History

Marquis rocksUnexpected Opera was first established in 2007 with Lynn Binstock as Artistic Director. In 2008 the Company toured The Barber of Savile Row, a 1950’s adaptation of Rossini’s famous comedy. A second tour in 2009 was supported by Arts Council England, culminating in three free performances to large audiences at The Scoop by London City Hall. That year Unexpected Opera also created a promenade production – The Wedding, an operatic pastiche – and gave several performances of A Pastoral Messiah, a staging of Handel’s oratorio with professional soloists and an ensemble chorus. Orpheus Down Under (adapted from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld), in which the Gods inaugurate beach volleyball as an Olympic sport, toured in 2010, again with ACE funding and summer performances at The Scoop.

The Company re-launched in 2011 with a particular focus on outreach and on devising unusual projects. A Pastoral Messiah was reconceived to involve amateur choirs and was performed in 6 different communities in 2011/12. This success led to a commission to stage Karl Jenkins’ oratorio The Armed Man as a community collaboration, which took place in autumn 2014 and included young dancers and actors as well as a local chorus.

Our flagship production Opera Naked, which explores why some people want to become opera singers and what it takes to do it, was piloted in 2012. The fantastic audience and press response led us to plan a London run and a tour in 2013/14. In 2014 we also performed our first Chat Show: Carmen Chatter. This was followed by The Boys from Bohème and Traviata Tells All in 2015.

Use the drop down menu to find out more about all of our shows.