the first time by members of Wantage Choral Society and Wantage Church Choir; and once again by dancers from the Karen Brind school of dance.


2019— Our busiest year to date

Main production: 21–23 November, The Magic Flute

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Pamina and Tamino survive the trials of fire and water; below:Hannah Dobra as Queen of the Night

queen_jacket-8859Our main show for the year, fully staged and with orchestra, brought Papageno, Sarastro, the Queen of the Night and others to a holiday camp in 1950s Newbury-on-Sea. Venue: Arlington Arts, near Newbury.

Stage director was Jim Petts, whose last spot as director was La Traviata in 2015. Music director was Justin Bindley.

Photos, reviews, reflections, all here.


Spring and summer 2019, Viva Verdi!

We took the road again, to villages and festivals in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, this year with a selection of Verdi's very greatest (how do you choose?) in a mix of evening and afternoon shows. We visited:

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Kennet Opera chorus in Brimpton's beautiful St Peter's Church

September 2019, a silver celebration

2019 marks 25 years of Kennet Opera. To celebrate how our company has survived and thrived, we staged a gala concert, with music from almost everything we've staged. 21 September was the date.

Duncan Powell, Dulcamara Cenerentola

From the Silver Celebration: Duncan Powell as Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore); Tamsin Slatter, Don Crerar and Sue Moore in Miei rampolli femminini (La Cenerentola).