Worcestershire now has a new opera company. Great Witley Operatic Society has changed its name to ‘Opera Worcester’ and is looking to bring live opera back to Worcester and the surrounding area.
The former Great Witley Operatic Society – now ‘Opera Worcester’- decided to introduce more opera into its repertoire in 2016 by tackling Carmen. The production attracted new singers from around the region and excellent reviews, so this year, the company decided to stage another opera favourite, ‘The Magic Flute’ giving a young budding professional the chance to sing the role of Tamino for the first time.
Director Andrew Rawle works with budding young professional Andrew Irwin during rehearsals for ‘The Magic Flute’ earlier this year
As well as providing opportunities for young singers, MD Sue Black, herself a respected professional soprano, was keen to challenge the former Great Witley’s chorus and regular principals:
“We have always known that our chorus and singers could make a great sound and I’ve been delighted with the enthusiasm, hard work and commitment that everyone has shown in attempting this wonderful music which calls for quite a different approach to singing.”
The company will launch its new name at a recital on Saturday 28 October in the Guildhall, Worcester at 1.00pm. There is no entry fee but there will be a collection in aid of the Mayor’s charities.
The launch will feature opera favourites and Opera Worcester are delighted to field not only its own singers but two special guest professional singers who have agreed to become patrons of the company.
Jane Dodd (now Jane Faulkner) will be remembered locally as principal soprano with the previous Great Witley Operatic Society before becoming a professional singer with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.
Worcester-born Rachael Tovey is a professional opera singer who has performed at major opera houses all over the world and with many British opera companies including Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera and Scottish Opera. Now based in Germany, Rachael has recently completed Wagner’s Ring Cycle singing Brünnhilde for the Staatstheater in Nürnberg
Chairman, Caroline Causier comments: “After the success we have experienced in performing Grand Opera, changing our name seemed like a natural next step. It is a bold one but we are delighted to have the support of our two patrons who have kindly agreed to help us to celebrate the launch of the next phase in the company’s history by performing with us on the 28th October. We are extremely grateful to them.”
Opera Worcester’s next production is ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at the Swan Theatre, 15 -17 March 2018. Sung in English with orchestra, further details are available on www.operaworcester.uk or tickets can be purchased on 07396 081426 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org