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The OMTF is a network of companies working to create an environment in which opera and music theatre can flourish.  We represent the interests of professional organisations producing and promoting opera and music theatre throughout the UK.  Read more...

 Recent OMTF Events
THE VALUE OF INCLUSION
How to create a more successful organisation by embracing diversity
October 18, 2017
Travers Smith, London EC1A, UK

As arts practitioners, we can always learn from other sectors.  Join us and other opera and music theatre colleagues to hear from representatives of a range of sectors and people who are successfully achieving change. Plus sessions on Unconscious Bias, Marketing, Wellbeing, Fundraising and Managing Diversity policies.

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 Past OMTF Events
DEVOTED AND DISGRUNTLED 2016
How Can We Change Opera For The Better?
April 9 and 10, 2016
Lilian Baylis House, London, UK

A weekend of passionate discussion and informal conversation to help shape the future of opera. Open to all members of the operatic community: practitioners and audiences, administrators and technicians, friends and critics, newcomers and old hands.

Open Space discussion facilitated by Improbable in partnership with the English National Opera and Tête à Tête, and in association with the Royal Opera House, the National Opera Coordinating Committee, Opera Europa and OMTF.

35+ reports from the event are available here


EFFECTIVE FUNDRAISING
Friday 31st July 2015
Regent Theatre, Regent High School, London

An OMTF symposium exploring the key issues in fundraising; the many different ways of raising money in an era of diminishing public funding; how to find and hold on to your funders and donors; planning fundraising strategies; building effective cases for public funding; and what it takes to be successful.

Panels and surgeries with experts from Glyndebourne, The Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera and more will provide opportunities to learn from some of the most successful fundraisers in the sector.

Suitable for companies of all shapes and sizes.


DEVOTED & DISGRUNTLED
What are we going to do about Opera?
June 6 and 7, 2015
Royal Opera House, London, UK

A weekend of passionate discussion and informal conversation open to all members of the operatic community: artists and audiences, administrators and technicians, friends and critics, newcomers and old hands.

Open Space discussion facilitated by Improbable in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Tête à Tête, National Opera Coordinating Committee and Opera Europa.

Reports from the Devoted and Disgruntled event are available here.

MARKETING YOUR COMPANY

Friday 1st August 2014, 2-5pm
King's Place, London

How does your company reach the right people? What makes your company and shows unique and appealing to audiences, funders, promoters and everyone who matters to you? An OMTF Symposium exploring how an organisation’s distinctive profile can improve both its place in the market and its ticket sales.

Speakers from English Touring Opera; Kings Place; Mahogany Opera Group; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


The 2013 Conference, Future Tense, hosted by the Royal Opera House, London, focused on what the world might be like in 2030.

Artists, business leaders, policy-makers and thinkers sought to understand a rapidly changing arts sector in a rapidly changing world.  Speakers included Royal Opera House Artistic Director Kasper Holten, playwright/librettist Mark Ravenhill, Bill Winters, CEO and Chairman, Renshaw Bay, Phillida Cheetham, Policy Department, Which? and Marcus Romer, Artistic Director, Pilot Theatre.  More details on the event page...
The 2013 Open Event was Innovation, Innovation, Innovation: Embracing the Digital Revolution hosted by the Tête à Tête Festival at the Riverside Studios, London in August 2013.

A wide range of digital applications were discussed with speakers including The Space, The Young Vic, the Royal Opera House and NESTA.
Watch the presentations and see more details on the event page...

 FEATURES
  TRAVELLING HOPEFULLY

Iford Arts' 25th anniversary season takes us on a series of journeys with Bernstein's Candide, Handel's Partenope and Puccini's Madame Butterfly


Hope is at the heart of each of the three operas which make up Iford Arts’ 2018 season in the cloister at Iford.  Each operatic journey not only involves a geographical move to exotic locations but reveals inner voyages of self discovery.  The innocent hero of Bernstein’s Candide certainly undergoes both in abundance.  An idealistic optimist, he is taken on a whirligig world quest, encountering an absurd series of unfortunate events, learning the lessons of life.  A Pythonesque sensibility pervades the tale, satirising the foibles and hypocrisies of man and probing the big questions which haunt us all.  Given that the overture is one of the most popular in the concert repertory it is a surprise to learn that the opera was not an instant hit.  It has been revised several times and this production, which continues Iford Arts collaboration with Opera della Luna, employs the very successful 1999 National Theatre version.

