Hatstand’s Opera in the Park programme

Sunday 6th August 2023 at 1pm

We’re so looking forward to entertaining all you good folks here in Victoria Park Portsmouth. So sit back, enjoy your picnic and here’s what we’re planning to sing!

Click to download the PDF version.

ACT 1  
I declare this is too boldMerry Wives of WindsorNicolai
Non più andraiLe Nozze di FigaroMozart, W A
Flower DuetLakméDelibes
Measuring DuetLe Nozze di FigaroMozart, W A
O mio babbino caroGianni SchicchiPuccini
Die Glock schlug Merry Wives of WindsorNicolai
Là ci daremDon GiovanniMozart, W A
Pres des rempartsCarmenBizet
Fly DuetOrpheus in the UnderworldOffenbach
ACT 2  
Death to the InvaderPrincess IdaGilbert & Sullivan
Mephistopheles’ Serenade FaustGounod
Sull’ ariaLe Nozze di FigaroMozart, W A
Ebben? ne andrò lontanaLa WallyCatalani
Three Little MaidsThe MikadoGilbert & Sullivan

And some surprise items just for Opera in the Park!

(programme very much subject to possible changes in order and content)

You are listening to….

Toni Nunn (soprano): roles include Violetta La Traviata, Queen of the Night Magic Flute, Rosina Barber of Seville, Adina L’Elisir d’amore, Mistress Ford Merry Wives of Windsor, Madam Herze The Impressario, Gilda Rigoletto, Lucia Lucia di Lammamoor, Nella Gianni Schicchi, and Fiordiligi Cosi Fan Tutte. Toni also runs Singers for Funerals, singing throughout the pandemic, and at a total of almost 500 funerals to date.

Kirsty Young (mezzo): roles include Dorabella Cosi Fan Tutte, Nancy Albert Herring, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro, Nicklaus Tales of Hoffmann, Orestes La Belle Helene, Mercedes Carmen, Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel, and Rosina The Barber of Seville. She is founder and Director of Hatstand Opera, and the proud owner of a pedigree Field Spaniel who won her class at Crufts – once.

Bryan Kesselman (baritone): roles include Dr Bartolo Barber of Seville, Figaro Marriage of Figaro, Papageno Magic Flute, Jack Point Yeomen of the Guard, and Ko-Ko The Mikado. Bryan has composed operas including “The Time Traveller”, a “Diamond Jubilee Choral Fanfare”, performed for The Queen in 2012, and “Maccabee”, for which he received a Millennium Award. He is Musical Director of the Tonic Choirs.

Sue Graham Smith (pianist): has coached over 30 operas and worked with BBC Symphony Chorus, English National Opera, D’Oyly Carte, Kent Opera and many other choirs & opera companies. On TV and radio, Sue has played on BBC Songs of Praise, the Gloria Hunniford Show, and Maestro (with celebrity conductors). Sue is currently Accompanist to Brighton Festival Chorus, Chichester Singers and West Sussex Youth Choir. 

Opera in the Park this August

The perfect way to spend a lazy summer Sunday afternoon! 

Join us for a fabulous afternoon of live opera in the leafy surroundings of historic Victoria Park in Portsmouth. We were chuffed to be asked back for a third time, especially as it really was by popular demand. The council organisers did a survey as to which previous performers people wanted to see again in the park – and we came out on top! 

Join Kirsty, Toni, baritone Bryan and pianist Sue for favourite scenes and arias, plus the occasional classic musical, a couple of unusual items for the opera buffs, and lots of fun stuff too.

Please bring your own chairs and blankets for your family and friends. Pack a picnic to enjoy together, or treat yourself to a delicious lunch from Café in the Park or from a hand-picked selection of food stalls.

And best of all, it’s free – no tickets required.

Opera in the Park

Sunday 6th August 2023 at 1pm

Victoria Park, Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3HJ

• Free entry – no tickets required

• Bring your own chairs/blankets and picnic

• Café in the Park and a small selection of food stalls open

• Toilets will be on site

• Please note that Victoria Park is a dog free area

For more information on Opera in the Park, email VictoriaPark@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Opera in the Park is part of a series of events to celebrate the restoration and renovation of this historic park, a green and family-friendly place for all Portsmouth residents to enjoy. For more information on the improvements and other future events, see https://www.victoriaparkportsmouth.org.uk .

Look out St Neots – we’re back!

We’re delighted to be heading back to the lovely St Marys Church in St Neots return for an evening of wonderful music created especially for our third performance at St Mary’s.

Kirsty, Toni, Jochem and Sue will be back with “Golden Moments from Opera”, a hand-picked assortment of classic scenes and heart-rending arias from favourite operas, operettas – and the occassional classic musical.

