2018/19 Season Announcement

We've just announced OperaUpClose's 2018/19 season, it's really very exciting indeed (if we do say so ourselves).



This September, we bring two ferocious Tudor Queens to the stage in our new English version of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I go head-to-head in this historical tragedy, culminating in a fictitious meeting between the rival queens which sizzles with vocal fireworks.

Performing in concert-style, Donizetti's riveting opera will tour to Tudor and Elizabethan National Trust properties, for a unique blend of heritage and music, and out-of-hours access to these historical houses. Look out for performances at: Sutton House (Hackney), Osterley Park and House (Isleworth) and Canon's Ashby (Northamptonshire), to name a few... 

Tickets will be on sale at the end of May to OperaUpClose's Supporters, before the general public. Join our lovely Supporters now to get access to Priority Booking. 



One of the best-loved operas of all time, Madam Butterfly’s glorious music and tragic heroine have enchanted audiences for more than a century. This summer, we'll be running a week of Research and Development, with the intention to re-imagine Puccini's masterpiece from a female, East-Asian led creative team, performed by a diverse-led cast of talented singers and musicians. 
The production will open at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry on 24 January 2019 followed by an extensive UK tour, including a four-week run at East London's Arcola Theatre from Wed 6 Feb - Sat 2 Mar.

Become a Supporter of OperaUpClose to receive Priority Booking, exclusive post-show drinks & Q&As, invitations to behind-the-scenes rehearsals, and more*. Public booking opens soon, so keep an eye on your inbox. 

*Yes, more! You could steal our Artistic Director away for lunch or meet the cast for drinks after a show... the possibilities are endless, find out more here www.operaupclose.com/friends


We're thrilled to be writing a new opera for 3-5 year olds based on Jill Murphy's much-loved picture book, Peace At Last. This autumn, you'll find our team in the classrooms of Gallion's Primary School in Newham, where we'll be working with the children to develop the opera together through fun music-filled workshops. 

The opera will premiere at Gallion's Primary School in 2019 followed by a UK tour to schools and theatres.

What a season! Not only are we doing all of the above but we're also continuing to tour our 2017 productions of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Mozart's The Magic Flute; and we've got a new fully-staged production for solo soprano in the pipeline, which we'll be touring extensively to some of the smaller theatres for which our more recent shows are too big (Psst! Doesn't it sound perfect for private parties and corporate events? Email indyana@operaupclose.com if you'd like to know more!). 

PerformerUpClose: Tom Colwell

PerformerUpClose interwiew, 15 May 2016

Tom Colwell Baritone
OperaUpClose performer credits: Marcello in La Bohème, Dancairo in Carmen.

How did you end up in opera? 
My first singing teacher was a huge influence on my musical career, plus all my friends at the time were auditioning for music college so I thought that I'd just have a go.

What would you be doing if you weren't a singer?
I had quite a long break from singing after I completed college and even worked as a carpenter on the Isle of Skye. If I weren't singing now, I would definitely continue along those lines, but I would love to get into something more refined like furniture making, or even instrument making.

What would be your dream role to play?
It would be Dr. Oppenheimer in John Adam's Dr Atomic. His aria 'Batter my heart, three person'd God' is stunning.

If you were in charge of a festival, what would you programme, which singers would you programme and why?
In terms of what kind of music, I'd definitely programme some 20th Century repertoire. I am a huge fan of Britten and John Adams. Who? I would programme Gerald Finley. I think he is both a great singer and actor.

Tom starring as dancairo in  carmen

Tom starring as dancairo in carmen

Growing up, who was your idol?
I would say that my first musical idol was Jon Bonjovi. I remember clearly 'Slippery When Wet' blasting in the common room at school.

If you were able to time-travel to any period in musical history, where would you want to be?
Hands down, I'd travel to see Jazz in America in the fifties and sixties. It would have been great to see Coltrane and Miles Davis in New York.

What was the last thing you listened to?
'Plainscapes' by Vasks. A really beautiful and haunting piece I highly recommend.


Which opera would you recommend to someone who has never seen an opera?
It would probably have to be something by Puccini, Madame Butterfly or, of course OperaUpClose's La Bohème...

As a performer, you've worked with lots of other singers and directors. What's the most bizarre direction/tip you've ever been given?
I was once told to move around the room as if I were a puppet who's strings were being pulled around and shaken by a toddler. There were a few of us and a lot of flailing limbs!

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself?
I am actually a qualified Rope Access Technician. This pretty much means I can abseil off anything that needs fixing or cleaning.