Our interest in producing opera at Bury Court was initiated by chance in 2006 when visiting the annual music festival in the Tuscan hill town of Anghiari. A talented cast of British Youth Opera students performed La Bohéme in the town square accompanied by the equally youthful and gifted musicians of Southbank Sinfonia, under the direction of Simon Over. We were so impressed with the qualities these young people brought to the performance that we decided to re-create the production in our beautifully converted barn at Bury Court in 2007. The opera was a great success with the barn’s excellent acoustics and ideal scale adding greatly to the intensity and emotional impact of the performance. Inspired by this, we decided to cast and produce our own annual opera at Bury Court.
Our emphasis is very much on using young singers and a young production team and we take great trouble selecting for the freshness, vitality and motivation they will bring. This not only gives our young singers an opportunity to perform roles they might otherwise not have a chance to tackle for many years but also provides them with a stepping-stone in their professional careers and assists them in building their CVs. We also maintain a close relationship with Southbank Sinfonia as our accompanying orchestra.
There is very much a 'family' feel to the company and everyone spends the last week of rehearsals on site at Bury Court accommodated by generous friends in Bentley. This opportunity to spend time together reflects very positively on the performance and is much appreciated all round.
We hope to offer our audience new insights into how opera can be experienced in a more intimate emotive way and that fresh light will be shed onto details that may be lost on a bigger stage.