Golden Moments from Opera

Saturday 29th October 2022 at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, St Neots, PE19 2BU

Tickets: £12.50

Available from:
bruceelam45@gmail.com 01480 473820
david.smith48@ntlworld.com 01480 475259

Refreshments served in the interval

Supported by St Neots Town Council

All proceeds to The Friends of St Neots Parish Church

Join us for Opera Under the Stars this August

A fantastic fundraising evening for you and your friends to enjoy!

Join us for a late summer’s evening of opera favourites in aid of Cherry Trees Respite Care in an exclusive private garden. Back for a third performance by popular demand, we present our chocolate-box assortment of classic scenes and arias from favourite operas, in our trademark informal style.

We’ll also include the occasional classic musical too, plus a couple of unusual items for the opera buffs, and lots of fun stuff for the rest of us!

Start with a drink while you admire the garden, with exceptional views across the Surrey countryside. 

Please bring anything you may need to make your evening comfortable, such as tables, chairs and cushions – candelabras optional! 

Feel free to make your picnic as lavish or simple as you choose, with drinks of your choice. 

Then, sit back and enjoy a superb open air performance with us, Hatstand Opera.

Saturday 27th August 2022 at 7pm

Private Residence,  Effingham
(full address to be revealed on booking)

Gates open for picnics at 5.30pm
Plenty of free parking available

Tickets: £45

Bring a picnic and your friends for a wonderful evening of magnificent music set in beautiful surroundings. 


Call: 01483 222507

All proceeds support Cherry Trees, a charity providing exceptional home-from-home, specialist short-break respite visits for children and young adults with a range of complex disabilities.

Cherry Trees, School Lane, East Clandon, GU4 7RS
Registered Charity No. 800222

We’re back performing live in Devon in February 2022

Hatstand Opera 20 Feb 2022

We are thrilled to be back in action at nasda (Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts) for an afternoon performance on Sunday 20th February 2022.

Join us for our trademark chocolate-box assortment of classic scenes and heart-rending arias from favourite operas, operettas and the occasional classic musical.

Our hand-picked selection includes:

  • a very busy ‘factotum’ hairdresser (Larga al factotum from Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”)
  • a bride flirting with a wedding party crasher (La ci darem from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”)
  • two very annoyed ladies from Berkshire (Nicolai’s “Merry Wives of Windsor”)
  • a Swiss miss torn between two lovers (Ebben? ne andro lontana from Catalani’s “La Wally”)

We’ve even got aristocrats getting invites to a fancy dress ball, sorry, work event with drinks… (“Die Fledermaus” by Strauss).

As per usual, programme items are subject to change as you know we like to surprise and delight our audience with new items. So be prepared!

It’s been a long wait for Hatstand’s return to nadsa, in fact over 10 years since we last delighted them with our informal presentation style and natty costume changes. Our trademark show format hasn’t changed, still combining familiar opera tunes from films, adverts and TV series with more unusual items, for a varied performance that lets everyone have a great time and go out humming a tune or two.

We’ve been touring the UK for over 25 years now, and performed in lots of venues, many of which don’t stick in the memory. The warm welcome and enthusiastic reception at the Courteney Centre from the nasda members is very much an exception – we remember almost every detail from the lovely windows flooding the room with light to where the chairperson was sitting!

We’re also delighted to be playing the society’s excellent Yamaha grand piano, always a treat for our concert pianist Jeremy. Most of all, we’re really looking forward to seeing a live audience (not on Zoom) and just enjoying the feeling of sharing music together again.

So do join us – it’ll be a lot of fun!


Tickets must be bought in advance. There will be no facilities for ticket purchase at the door.

To maintain safety in covid-19 times:

Audience numbers will be limited, so early booking is strongly recommended.

To show respect for the safety and comfort of other audience members, nadsa concerts asks you to wear a facemask (unless exempt) until you are seated, and to wear it at any time you need to leave your seat. So, do remember to bring your mask with you.

The interval will be a short comfort break only for those for whom it is essential to leave the concert hall. There will be no refreshments.

nadsa’s policy is not to offer refunds for tickets after they have been purchased but, in the event that a concert has to be cancelled, for whatever reason, a full refund will be paid.

Hatstand back at St Neots for 2019

St Neots_Laugh_2019

Yes, we’re back at this lovely church to present “Laugh-Allowed Opera”, a rib-tickling romp through comic opera classics.

Why not join in the fun – tickets on sale now!

Tickets: £12.50

Available from:
bruceelam45@gmail.com – 01480 473820
david.smith48@ntlworld.com – 01480 475259

Refreshments served at the interval

All proceeds to the Friends of St Neots Parish Church




Free Opera in the Park in Portsmouth!

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


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:

Join Hatstand Opera in Shropshire next weekend

What are you doing next Saturday night?


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!