Hatstand Opera come to St Neots for the first time in November

GM-image-newWith our 20 years of experience touring across the UK, we’ve sung in a lot of English towns, but never in St Neots! So, we’re thrilled to be heading to this historic town on Saturday 19 November to perform our iconic “Golden Moments from Opera” – 2016 version!

One of the great thrills of being a touring opera company is that we get to sing in lovely surroundings, and bring new visitors to some of our most precious historic buildings and churches.

So, we’ll be performing in the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, aka St Neots Parish Church, a beautiful Grade 1 Listed 15th century church. Our performance is presented by The Friends of St Neots Parish Church, and will help raise funds to keep this fine old building in a good state of repair.

As the Friends say on their website:

“Although the church does not have major structural problems, it needs a steady programme of repairs. It is over 500 years old! The need to use conservation techniques means that even small repairs are very expensive. It has an active and friendly congregation but their resources are not enough to do everything. So the building needs help.”

 

“Golden Moments from Opera” is our flag ship show of scenes and arias from the world’s favourite operas, presented in our informal and entertaining style.

The cast for this fun evening of opera features our Australia singer Toni Nunn, Birmingham-based tenor Richard Owen and HSO’s director Kirsty Young (mezzosoprano, not newsreader).

At the piano will be Gill Ford, a superb pianist we’ve known for many years but with such a busy schedule, we have to book her many months in advance!

If you’d like to join us on Saturday 19 November, here’s the details you’ll need to book your tickets:

Saturday 19 November 2016 at 7.30pm

Golden Moments from Opera

St Mary’s Church, Church Street, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 2BU

Tickets: £12.50, £10 concs

Available from:
bruceandalice26@btinternet.com – 01480 473820
raggatt2@onetel.net – 01480 213884
jarogus@msn.com – 01480 476314

Refreshments served at the interval.
All proceeds to The Friends of St Neots Parish Church – http://friendsofsnpc.org.uk

Remember, you can also find us on social media:
http://www.facebook.com/HatstandOpera 
http://www.twitter.com/hatstandopera 

HSO at the Much Wenlock Festival this June

GM-image-newWe’re thrilled to be making our first visit to the Much Wenlock Festival this year, to join an amazing line-up of acts performing at this popular Shropshire arts festival.

We’ll be performing a bespoke version of our all-time top show “Golden Moments from Opera” on Saturday 11 June, at 8pm. Expect lots of well-known items and some fun new discoveries too, all performed in the usual fun, informal Hatstand style

Join us for a fun evening of music and laughter in the Church Green marquee. Bring your friends, family, grannies – they’ll all have a good time!

Click here to buy your tickets online

or check out the Much Wenlock Festival website 

Raising funds with outdoor performances

CherryTrees2016-2

The Hatstand Opera outdoor fundraising performance season started in earnest last Saturday with a wonderful performance in aid of Cherry Trees respite care. One of their supporters has opened their home as a venue, and after some considerable advance planning, all was set for a great evening in the garden, with us performing on the raised terrace. The whole set-up looked lovely.

Not that the weather looked lovely, with scudding grey rain clouds, but thanks to a carefully places mini marquee, we stayed warm and dry through a very wet afternoon’s rehearsal.

By the time the gates opened at 5.30pm, the rain has stopped, the grass was actually drying, and everyone set up their picnic tables in sunshine that grew stronger by the minute.

Indeed, by the time we started Act 1 at 7pm, the sun was shining brightly, a sure sign that our sungoddess soprano Toni was working her magic.

Back in the days when Toni toured with a variety of UK companies, she was often double-cast in major roles such as Violetta in la Traviata. Whenever she sang outside, the sun would shine and the weather would be fine. On one memorable occasion, a major thunderstorm literally held off until her Violetta gasped her last, ending the opera with a spectacular lightning display. The other Violetta fared less well on her nights, often getting very wet!

After our show for Cherry Trees, we drove home in fine weather to discover that almost everywhere else we passed through had experienced heavy rain all night. We were truly blessed, and to top it all, the charity raised almost £6000 from the evening, an amazing sum.

So, if you’re planning an outdoor opera fundraising performance and you want good weather, you know who needs to be there…!

photo courtesy of Jon from Cherry Trees www.cherry-trees.co.uk

Chatteris Review by Rosemary Westwell

Kirsty, Toni, Jochem & Sue at Chatteris 21st June 2014
We had a wonderful night at Chatteris on Midsummer night (21st June) and so too did the audience – here’s what the reviewer said:

Hatstand Opera presented some golden moments from opera on Saturday in Chatteris for the Music Society. This was one of the many high profile events the Society has organised and it was, indeed, a series of ‘golden’ moments. Opera favourites were mixed with lesser known delights in this varied programme and the evening ended with some highly entertaining re-workings of more, familiar tunes. The whole evening was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, because not only was the singing first-rate but joy and humour regularly infused the programme, leaving us mesmerised.

Toni Nunn (soprano), Kirsty Young (mezzo), and Jochem van Ast (baritone) were in fine voice and very ably accompanied by pianist Sue Graham Smith. Songs were sung mostly in English but we were entertained with some delightful numbers in their original language. The French sounds of ‘The Flower Duet’ helped to make this one of the most memorable items. Toni and Kirsty’s voices were perfectly matched in this piece as were all voices in ‘Soave sia il vento’ from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart.

