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!

IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION

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.

Join Hatstand Opera in Shropshire next weekend

What are you doing next Saturday night?

HSO_VV_Sloth_cut

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!

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…

What opera singers can learn from snowboarders

Like much of the UK, last weekend I was glued to the Olympic snowboard slopestyle from Sochi – and not just because Great Britain has a fighting chance of a medal for a change!

What gripped me from the start was the sheer enjoyment those young daredevils had in their sport. They really didn’t seem to care who won – all they wanted was to lay down a good run, do their tricks the best they could, and if that put them in the final, well, that was just awesome!

It seemed that every snowboarder genuinely liked and admired the rest,; there was no bad feeling, no begrudging interviews, no divas (apart from the one who went home saying the course was too dangerous), just fresh-faced energy from some highly talented and deceptively dedicated riders.

When the judges’ scores came in and it wasn’t quite what they expected (which was quite a lot of the time), they’d just shrug their shoulders and smile; no iceskating-style tears, no tantrums, no “you cannot be serious” throwing down of equipment,  – and no macho air punches when the scores were good, but instead, genuine squeals of delight.

And what’s more, when they worked out what the judges were looking for – big jumps – they tailored their runs to suit, on the fly (literally). If that’s what the judges wanted, that’s what the riders would deliver – and if they crashed, hey, they had tried, and they were quite happy to bail out, smile and say “I did my best, I had fun”.

And the icing on the cake was the commentators, sometimes so overcome with sheer enthusiasm that they verbally exploded, and full of such fun ways of describing people sliding down some banisters on a wide plank that it didn’t matter if you didn’t understand the difference between “winding down the windows” and being “a bit squirrel-y”.

If only all opera singers would be like that! No muttering at competitions about how so-and-so’s students always win. No moaning after auditions about the old youth v experience issue, but instead a smile and a shrug – and move in. I sometimes think singers forget the reason why we sing – we love it! Other stuff gets in the way I know (like earning a living for starters), but fundamentally we love the sensation of singing when the audience is with you and the performance is going well. Yes, we are all only one rail from a wipeout so to speak, but we can also see the golden hue of applause at the end.

So at Hatstand, we’re going to be more snowboard this year, and aim for a totally rad performance  when we land those arias and enjoy the wind in our (non-blond) hair.

And if occasionally it all gets a bit squirrel-y, who cares, we know we’re in good company!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/winter-olympics/26106600

Hatstand Opera performance scorecards

We’ve been delving into our database to discover some daunting numbers and surprising stats about what we’ve sung since the year 2000.

Can you guess what our most frequently sung item is?
Or the opera we sing from the most?
Or what voice types sing the most duets?

All is revealed in our new infographic!

Mystery European destination revealed


In case you were wondering where Hatstand Opera were this weekend, all is revealed in the photo, although sadly we were only sightseeing at this particular venue, not performing!

Lille is a lovely town, and we very much enjoyed the Beaux Arts Museum, the excellent food (if not all those pomme frites), and the old town architecture.

Us ladies also loved the shopping and admiring all the wonderful shoes, and then sadly deciding they were far too high and thin-heeled to perform in without the risk of fractured ankles!

Conquering Scunthorpe with opera!

A great success in Scunthorpe

We had a superb time last Saturday night entertaining with our “Bite at the Opera” show to a room packed with 170 guests, and the client was thrilled too.

“Thank you for a fabulous evening – 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