Hatstand Opera Reviews from Happy Customers!

Here are just a small selection of our press reviews, and just as importantly, what our clients and audiences say about us.

National Press

I generally prefer opera’s greatest hits, so Hatstand’s opera cabaret is perfect. Lovely… A great success.
The Guardian

Nobody does opera quite like Hatstand Opera.
Classic FM magazine

The enterprising stars of Hatstand Opera.
The Times

Energy, passion, professionalism and personal links are the company’s trademarks. This may be small scale… but it’s big on quality, presentation and innovation.
Arts Professional

It’s my party and I want… Hatstand Opera.
The Party Magazine

Hatstand Opera’s witty and informal approach makes opera accessible to all.
My Weekly

Classical Music – a three page article and front cover photo for Hatstand Opera in the industry’s leading magazine. Read the pdf here.


Local Press Reviews

Humour in abundance throughout… a witty visual focus… light and amusing, and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
Surrey Advertiser

During the interval, and on leaving the theatre, the words ‘excellent’ and ‘brilliant’ fell like stars.
Newbury Weekly News

(Hatstand) descended from the stage to astonish and flirt with members of the audience, taking the difficulties of navigating around closely placed tables in their stride as they delivered tongue-twisting patter songs or liquid cascades of perfectly modulated notes.
Bury Mercury

Alive and sung with great flair and flourish… a joy to watch… should not be missed.
Torquay Weekender

What a wonderful night of opera the audience were treated to… Mezzo Kirsty Young was superb, not just in her singing performance, but in the way she led the whole. For the avid opera lovers and the non-opera buffs alike, she explained every piece before it was sung, providing many humorous moments. (The performance) was a sell-out with some even standing at the back.
The Chelmsford Weekly News

Love’s Luggage Lost sparkles along merrily… very much a team effort, brimming with life and there was excellent backing from the orchestra.
Exeter Express & Echo

A mix of classical cabaret and stand-up… entertaining and funny. I hope (Hatstand) make a return visit.
Northumberland Gazette

Love, Lust and a Damn Good Chardonnay: most enjoyable… a good show from three talented and hard-working artists.
Gloucestershire Echo

A professional company of very talented vocalists.
Swindon Gazette & Herald

Web Reviews

Hatstand Opera was a riot – a romp with a serious, professional intent. This was tuneful and expert singing, presented with the stylishness of cabaret. As Mistress Ford and Mistress Page from Nicolai’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’, (Toni and Kirsty) sang melodiously and extravagantly – two women whose forthright talk gave the evening spring and melody, in most accomplished and pleasing voice. They were at home on the stage, too: – their broad gestures, bubbling expressions and swirling movements had wit and assurance.
Ken Carter,, on our performance at the East Finchley Festival 2008

Kirsty’s sheer energy drives the performance along as while donning an outfit she explains what is coming next and how it fits into the opera it comes from. And it’s all done in a light hearted way that couldn’t be further removed from the elitist tag associated with opera. Soprano Toni Nunn and baritone Bryan Kesselman sang at Luton. If either of them had sung at full volume the roof of the old factory would probably have fallen in. Nobody does opera quite like Hatstand. As Kirsty says, ‘Our unique point is that we don’t take it too seriously. Opera’s meant to be enjoyed.’ It was certainly enjoyed by Luton Music Club who were a very appreciative audience.
Jean Gardner, reviewing “Golden Moments from Opera” 16/2/2009 for



Lights, Camera, Action!… a terrific evening to start the Festival.
Ashwell Festival

Very many thanks to Hatstand for a cracking show at this year’s Woolpit Festival. Everyone has praised us, the Committee, for a great choice, so we are basking in the glory of your show! It was a really great event, and you will be welcome back to Woolpit anytime.
LD, Chairman, Woolpit Festival

Many thanks again; the audience thoroughly enjoyed the evening and everyone went home with a smile on their faces. Lots of requests to invite you back again!
JM, Framlingham Arts Festival

I just wanted to say thank you so much to all of you for Saturday night which was as ever absolutely brilliant. Everyone who was there thought it was brilliant too; I even got told on the train to work this morning that we had produced a really good night with brilliant music! I am hoping that we can do it again next year and will confirm as soon as I can.
Lt.Col NM, Concert Organiser, Lower Bourne Show

