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From a beautiful afternoon in Wantage!

 

We're back — with OPERA UNLOCKED!

It's been a long time, but we're back in rehearsals for two outdoor concerts in September. Opera Unlocked plays in Wantage on 13 September and at Shaw House, Newbury on 20 September.

We've put together a programme of great arias and choruses from grand operas that we all love – Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and more – and one that can be rehearsed and performed along social distancing guidelines.

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Wantage, 13 September: On the lawns of Old Church House, Priory Road, Wantage town centre (thanks to Dicky and Kirsty Squires). At 3 pm, entry from 2.30. Tickets, £12.50 (child £5) from Jumblebee, or from jim@operaunmasked.com, tel 01235 767975 .

Newbury, 20 September: On the lawns of Shaw House (pictured), Church Road, with free parking. At 5 pm, gates open 4 pm. Bar and refreshments. Tickets, £12.50 (child £5) from www.westberkshireheritage.org/whats-on .

At both venues — take care! Please observe social distancing at all times and be prepared to be directed to an area in which to sit. Bring your own picnic, warm clothes, seating or a rug.

Earlier this year— Amahl and the Night Visitors

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Together with Opera Unmasked, 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).