purcell arthur-sullivan-2

Top: Henry Purcell
Above: Arthur Sullivan
Below: Musetta (Tamsin Slatter) in full cry in Pop-Up Puccini



2018—Where to hear us

November 8, 9 and 10: Two extremes, two masterpieces

poster_dido zoo_only

Our main show for 2018 is a wonderful BOGOF deal: two productions for the price of one! And what a bill – though they're both by English composers, it would be hard to find two more contrasting pieces. Henry Purcell's wonderfully moving Dido and Aeneas has one of the most famous arias in all opera, Dido's Lament. There are also sorcerers and spirits, and choruses of witches, sailors and courtiers, all of whom have their share of Purcell's sublime music.

From the sublime… to Arthur Sullivan. A real rarity, The Zoo is an early work, in collaboration not with W.S.Gilbert, but the somewhat lesser-known B.C.Stephenson. However, it is fully in the G&S tradition of a ludicrous plot set to a rollicking (and often charming) score. Did I mention it takes place in a zoo?

The operas will be performed in tandem at Arlington Arts, near Newbury. Both are fully staged, with an orchestra. Performances start at 7.45pm (on 8 and 9 November) and 2.30pm (10 November). At Arlington Arts you'll find a foyer bar and free parking, and they handle online booking.

pucciniforKOweb KO's June-to-September concerts at village and town venues showcased the work of Giacomo Puccini. We sang from such all-time favourites as Madame Butterfly, Tosca and La Bohème, culminating, of course, in the stupendous 'Nessun Dorma'. It was a real pleasure to feature arias from Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica too.

There were duets, arias and choruses; there was a bar or a cream tea; and there were full houses.

Pop-up Puccini played at:

Interested in singing?

If you might be interested in singing with us, do come along to a rehearsal evening in the Majendie Hall, Speen, Newbury, where you'll be made very welcome! We usually rehearse from 7.30 pm on Wednesdays. But it's best to confirm with secretary@kennetopera.co.uk in advance.

2017– The Marriage of Figaro and Mozart's Last Year

We presented Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro in November. As always it was a fully staged performance, sung in English with orchestra. More about Figaro.

Our concert series earlier that year, 'Mozart's Last Year – a celebration in song and words' was mostly opera and choral works from 1791, when his creativity was as astonishing as ever. Some items were staged and acted, and the show was driven by Emanuel Schikaneder, the actor-manager, singer and librettist, a close friend of Mozart, who invited us into his dressing-room to hear his recollections. The programme.

Newbury Weekly News reviewer Derek Ansell thought it a varied and fascinating programme —the perfect end to a wonderful venture!