Just to say thank you all for a really lovely evening – just what was needed in the depths of winter, to send us all out smiling! The programme was excellent, and so many people told me afterwards how much they had enjoyed it. We look forward to seeing you here again before too long.
Just wanted to let you know I’ve had loads of people say how much they enjoyed Monday night. They thought the singing was excellent and together with the humour you put in made it very accessible to everyone and was a lovely evening. Thank you for coming to Clacton and giving us your usual fantastic performance and I’m sure it won’t be long before we will see you back again.
Clacton & North East Essex Arts & Literary Society

Lights, Camera, Action! was a great success last week and much enjoyed by all.
Artistic Director, Thornbury Festival

Charity Clients

Thank you for a fabulous evening on Saturday – you conquered Scunthorpe and who knew that was possible? I should say it’s right up there with Glyndebourne! Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves which is great for me because you slope off and I get to bask in your reflected glory. Seriously though, your performance was magical and was such a help to Pentagon Rotary Club in our fundraising efforts on the night.
MW, Pentagon Rotary Club, Scunthorpe

We owe you huge thanks for entertaining us so brilliantly. You really were fantastic and so many people have told us the same – even the younger ones enjoyed the music because you have a wonderful knack of making it all understandable and most of all, fun.
Organiser, Fairbridge Solent charity open air event

Now that the dust has settled, I would like to thank you – and all your performers – for what you did to make our fund-raising event on Sunday for Cancer Research UK such a success. It was an absolute tour de force – made so, as much by your brilliant introductions, as by the actual singing itself. Everyone left with a smile on their faces, and no wonder; it was a brilliant show. So far the evening has raised just over £5000 for Cancer Research UK.
SCS, Chairman Winchester branch, Cancer Research UK

Just a quickie to thank you all for being so brilliant yesterday, we have had so many calls today from people that loved it. We also raised about £1100 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance which is way beyond what I expected.
AG, Dorset – organiser of a charity performance in a private garden

Just to say how very much we all enjoyed and appreciated the Hatstand performance here. Lots of compliments during the past week from your audience, and in fact one couple have given a donation to the Church Organ Fund for one of the organ pipes with the dedication to “The Hatstand Opera, to celebrate a wonderful fund-raising evening”. So Hatstand will be remembered in perpetuity in our Parish Church! We raised £6,000 for the fund, and just as importantly, lots of goodwill, thanks to all the fun and enjoyment which you provided.
DM, All Saints Church Organ Fund, Odiham

A HUGE thank you to you all for last evening’s “Triumph in a Torrent.” I’m sure that you’ll know from the audience’s reaction, that you wowed everyone and you absolutely made the evening the success it was. Actually, my thanks go further than Saturday itself because working with you to set up the event was such a pleasure. Your good humour, patience and willingness to fit in with our aims was so appreciated… You gave us all a terrific, spirit-raising and FUN evening. Watching the audience depart, you’d definitely left them “Singing in the Rain”!
AH, event organiser, for Breakthrough Breast Cancer (show was in a marquee on a very rainy night!)

It was a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable event and everyone who attended had a fantastic time. Thank you to you all for performing on Saturday and helping to make the event such a success. We can’t thank you enough for your support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
LB, Group Fundraising Exec, Breakthrough Breast Cancer

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all at Hatstand Opera for an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable event at the farm. I was delighted with the success of the evening and all the feedback from the guests has been very positive. We raised nearly £2500 profit for the Trust and do feel this style of event is something we can continue each year and build on.
SK, Fundraiser and Events Organiser, Whirlow Hall Farm Trust

Just to thank you all once again for the fabulous performance you gave on Saturday. As I am sure you were aware the evening was hugely successful. I think we have raised something in the order of £5000. I am certain further bookings will be coming your way from some of those present!
JT, Friends of CAB Tunbridge Wells

Just a short note to say thank you, again, for helping us to raise vital funds last Friday. The evening was a great success and raised over £5,000! Thanks again for your contribution!
PD, District Manager (Business and Strategy), Citizens Advice Waverley

Shows for Private Clients

We thought Hatstand were absolutely outstanding. Not only was your singing and playing beautiful but your delivery and entertainment were sparkling, witty and gave everybody a good time. We had universal compliments to pass on to you. Thanks too for the excellent music choices, which were very well judged, highly appropriate for me and the audience. Don’t hesitate if you would ever like to use me to recommend you!
ST, Woking, on a party in his home

