verdi web queen of the night


2019— our busiest year yet

Spring and summer, Viva Verdi!

We take 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?). So far we have these arranged — a mix of evening and afternoon shows. All tickets are £12.50.

November, The Magic Flute

Our main show for the year, fully staged, in English and with orchestra, brings Papageno, Sarastro, the Queen of the Night and others to Arlington Arts, near Newbury. Ranking among the top ten most performed operas, The Magic Flute is no tedious tragedy, but a tune-packed pantomime. Join us all as we seek truth, reason and enlightenment! Cast list.

A silver celebration

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

Wednesday rehearsals

We normally meet Wednesday evenings in The Majendie Hall, Church Lane, Speen, Newbury RG14 1SA. Starting at 7.30pm; free parking! New friends are welcome, best to check with us before turning up.

2018—Dido and Aeneas and The Zoo

Two extremes, two masterpieces

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Our main show for 2018 was a double bill from Purcell and Sullivan – two of only three British opera composers regularly performed around the world. It would be hard to find two more contrasting pieces. Henry Purcell's wonderfully moving Dido and Aeneas, above, 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.

The Zoo

From the sublime… to Arthur Sullivan. Still something of a rarity, The Zoo, above, is an early work, in collaboration not with W.S.Gilbert, but the somewhat lesser-known Bolton Rowe (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?

Pictures, cast, what the directors thought.

The operas were performed fully staged, with an orchestra, at Arlington Arts, near Newbury.

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, and of course the stupendous 'Nessun Dorma'. It was a real pleasure to feature arias from Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica too.

Pop-up Puccini played at: