Founded by David Hayes, Aylesbury Opera began as an evening class at Aylesbury College of Further Education. Our first production was Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in November 1980. Originally known as Aylesbury Opera Group, we performed at the College, various schools and then for 12 years at Aylesbury’s Civic Centre. Since 2002 we have staged most of our main productions at The Court Theatre, Tring.
Each March we produce a fully staged opera with orchestra. As well as the core repertory, we have also covered pieces usually only approached by fully professional companies, examples being Dvorak’s Rusalka, Handel’s Semele and several Rossini operas including La Cenerentola , The Italian Girl in Algiers and The Count Ory. In recent years productions have included Britten’s Albert Herring, Weber’s Der Freischütz and Verdi’s Otello. Two years ago we put on Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at St. Mary’s Church, Aylesbury featuring two local schools and conducted by Jeff Stewart.
In 2016 we appointed our current Musical Director, Kelvin Lim, Co-Director of Postgraduate Opera at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in London. Kelvin has continued to raise standards and this year we performed a full opera in the original language for the first time, Bellini’s Norma. This coincided with the appointment of our first Patron, the internationally renowned Romanian soprano Nelly Miricioiu. We staged Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in October 2018 and will perform Saint-Saëns’ biblical epic Samson et Dalila, in French, at The Court Theatre in March 2019.
We also put on regular concerts of both full operas and popular opera highlights programmes. These usually take place at churches in the Aylesbury area. Recent concert performances include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment and Handel’s Acis and Galatea.
All singers are welcome to join Aylesbury Opera. Our chorus members are mostly local and rehearse on Monday evenings at Holy Trinity Church Parish Hall, Aylesbury. We hold open auditions for principal roles each May which attract semi-pro and professional singers from the local area and beyond.
For more information and details of how to join us, please contact Ilana Jacobs (Membership Secretary) by phone on 07971 706485 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.