Thank you for such a magnificent evening. Many people have already expressed their appreciation and said how impressed they were with the truly wonderful performance. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves as much as we did and would consider returning to the Officers’ Mess next year.
PMC, Royal Engineers Officers’ Mess, Chatham, Kent

Just a short line to thank you for your superb contribution to our dinner and cabaret evening at Southport’s Floral Hall. You judged the repertoire perfectly for our audience. Super music, great singers and lots of fun!
Chairman, West Lancashire Masonic Charities Festival

Just a note to express on behalf of the Master, his lady and indeed of all the guests that attended the Loggia Italia gala dinner, our thank you for the superb entertainment you provided. I trust it will be not too long before we will be able to call on Hatstand Opera again.
GS, Loggia Italia
I would very much like to add my immense thanks to you for your outstanding performance on Saturday. I must say that we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
RF, Worshipful Master, Loggia Italia

Thank you all so much for a fantastic night on Wednesday at the Regatta, all the members said they had a great night and really enjoyed the music.
Member & Events Manager, Phyllis Court Club, Henley-on-Thames

Thank you all so much for making our musical evening so special.
Paulo & Katherina on their special programme celebrating the renovation of their 1930 house in opera and music of the period

I just wanted to say that you were all fantastic last week and everyone thoroughly enjoyed your performance. I honestly did not know what to expect but was really pleased to have found you and that you were able to perform at our event.  I have since been recommending you to everyone!!!!
Events Co-ordinator, Bureau Veritas UK & Ireland

I just wanted to write and say thank so much for performing at our party. As usual it was a triumph and much appreciated by ALL because I know there were some sideways glances from those who thought it may be a bit high brow! However the number of people who made a point of saying how much they enjoyed it was brilliant.
N&J, Farnham, Surrey

What Our Audiences Say

We so enjoyed your sheer enthusiasm and energy. Your mix of music, anecdotes, humour and glitzy gear made it a joy. I hope that you go from strength to strength, and audiences around the country get the wake up call and fight for tickets to see you.
RC, Cheltenham

We have been absolutely thrilled and quite overwhelmed by all the positive and wonderful comments resulting from your superb performance yesterday evening. Thank you all so much for a truly entertaining and enlightening evening, a brilliantly planned programme performed to the highest possible standard. It was all so professional and such fun and everybody left feeling very happy and more importantly wanting more.
Chairperson, Chatteris Music Society

Thank you very much for an excellent evening. It is very clear that you are passionate about what you do – I would like to see more young people in opera audiences and I think you go a long way to helping that.
PW, Harrogate

My family and I were at your New Year’s Eve performance, and we all thought it was wonderful. It was the first time that my 7 year old has been to anything quite like that, and she was entranced. She particularly liked the Fly Duet, and excelled herself by giggling loudly in a rather quiet bit! Thank you all for a fabulous concert.
AM, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

I don’t do opera but thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Great entertainment – thank you!
CF, Wilts

I wanted to write and thank you once again for a wonderful performance on Tuesday night. The show was so well put together and covered such a different range of music. This has been a difficult year for me and I have enjoyed the great comfort that music has bought me. To hear you all sing on Tuesday really lifted my spirits and I thank you all for that. I do hope that you have already been booked for next year!
KS, Frinton-on-Sea

Outstanding – much enjoyed by three generations of my family.
PD, Dorset

Most enjoyable. Good variety, excellently performed. Hope to see you again!
PT, Glos.

My husband and I and our two guests had a great time at your performance last night. We had to move fast to get tickets! I particularly enjoyed ‘Nella Fantasia’, having only heard it performed solo before. Tremendous.
MB, Harrogate

The performance was exceptionally good and I would go and see it again and again.
EH, Gwynedd

A joyful evening of Savoy Opera excerpts, three superb voices – opera can be fun!
MH, Scarborough

– Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
– Entertaining! Good as last year – see you next time!
– Magnificent, well done
– Refreshingly wonderful
Audience members at Chatteris, Cambs

All of our party went home completely bowled over.
AF, Exbury Gardens

Very well done, a lovely evening.
TC, Opera in the Park, Portsmouth

We were at your wonderful performances on both days over the weekend and wanted again to thank you for a lovely time. You all do a fantastic job in making so many people happy with your great entertainment.
M&R, Opera in the Orchard