Camelot

Music by Frederick Loewe   Libretto and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Based on "The Once and Future King" by T H White   Original first-class production staged by Moss Hart
Surrey Opera brings a brand new production of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, their spectacular Tony award-winning take on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Chivalry, romance, pageantry and treachery combine with one of the most glorious and memorable scores in the history of musical theatre – "If ever I would leave you", "Camelot" and "How to handle a woman". Surrey Opera's formidable forces bring high-class principals, chorus, orchestra and a production full of spectacle, passion and drama to make this an event not to be missed!
An amateur production by arrangement with Warner/Chappell Music Limited, administered by Boosey & Hawkes.
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News items

  • See photographs from Camelot taken at the Stag, Sevenoaks by Peter Marr.
  • Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Surrey Opera Chorus should contact the Company’s Chorus Administrator, Mark Edwards. If possible please include details of your singing/musical/stage experience.
  • We have added a page for reviews of Tosca, one of which said: "Give this Tosca an opera Oscar", to add to the photographs from Redhill taken by the wonderful Peter Marr.
  • All the "Past Productions" pages include a wonderful gallery of photographs.
  • There is now a Iernin reviews page.
  • Surrey Opera acknowledges with sadness the passing of our Patron Sir Colin Davis, but we are very proud to announce that Sir John Tomlinson, CBE, has agreed to become our new Patron. Sir John was, of course, Patron of the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Festival last year, and we were honoured that he came to a performance of Thelma with his wife and friends.
  • Read Jonathan Butcher's speech at the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (last December 30th).
  • We have now added a little gallery of photos (taken by Peter Marr) from our production of Thelma
  • See some photographs from the Minack theatre and a review of our recent production of Die Fledermaus in "The Cornishman".

Thelma by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Surrey Opera staged the World Première of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's long-thought lost opera Thelma at The Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon, where the composer lived and worked for his entire life, as part of a year-long Festival in the Centenary year of his death.
Coleridge-Taylor, a prolific choral and Orchestral composer, is probably best remembered for his major choral trilogy The Song of Hiawatha, performed annually for many years at the Royal Albert Hall and rivalling only Handel's Messiah and Mendelssohn's Elijah in the public's affections.
Thelma, a poetical setting of a Norse legend, is a thrilling saga of deceit, magic, retribution and the triumph of love over evil. With a score rich in melody and musical invention, plus Coleridge-Taylor's brilliant trademark orchestrations, Thelma might indeed supercede Hiawatha in popularity! The opera was the result of three years intense composition, but did not reach the stage, most probably due to Coleridge-Taylor's untimely death at the age of 37.
Surrey Opera now set the record straight in a new performing edition by Stephen Anthony Brown, with libretto edited by the opera's Director Christopher Cowell and design by Bridget Kimak. Surrey Opera's Artistic Director Jonathan Butcher conducted professional soloists and orchestra with the Surrey Opera chorus.

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New web site

Welcome to the new Surrey Opera web site. It isn't complete yet but, if you are looking for older information, you may well find it on our previous web site, built by Alan Vickers, or even on the one before.
See if you like the navigation, look at the Bartered Bride photo gallery. And come and see our performance of Iernin in October.
Please send comments to mailto:webmaster@surreyopera.org

Albert Herring

Surrey Opera made its Barn Theatre debut in September2011, with an exciting new professional production of Benjamin Britten's comic opera, Albert Herring.
This acknowledged masterpiece was both witty and musically ingenious. The Barn Theatre (only 35 mins by rail from London) was an ideal setting for this opera, with its hilarious plot that told the story of rural life in a Suffolk village. No girl was pure enough to be May Queen, so it was agreed that there was only one option - to crown someone May King. Guess who - Albert of course, the shy young greengrocer! But all was not straightforward...
Nationally respected conductor and musician Jonathan Butcher returned to his home town to conduct the opera, with a talented production team. The cast of professional opera singers was accompanied by a professional chamber orchestra.

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Tosca reviews

Jenni Balow wrote: "This Tosca deserves an opera Oscar" in The Cornishman
Rob Barnett, in a review in the "Seen and heard" blog said: "All in all this was a success made the more so by the Atlantic backdrop and wheeling gulls".

Tosca

Puccini’s TOSCA was first performed at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14th January 1890 and is arguably one of the top ten most popular operas of all time. Its drama and sheer musical lyricism are compelling – so much so that it has inspired countless leading opera singers to give thrilling and unforgettable performances, Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi to name just two.

Tosca, premiered at a time of unrest in Rome, had its first performance delayed for a day for fear of disturbances. But, despite this and indifferent reviews from the critics, the opera was an immediate success with the public and has remained so ever since. Its numerous popular arias are often heard outside of the opera house.

The power of Puccini’s score and the inventiveness of his orchestration are astonishing and the dramatic force of Tosca and its characters continues to fascinate both performers and audiences alike.

Surrey Opera, who have recently received much praise for their production of Cornish composer George Lloyd’s opera Iernin, will bring a new production of Tosca (sung in English) to Minack – possibly a perfect setting for this dramatic and gripping work! Jonathan Butcher directs and conducts.

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Opera Soiree 2014

Surrey Opera’s annual Opera Soirée will take place on Sunday 14th December 2014 at 7.30pm at Whitgift School's Concert Hall, entrance in Nottingham Road, South Croydon, CR2 6YT

JONATHAN BUTCHER’S SPEECH AT PLAQUE UNVEILING

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor lived here – at 6 St. Leonards Road, formally known as Aldwick, for the last few years of his all too short life. He and his family had apparently moved here from their previous home, Hillcrest, on the London Road in Norbury, because it was too noisy for his composing. Incidentally – it was at Hillcrest, now demolished, that SC-T composed Thelma, his only large-scale opera of which we, Surrey Opera, gave the World Première at the start of this, the Centenary year of his death.
It is said that Aldwick was C-T’s favourite house as it was quiet and, more or less, in the country. It’s hard to believe this now, but back then there was a good number of fields about including I suspect one immediately behind the house, where the Parish Church Junior School now stands.
There were no extra houses squeezed in here and there, in fact you were in the country. SC-T would take walks into the lanes around here, reading poetry and visiting the villages of Beddington and the like. Yes – rural Croydon.

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