Free Opera in the Park in Portsmouth!

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The audience in Victoria Park back in 2010, just before the show started.

 

We’re delighted that Opera in the Park is back in Victoria Park Portsmouth this July – for one night only!

We’ll be performing our iconic opera highlights show “Golden Moments from Opera” on Wednesday 26 July in the leafy setting of Victoria Park, Portsmouth, in exactly the same spot as our last performance there, back in 2010!

Our live performance is the culmination of a month of opera in Portsmouth, which includes live relays from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden on the Big Screen in Guildhall Square. And by a spooky coincidence, our cast will include baritone Jochem, who has just finished performing at …the Royal Opera House Covent Garden!

Why not come and join us for a great evening of opera. Bring the kids if you want – it’s the last day of term for them.

Best of all, it’s free. Yes, you did read that right; free, gratis, no charge, no tickets required. Just turn up with a rug or a chair (we suggest the latter), maybe a picnic, and enjoy the show.

If you’d like to join in the fun, here’s the details:

Golden Moments from Opera
Wednesday 26 July 2017, at 7.30pm
Victoria Park, Anglesea Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3LD
Free Entry – please bring a rug or a chair
Further Information: www.visitportsmouth.co.uk

Opera in the Park is presented by Portsmouth City Council

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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 

Join Hatstand Opera in Shropshire next weekend

What are you doing next Saturday night?

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Hatstand Opera will be performing at the Much Wenlock Festival in Shropshire on Saturday 11 June at 8pm – and we’d love you to join us!

We’ll be singing a special version of our ever-popular show “Golden Moment from Opera” in the festival marquee, featuring the talents of your favourite performers soprano Toni, mezzo Kirsty, baritone Jochem and Presteigne-based pianist Jeremy.

Expect the usual mix of great music, witty introductions, quick-change costumes and, especially for the festival, some super-sparkly new dresses.

And if you’re not sure where Much Wenlock is, (and we didn’t know either until we were booked!), this pretty village lies just off the A458 between Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury. So it’s an easy drive from Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Wolverhampton, and a really easy drive from Telford and the M54.

Why not make a night of it and bring some friends along to enjoy the show too. 

Book your tickets online right now http://www.wegottickets.com/event/346693.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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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

New design, old blog codes…

HSO_KJY_WineWebWe decided to give the Hatstand Opera a facelift this month, for a fresh, clean look that is hopefully easier to read and to navigate.

However, as with so many things website, when you start changing one thing, all sorts of other things go haywire!

So, apologies for the way the system has decided to ignore the old shortcodes for blog pics, and just put the code instead of the image. We will be working our way through all these and restoring the images once the white wine has chilled in the fridge and Kirsty has come down from the ceiling…

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.


Name the Opera

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Can you name the Opera?

Father is less than enthusiastic about son’s love affair with ageing, bankrupt, terminally ill prostitute. Can you believe it?

Picture: Toni in the lead role