In Handel’s comedy Partenope, a jilted and determined woman pursues her former lover across the sea from Corinth to Naples to wreak vengeance on him for his rejection of her.  Dressing as a man, she fetches up at the court of a queen Partenope who has three suitors vying for her hand.  A tangle of romantic complications ensues which unwinds itself into a delightfully daft denouement as all the well-observed characters arrive at greater self knowledge and true love finally triumphs.

After two light-hearted operas, the third is a tragedy which takes us to Japan where the heroine of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, the very young Cio-Cio-San, is ironically static, waiting by the sea for her husband, an American naval officer who has returned to his homeland, to come back to her.  The opera was a failure at its premiere in Milan and like Candide, underwent significant revision.  Within a year the new version proved to be a success and it has become one of the most popular operas in the repertoire and one of Puccini’s most-performed works.

The 2018 Iford Arts opera season opens with Bernstein’s Candide on May 25, continues with Handel’s Partenope which opens on June 23 and concludes with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly which begins on July 21.  The season also includes a range of jazz, swing and party music concerts.  All opera performances take place in the Cloister at Iford.

Iford Arts profile

  THREE SWAN SONGS AND A PREMIERE

Garsington Opera's 2018 Season features a trio of last operas - Verdi's Falstaff, Richard Strauss's Capriccio, and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte plus the world premiere of The Skating Rink by David Sawer and Rory Mullarkey


There are always questions about a composer’s last work: does it sum up their life’s work? Does it reveal their convictions about the meaning of life? Mozart died at the tragically early age of 35 whilst trying to finish the Requiem which he knew would be his last work, but he may have been less pessimistic when he conducted the very successful premiere of Die Zauberflöte, some two months earlier.  Through the fairy tale world of enchanted quests and ordeals the opera celebrates the triumph of love and reason over chaos and evil – an expression of his profound beliefs.

Richard Strausss died in his late seventies and Capriccio, which he firmly declared to be his last opera, is a conversation piece about the nature of opera and an issue that concerned him for all of his composing life.  Through the dilemma of the heroine who has to make her choice of a lover between a composer and a playwright he asks which has primacy, the words or the music?

Verdi was also in his late seventies when he started work on Falstaff and was concerned that his age might prevent him from completing it.  It’s a mellow comedy which involves repentance for the protagonist and an acceptance by everyone of the absurdity of the human condition – which seems like a reasonable final message.  The opera is based on the Shakespeare play in which Falstaff, now an old man, and still pursuing an unhealthy lifestyle and easy routes to cash, attempts to woo various wives of Windsor and has to graciously accept defeat.  Verdi outlived his creation by a further seven years but never composed another opera.

The season closes with Garsington Opera’s first festival world premiere, an opera by composer David Sawer with a libretto by playwright Rory Mullarkey.  Based on the award-winning novel The Skating Rink by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño, it draws on Spanish and Latin American musical influences.  Nuria, a beautiful young skating champion, has a powerful admirer, Enric, whose obsession drives him to pilfer funds to build her an ice rink in a deserted Spanish mansion.  A murder on the ice becomes the centre of a tale of jealousy, political corruption and the lengths people will go to for those they love.

Garsington Opera’s 2018 season opens on May 31 with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and continues with Richard Strauss’s Capriccio on June 1, and Verdi’s Falstaff on June 16The Skating Rink by composer David Sawer and librettist Rory Mullarkey (world premiere on July 5) completes the season.

Garsington Opera profile

  CONFLICT ZONES

Stories from the frontlines of human misery: a provocative new double bill of mini operas from Ashley John Long and Jane Fox at Asking4It Productions


Asking4It Productions are a young company whose aim is to explore poignant and sensitive issues often hidden from public view.  They don’t choose easy subjects: their recent projects have explored harrowing topics such as the meaning of cancer and its treatments and forced child marriage.  Their new new double bill explores the sex trade, slavery and human trafficking and is part of the Wales Millennium Centre’s Performances for the Curious season of compelling and critically-lauded new work.

Peacekeeping, a chamber opera for four voices, harp, oboe, cello and percussion is a multi-layered story about the trade in human beings.  The Filmmaker and The Organ Trader featuring an electronic score evoking an industrial, transport and internal body soundscape is an unusual love story between clowns which delves into their dark, lucrative world of body harvesting and organ trading.  Bought, sold, filmed, exhausted, transplanted and sold again.  Is equality ever possible while men pay women for sex? People are selling organs to survive.  Children are being kidnapped.  Refugees and displaced people are at risk from traffickers and brokers.  Both works pose the question: Who does your body belong to?

