We are a friendly group of professional, semi-professional and amateur singers who come from all over London and the South East. New Members of all standards and voices are welcome. We are also very keen to hear from anyone interested in set design, lighting, costumes, publicity or any other aspect of opera production.
We rehearse on Thursday evenings (7.00pm) and Sunday afternoons 2:00pm at the Harrow Arts Centre in Hatch End.
Harrow Opera prides itself in encouraging singers of all abilities to contribute and share in the performance of music which they love. We also welcome and accommodate those with physical disability.
Chairperson: Marianne Wentzel; Secretary: Helen-Julie Johnson; Treasurer: Adrienne Walters
The story began in January 1971 when Oliver Broome started Harrow Opera Workshop as a class of the then Harrow College of Further Education, working in a small classroom with eight students. In March 1973 the group ventured into its first production. We performed Act 1 of Delibes Lakme and Act 2 of Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore with piano accompaniment at the Harrow College of Technology and Art (now the University of Westminster).
The following year we staged Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and Lortzing’s The Opera Rehearsal. Since then full productions, usually with orchestra have been given nearly every year.
We have frequently explored the lesser known repertoire. Following our production of Offenbach’s Daphnis & Chloe in 1976, BBC Radio invited the company to record the work, and broadcasted it twice. In fact Offenbach has proved a popular composer. Robinson Crusoe in 1995 was the sixth of his works staged by us. This production was directed by Bill Bankes-Jones of English National Opera who created a magical entertainment with just 25 performers and 25 chairs.
However, we have not neglected the mainstream repertoire and included in the list are popular works such as Mozart’s The Magic Flute & The Marriage of Figaro; Verdi's Falstaff & La Traviata and Strauss' Die Fledermaus.
Our most recent productions have included: A Masked Ball (Verdi), Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), Dido & Aeneas (Purcell), Rusalka Dvorak and Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach).