The London Opera Players
Stunning operas for every occasion
Founded in 2011 The London Opera Players continue the work of the original London Opera Players, founded and guided for over 50 years by Elisabeth Parry who is now their Honorary Life President.
As well as brilliant and captivating full-scale productions of the most popular classic operas this company has created tailored performances that can be adapted to suit any event, venue or audience.
“The London Opera Players put on a superlative production, both in the staging and in the performance.” Charlie North Lewis, Theatre Director, Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
Inspired by and with music from the opera, Carmen, by Georges Bizet (1838-75), a 90 minute all-male production.
Set in the gay community of liberal 1920s Spain, Don José is the central character in this all-male reworking of Bizet’s tragic opera. Sexually confused and dominated by the strict religious upbringing of his mother, he has come from the country to Seville to get a glimpse of the young man he has idolised from afar, the dancer Carmen.
With homosexual, religious and psychological themes, this intimate production involving just four singers portrays Bizet’s tale of love, passion, jealousy and anger between men. An unforgettable and heart-rending experience.
The opera is sung in English with piano or ensemble accompaniment by Andrew Charity. Designed and directed by Robin Pietà.
“This all-male production of CarMen saw the classic story unfold in liberal ’20s Spain, and retains all the drama and excitement of Bizet’s original.” Brighton Fringe Reviews, thelatest.co.uk
This opera is also available in the traditional version, with both male and female singers.
“The ‘she’s may now be ‘he’s, but when it comes to operatic heartbreak, gender is irrelevant.” Fringeopera.com
This is a compact opera under one hour, that could be complemented with a half-hour gala in the first or second half, or could simply stand alone. It involves ten singers with piano or ensemble.
This one-act opera is based on Sister Angelicaǯs tragic story. Forced to enter a convent by her family (following a scandal), years later her aunt, the Princess, pays her first visit asking Angelica to sign over her inheritance to her younger sister. The Princess reveals that Angelicaǯs illegitimate son, whom she has thought of every day since she enteredthe convent, died years ago. Completely distraught, Angelica prepares a poison and commits suicide.
Suor Angelica contains some of Pucciniǯs most poignant music, including Angelica’s famous aria Senza mamma, a notoriously difficult aria with long vocal phrases and spanning the range of an octave and a half, ending on a high A-natural marked pianissimo. Soprano Suzanna Heard will be performing the title role. An MMus vocal graduate of Trinity Laban conservatoire of music and dance, Heard first performed the title role last summer with the New London Opera Players in Wales, and is looking forward to reprising the role: “Angelica is a wonderful role to play. Puccini’s music is so beautiful with such intense and emotional qualities, especially in the aria Senza mamma. What sets it apart from other arias is the pure emotion in the text and the atmosphere it conveys. Angelica has just lost the only person she has ever loved, and in the music we see her different states of mind; anguished to ecstatic to suicidal all within a matter of minutes – a wonderful challenge for a singer.”
The production is also supported by a fantastic cast of young professional opera singers including Jasmine Adrian-Dawson as the implacable Princess, whose presence ultimately causes Angelica’s demise. Prolific Director Robin Pietà will be bringing the opera to life by creating an all immersive experience: “In the big opera houses all too often you get a seat up in the gods, far away from the action taking place in front of you. The London Opera Players are committed to bringing big, bold operas to smaller and more intimate audiences, so you get to see and feel the emotion up close.
The iconic opera Madama Butterfly is a traditional production, with soprano Karlene Denolo in the title role. The rest of the cast includes international baritone Colin Morris as Sharpless and James Hodgson is the irresponsible American Lieutenant Pinkerton, Andrew Charity accompanies at the piano and the production is directed by Medway tenor Robin Pieta.
Madama Butterfly (Sung in Italian with Surtitles) opera in three acts (originally two acts) by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa) that premièred at La Scala opera house in Milan on February 17, 1904. The work is one of the most frequently performed of all operas. The opera is based around a young Japanese geisha (Madama Butterfly) who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer will triumph into a loving and permanent marriage, however he has different ideas! The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Madama Butterfly timeless.
If an evening with a variety of opera favourites suits your audience better, then you can choose from these gala evenings:
G & S with Finesse
Set sail with G&S supremo Ian Belsey and the Secret Opera Savoyards on a scintillating and sumptuous cruise across the globe. Our journey begins in good old Blighty, on board HMS Pinafore, but the launch is delayed by the infamous orphans The Pirates of Penzance, before finally embarking on our adventure.
Weeks later we reach our exciting destination the mysterious Orient, where we meet The Mikado. Laden with treasures of the East we make for our final stop: Venice and the glory of The Gondoliers.
This production is also available as a piano performance.
A Night in Vienna
A luxurious quickstep through the centuries accompanied by music from some of the greatest composers the world has known, all associated with Vienna – Mozart, Schubert, Ernst Toch, Lehàr, von Suppé and, of course, The Strauss Family.
The Parry Ensemble, led by Maestro Andrew Charity, lead the quartet of singers in a selection of popular arias and ensembles, with a guest appearance from Miss Marilyn Hill Smith, star of the world operatic stage and BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night. This four singer, three instrumentalist format – café style, works brilliantly for this opera.
From the same director, David Edwards, The London Opera Players offer Die Walküre.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, starring stalwarts of the G&S scene, including Marilyn Hill Smith in the title role and Colin Morris as both Bunthorne and director. The cast are all aged 50 plus. Available from April 2017.
Othello and Othello
Othello and Otello. A play. An opera. Two visions. Two voices. One story. Of jealousy and deception, trust and trickery, and love destroyed. A world of talltales and daring do. Of soldiers and heroes – and super-men with feet of clay. And, at the story’s heart, two women, lovers striving for some haven from a brutal world.