The highlight for me was Toni’s performance of ‘Vissi d’arte’ from Puccini’s ‘Tosca’. The Italian language, the smooth phrases infused with passion and, of course, the wonderful voice was transfixing. Kirsty and Jochem were also impressive singers and their characterisation and humour were most engaging. There was not a dull moment in this array of opera gems. Meanwhile, constantly providing expert support was Sue Graham Smith on piano. No matter how intricate or rapid the accompaniment, she played with absolute security and accuracy, adapting to the songs’ mood swings perfectly.

This was a highly entertaining evening well worthy of its enthusiastic support.


Hatstand in Cambridgeshire

Remember to get your tickets early for our return to Chatteris.

[imageeffect type=”frame” align=”aligncenter” width=”650″ height=”636″ alt=”Hatstand Opera performance in Chatters 21 June 2014″ url=”http://www.hatstandopera.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Chatteris_2014_PinterestWeb3.jpg” ]

 

 

Back in Cambs: we’re chatting about our return to Chatteris

Back in Cambs: we’re chatting about our return to Chatteris

There are certain clients that are very much part of Hatstand’s heritage, and Chatteris Music Society is one of these! So we’re thrilled to be making a return visit on Saturday 21st June to the Church of St Peter and St Paul, with our iconic show “Golden Moments from Opera”

“Golden Moments from Opera”, our selection of the best bits of opera you never thought you knew, is actually never the same show twice! Each show is tailor-made to the venue and the audience, and thanks to our database of performances, we know precisely what we sang at any of our performances over the last 20 years. (Scary but true!) So, we can avoid too many repeats and incorporate favourite items too.

Since we also vary the line-up for the gentlemen singer and the pianist, each cast has their own music we can choose from. For Chatteris, we’re delighted to have baritone Jochem van Ast, fresh from singing in the chorus at both the ROH and ENO, and pianist Susan Graham Smith, one of the most versatile players we know and who makes our digital piano sound superb!

S, what will we sing on the night? To be honest, we don’t know 100% yet ourselves!  We do a first draft programme using the database, and then add in new numbers, items that we think the knowledgeable and fun-loving audience at Chatteris will enjoy, and shake well! This process keeps the show fresh and enjoyable for everyone, especially the audience.  We can’t tell you the exact formula we use (it’s a closely guarded secret like the KFC spice mix!), but the result has been delighting audiences across the UK and beyond since our first performance back in March 1993.

Why not join us in Chatteris for more hilarious scenes and heart-rending arias from the world’s favourite operas – we look forward to seeing you there!

We’re in Surrey on 5th April – don’t miss us!

We’re back in Surrey at last! – Saturday 5th April in aid of 2 great charities!.

A BYO Bite at the Opera! Come and join us for a great evening of our favourite numbers and some new ones too!

More hilarious scenes and popular arias from the world’s favourite operas; deliciously witty, delightfully sung.

“I generally prefer opera’s greatest hits, so Hatstand’s opera cabaret is perfect.

Lovely…A great success”  The Guardian

For the full details click here or the pic!

Call Jo on 01252 718 098 to book your tickets. (£15)

Everyone needs a good Laugh at the Opera now and then!

A Laugh at the Opera Suffolk Sat August 24 2013

Suffolk, it’s time to have a good time at the opera! Forget depressing story lines and angst-ridden singers, Hatstand Opera will be raising the roof at the Brick Kin Barn in Sibton with “A Laugh at the Opera”, on Saturday 24 August at 7.30pm.

This highly entertaining show is a fun easy way into opera, a ‘chocolate box’ assortment of highlights, featuring comic chaos and crazy characters from the world’s favourite operas. Presented in our trademark informal and often irreverent style, this terrific show ensure everyone can have a good chuckle with opera, whether newbie or complete opera geek. We always say our shows are like the weather; if you don’t like what we are singing, wait 5 minutes and it’ll change!

And talking of weather, the show is presented in the Courtyard of the lovely Brick Kiln Barn in Sibton, with the gorgeous barn itself on standby should the August Bank Holiday prove to be inclement. The Courtyard is open for ‘bring your own’ picnics from 5.30pm, with the show starting at 7.30pm. There’s a licensed bar for drinks, a raffle for champagne, and a complimentary drink on arrival.

 

Lights Camera Action in Godalming – cancelled

APOLOGIES – this performance has been cancelled, but we hope to come back to Godalming very soon!

Lights, Camera… Action!

The songs behind famous movies, from opera to silver screen classics

Nothing brings a classic film scene to life like a great soundtrack. Hatstand Opera bring the music behind the movies back into the limelight!

From opera classics to famous screen songs, you’ll love these timeless tunes presented in glorious colour by “The enterprising stars of Hatstand Opera” The Times.

After the Intermission, it’s non-stop, toe-tapping, wonderful award-winning songs that’ll send you “Over the Rainbow” with supercalifragilistic delight! Play it (again), Sam!

Read more at the Lights, Camera, Action page.