The premiere of the double bill Peacekeping with The Filmmaker and the Organ Trader by Ashley John Long and Jane Fox takes place on May 19 in the cabaret venue ffresh at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Asking4It Productions profile

  MOTHERS AND SONS

Mahogany Opera Group premiers a new work by Laurence Osborne about family relationships


An anarchic, surrealist world drawn from Eastern European theatre is the setting for a new opera influenced by Weill, Birtwistle, and Romitelli, alongside mainstream pop.

The Mother is an adaptation of the absurdist play Matka by Polish writer Witkacy (adapatation and text by Theo Merz). It draws on Osborne’s own intense and claustrophobic experience of living with his single mother – a period he outgrew but which the protagonist of the opera does not. It also reflects the universality of the experience of close family relationships which can be both life-affirming and difficult. Leon dreams of changing the world with his radical philosophy but the explosive, suffocating, mutually destructive relationship he has with his mother leaves little time for anything or anyone else.

The Mother was first seen as part of a Mahogany Opera Group showcase of work-in-progress in 2015 and since then has been developed through the Various Stages programme resulting in a satirical and explosive response to the traditions of opera.

The Mahogany Opera Group production of The Mother by Laurence Osborne and Theo Merz will be premiered on April 25 at POSK, LONDON.

Mahogany Opera Group profile

Other current and recent stories:
Apr 2018
to 24 Apr
Broad Stripes and Bright Stars
The National Opera Studio presents an evening of American opera 
Apr 2018
to 15 Apr
What is the Truth About Love?
Streetwise Opera's latest work celebrates life and love on Tyneside 
Feb 2018
to 07 Jun
Fireworks and Fun
Rossini provides vocal display, Mozart a comedy and Puccini a punchy double bill: it all makes for a sparkling spring tour from English Touring Opera 
Feb 2018
to 10 Apr
Full On Russian
Mid Wales Opera follows up their amuse-bouche with main course Onegin 
Mar 2018
to 28 Mar
Tangled Webs
The City Lit Opera School's spring showcase 
Feb 2018
to 08 Mar
Something Old, Something New...
New company The Opera Story reinvents two classic tales in Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs 
Feb 2018
to 06 Mar
From Russia With Love
The National Opera Studio’s first residency of 2018 takes Russian classics to Scotland 
Dec 2017
to 14 Dec
Ethereal intervention
The City Lit Opera School's first showcase of the new academic year 
Dec 2017
to 22 Feb
The National Opera Studio Goes Forth
 
Nov 2017
to 03 Dec
Small is Beautiful
Mid Wales Opera's new production of Walton's The Bear targets the smallest venues 
Nov 2017
to 23 Dec
Breaking with Tradition
OperaUpClose's latest reimagining sets Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in the 1960s 
Nov 2017
to 11 Nov
Uncertain Journeys
New Glyndebourne Youth Opera commission by Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge explores the theme of child migration 
Oct 2017
to 14 Nov
Roman History, Greek Mythology -- The Baroque Treatment
English Touring Opera's Autumn season features Handel's Giulio Cesare and Rameau's Dardanus 
Oct 2017
to 18 Oct
OMTF Conference : The Value of Inclusion
How to create a more successful organisation by embracing diversity, with advice and insights from leading law firm Travers Smith 
Oct 2017
to 09 Oct
Rough For Opera #16
Second Movement's second scratch night of the year includes new opera from composers Michael Betteridge, Georgina Bowden and Michael-Jon Mizra 
Sep 2017
to 08 Sep
Disappearances
British Youth Opera's season features Judith Weir's Vanishing Bridegroom and Mozart's Don Giovanni 
Sep 2017
to 06 Oct
The Magic of the Theatre
OperaUpClose reinvents Mozart's Magic Flute 
Aug 2017
to 10 Aug
The Music Troupe presents a spicy new chamber opera
 
