Opera Foundry is a Surrey based Opera Company that develops the talents of individual opera performers through focussed coaching and performance opportunities. Currently we provide individual opera singers with an opportunity to enrich and inform their performance with key musical and vocal skills, techniques and philosophy. In time, we hope to extend this to include repetiteurs/pianists and other industry creatives, so that they also have the opportunity to develop their skills within the realm of opera. We provide them with performance opportunities to present their work, which (at the highest level) is the ultimate test of all such study.
For our audiences, we showcase our singers through themed concerts. The performances are high quality and simply presented, always returning to the music, which (in the works of the Great Opera Composers) is the source of everything.
Our performances can be enjoyed by both seasoned opera lovers and new audiences alike. The two extremes of audience are the complete ‘Newbies’ and those who are very familiar with the repertoire – ie: ‘The Cognescenti’. Purely for the sake of Opera itself, both these groups deserves the very best performance standards – total musical preparation of performers and what Berlioz calls ‘truthfulness of expression’. Without this, the Cognescenti will walk out (because they probably know) but even more alarmingly, the Newbies will never want to come to an opera performance again – anywhere! We take communicating with our audiences very seriously, because of this.
So, in addition to experiencing a beautiful musical evening, by attending our performances audience members are investing in the next generation of opera training and talent.
How We Do It:
- Working with proven industry professionals such as vocal coaches, acting coaches, language specialists
- Exhaustive, vocally informed, musical preparation and rehearsal. Strong in-house music team.
- Encouraging and developing mature singers of outstanding ability (including professionals who have taken a career break), rather than creating a ‘hothouse’ of under 30s which can limit the choice of repertoire, as well as creating artificial vocal and musical reference points, which are far removed from those in a major opera company.
- We dispense with elaborate costumes and wigs, so that you will not be distracted by superficial embellishments. We want you to hear what the composer intended, with ‘truthfullness of expression’. This is about allowing great music to speak, and to remind each of us why it is great.
We distance ourselves, both from the stuffy negative images traditionally associated with opera, and from the current trend of de-emphasizing the importance of the music. By relegating the music to a component position in the theatre and marketing machine, we lose the thing that gave a 19thC opera it’s reputation in the first place. This, of course, then justifies a vast amount of ‘smoke and mirrors’ to liven up an otherwise dull evening! Our philosophy is different: Whilst we welcome any audience with open arms, we do not try to hijack film or TV audiences with a dumbded down product. We owe it to the great composers, singers, librettists conductors, impressarios and patrons of the past to keep the cornerstones of the operahouse repertoire vital, healthy and relevant – neither allowing them to gather dust nor smothering them with gloss. So: no crinolines or pearls – but also no ‘Regietheater’!