OperaUpClose, an Olivier Award-winning opera company that produces affordable and high-quality English chamber re-imaginings of well-known works and premieres of new operas, celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2019. The company’s first performance of La bohème (The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896) took place on 7 December 2009. The company is set to revive the award-winning production in autumn.
Since its foundation, OperaUpClose has produced 29 operas: six world premieres of contemporary operas and 23 classic operas in newly commissioned chamber orchestrations with English librettos. The company is led by Artistic Director Robin Norton-Hale and tours across the UK.
The company says that it is proud of the impact it has had on opera in the UK during the past decade. Its own surveys show that 30-50% of those attending a performance have never been to an opera before, and after seeing the show more than 80% of these first-timers say they will definitely see another.
OperaUpClose seeks to encourage the production of new contemporary opera. In 2012 it launched Flourish, an opera-writing competition. The company funds and produces the winning opera of each year’s competition.
To mark its 10-year anniversary, OperaUpClose has launched its Next 10 Years appeal. The company has set a goal of raising £100,000 by December. The idea, the company says, is “to secure the future of OperaUpClose, so we can continue to share the life-changing, life-affirming power of opera”.
Donors of £1,000 or more will be part of the ‘Next 10 Years Club’. They will be invited to the private first sing- and play-through of a new Madam Butterfly (Puccini, 1904) orchestration and libretto, the first public performance of Peace at Last (Jill Murphy, 2019) and an exclusive Next 10 Years summer party with OperaUpClose artists.
You can donate here: Next 10 Years.
Pamela Hay and Nick Dwyer in OperaUpClose’s revival of La boheme.