Jul 2017
to 30 Jul
The Spirit of Paris
The city is as much the star of Operacoast's summer project Gustav Charpentier’s Louise as the central romance 
Jul 2017
to 13 Aug
Stories Current and Classic, Themes for Adults and Children, but Always New Music-- It's #TATFEST17
Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival unleashes its tenth celebration of new opera including complete short operas and works-in-progress 
Jul 2017
to 20 Aug
End Call
OperaUpClose mounts a new production of Poulenc's La Voix Humaine 
Jul 2017
to 12 Sep
Lessons from the Green-Eyed Monster
Bampton Classical Opera scores another first with the Salieri opera The School of Jealousy 
Jul 2017
to 31 Aug
Hankie-Panky
Opera della Luna will lift our spirits this summer with an operetta by Johann Strauss 
Jun 2017
to 02 Jul
Power Games
The use and abuse of power drives operas by Puccini, Janacek and Wagner in Grange Park Opera's first season in its new home at West Horsley Place 
Jun 2017
to 14 Jun
Dramatic Missions
The Longborough Festival Opera season features a seminal work by Gluck and operas by Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner – all influenced by his musical reforms 
Jun 2017
to 04 Jul
All About Love
Garsington Opera's summer season includes Handel, Mozart, Debussy and Rossini together with a new commission from Roxanna Panufnik 
May 2017
to 17 Jul
Y Tŵr
Music Theatre Wales' first Welsh language opera explores the challenges of love, change and ageing 
May 2017
to 13 Jun
Intimate Experiences
Iford Arts hosts big emotions in their small but perfectly formed space – Love in La boheme and the Barber of Seville; grief and hope in Handel's Jephtha 
May 2017
to 07 May
#LoveOpera Weekend, May 5--7
Following OMTF's successful campaign last May we will once again be celebrating live opera and music theatre in the UK 
May 2017
to 06 May
Dubai-Rostov-New York - Adventures in Faraway Places
The National Opera Studio showcases new works by three celebrated female composers, Joanna Marsh, Elena Langer and Errollyn Wallen 
Mar 2017
to 02 Mar
A Chorus of Celebration
Composers in residence around the country help celebrate Streetwise Opera anniversary 
Mar 2017
to 06 Mar
National Opera Studio @ Scottish Opera
This year's students in their first residency of the year 
Mar 2017
to 07 Mar
Rough For Opera #15
Three test performances from composers Catherine Kontz, Benjamin Tassie and Jonathan Higgins 
Mar 2017
to 10 Jun
Resisting Power and Pretension
English Touring Opera's new tour features Puccini's Tosca, and Gilbert and Sullivan's satirical Patience 
Feb 2017
to 04 Mar
Back On the Road
Mid Wales Opera hits the road with Handel's Semele, Mozart's Magic Flute and an ambitious programme for the future 
Feb 2017
to 24 Feb
Various Stages
Mahogany Opera Group's annual showcase of new work-in-progress is expanding for 2017 

 EVENTS
: member of OMTF
: link to news feature
English National Opera
Recital
London, Gate Theatre: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31 May, 1, 2 Jun

English Touring Opera
Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro

Exeter, Northcott Theatre: 22, 23, 26 May
Leicester, Curve Theatre: 29 May
York, Theatre Royal: 1 Jun
Stoke-on-Trent, The Regent Theatre: 4 Jun
Ulverston, Coronation Hall: 6 Jun
Blackpool, Grand Theatre: 9 Jun

Hampstead Garden Opera
Verdi: La traviata
London, Jacksons Lane Theatre: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26m, 26, 27m May

Glyndebourne
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Glyndebourne, Opera House: 23m, 26m, 31m May, 3m, 6m, 9m, 14m, 17m, 21m, 24m, 28m Jun, 1m, 5m, 8m, 12m, 18m Jul

Opera North
Porter: Kiss me, Kate
Leeds, Grand Theatre: 23, 24, 25, 26m, 26 May
Ravenna, Teatro Dante Alighieri: 7, 8, 9m, 9 Jun
London, Coliseum: 20, 21m, 21, 22, 23m, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30m, 30 Jun

Scottish Opera
Tchaikovsky,P: Eugene Onegin
Edinburgh, Festival Theatre: 23, 26, 29, 31 May

English Touring Opera
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi

Exeter, Northcott Theatre: 24, 25 May
Leicester, Curve Theatre: 30 May
York, Theatre Royal: 2 Jun
Puccini: Il tabarro
Exeter, Northcott Theatre: 24, 25 May
Leicester, Curve Theatre: 30 May
York, Theatre Royal: 2 Jun

Glyndebourne
Strauss,R: Der Rosenkavalier
Glyndebourne, Opera House: 24m, 27m, 30m May, 2m, 8m, 12m, 16m, 19m, 22m, 26m Jun

Royal Opera
Benjamin,G: Lessons in Love and Violence
London, ROH: 24, 26 May

Iford Arts
Bernstein: Candide

Bradford on Avon, Iford Manor: 26, 29, 30 May, 1, 2, 5 Jun

Heritage Opera
Donizetti: L'Elixir of Love
Ayr, Gaiety Theatre: 29 May

Opera Holland Park
Verdi: La traviata
London, Holland Park Theatre: 29 May, 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 17m, 21, 23 Jun

Garsington Opera
Mozart: Die Zauberflöte

Stokenchurch, Wormsley: 31 May, 2, 8, 14, 17, 22, 24, 30 Jun, 11, 17, 19, 21 Jul

Opera Holland Park
Mozart: Così fan tutte
London, Holland Park Theatre: 31 May, 2, 6, 8, 14, 16, 19, 22 Jun

Garsington Opera
Strauss,R: Capriccio

Stokenchurch, Wormsley: 1, 3, 7, 9, 15, 20, 23, 28 Jun

Classical Opera
Mozart: La finta semplice
Birmingham, Town Hall: 2 Jun
London, SBC, Queen Elizabeth Hall: 6, 8 Jun

English Touring Opera
Russell Hepplewhite: Shackleton's Cat
York, Explorer and Acomb Library: 2m Jun
Rossini: Opera anthology

Stoke-on-Trent, Victoria Hall: 5 Jun
Ulverston, Coronation Hall: 7 Jun

Longborough Festival Opera
Wagner,Richard: Der fliegende Holländer
Longborough, Opera House: 6, 9, 11, 13 Jun

Grange Park Opera
Rodgers: Oklahoma!
West Horsley, The Theatre in the Woods: 7, 8, 15, 16, 20, 28, 29 Jun, 7 Jul

Royal Opera
Wagner,Richard: Lohengrin
London, ROH: 7, 10m, 13, 17m, 23, 28 Jun, 1m Jul

Academy of Ancient Music
Handel: Agrippina
Northington, The Grange: 8, 16, 23, 28 Jun, 4, 6 Jul

ENO Studio Live
Handel: Acis and Galatea
London, Lilian Baylis House: 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 Jun

Grange Park Opera
Verdi: Un ballo in maschera
West Horsley, The Theatre in the Woods: 9, 14, 17, 22, 24, 27, 30 Jun, 5 Jul

The Grange Festival
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
Northington, The Grange: 9, 15, 17, 22, 27, 30 Jun, 5 Jul

Glyndebourne
Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
Glyndebourne, Opera House: 10m, 15m, 20m, 23m, 29m Jun, 6m, 10m, 13m, 15m, 20m, 24m, 28m Jul

English Touring Opera
Letanka: This is My Bed
London, Polka Theatre: 13, 13m, 14, 14m, 15, 15m, 16, 16m, 17, 17m, 20, 20m, 21, 21m, 22, 22m, 23, 23m, 24, 24m Jun
Pete Letanka: This is my Bed
London, Polka Theatre: 13m, 14m, 15m, 16m, 17m, 20m, 21m, 22m, 23m, 24m Jun

Garsington Opera
Verdi: Falstaff

Stokenchurch, Wormsley: 16, 18, 21, 29 Jun, 4, 7, 13, 15, 20, 22 Jul

Royal Opera
Puccini: La bohème
London, ROH: 16, 20, 22, 25, 26, 27, 30 Jun, 4, 11, 14m, 14, 20m, 20 Jul

Mahogany Opera Group
Snappy Operas
Medbourne, Nevill Holt: 18 Jun

Grange Park Opera
Gounod: Roméo et Juliette
West Horsley, The Theatre in the Woods: 23, 26 Jun, 1, 4, 6 Jul

Iford Arts
Handel: Partenope

Bradford on Avon, Iford Manor: 23, 26, 28, 30 Jun, 3, 4 Jul

Longborough Festival Opera
Verdi: La traviata
Longborough, Opera House: 23, 26, 28, 30 Jun, 1, 3 Jul

OperaUpClose
Opera Cocktail
Oxford, TBC: 27 Jun

Garsington Opera
Sawer: The Skating Rink

Stokenchurch, Wormsley: 5, 8, 10, 14, 16 Jul

Opera della Luna
Donizetti: The Daughter of the Regiment
Buxton, Opera House: 9, 15m Jul

Longborough Festival Opera
Strauss,R: Ariadne auf Naxos
Longborough, Opera House: 13, 15, 17, 19, 21 Jul

OperaUpClose
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Harrogate Theatre: 17 Jul

Bampton Classical Opera
Isouard: Cinderella
Bampton, Deanery Garden: 20, 21 Jul
Westonbirt, The Orangery: 27 Aug
London, St John's Smith Square: 18 Sep

Iford Arts
Puccini: Madame Butterfly

Bradford on Avon, Iford Manor: 21, 24, 26, 28, 31 Jul, 2, 4 Aug

Longborough Festival Opera
Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Longborough, Opera House: 28, 30, 31 Jul, 2 Aug

Garsington Opera
John Barber / Hazel Gould: Eliza and the Swans
Stokenchurch, Wormsley: 3 Aug