We began in 1971 when some enthusiastic parents used a local church in London W11 to put on a production of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde and we haven't looked back since. We continue our longstanding relationship with St James's, holding a picnic in the church garden to launch our season every year and (in normal times) we rehearse there through the autumn.
Before the pandemic our performances took place each year in the theatre at the Polish Social & Cultural Association on King Street. We take over the theatre for a week and give our young cast the full experience of performing in a professional production.
We hope to be back there soon!
In 2020 we went online for Jukebox and made a film! We showcased songs from some our previous 37 commissioned operas linked together with an original script. All the songs and dialogue were recorded by our cast in their homes. See how we did it below.
We are proud to offer bursaries to 25% of our cast every year. These are often supported by other parents who sponsor another young person alongside their own child's fee, as well as additional funding from regular supporters such as Kensington & Chelsea Green Shoots Fund to help Grenfell affected families.
To help sponsor a cast member this year, please select the 2021 Standard Subscription from our 'Support Us' page.
In 2003, W11 Opera embarked upon a special association with Avondale Extra, a local charity promoting extra-curricular activities and special opportunities for children attending Avondale Park Primary School, which serves a multi-ethnic community in the heart of North Kensington. Avondale Extra now annually sponsors pupils from the school to participate in W11 Opera productions, encouraging and supporting these young cast members in a unique opportunity. Many of the young people supported by Avondale Extra in their first year go on to continue with W11 Opera for a number of years, supported by our bursary programme.
Sue has been the W11 Opera Artistic Director since 2020. She directed The Price, Cutlass Crew, Shadowtracks and Jukebox and has also also written the script for our 2021 show, It's Your Move. She specialises in working with young people and alongside her directing career also works as an opera singer.
Alastair joined W11 Opera in 2019 and was the Musical Director for Shadowtracks, Ever Young and Jukebox. He is experienced with working with young people and, as well as W11 Opera, is also the Music Director of Cambridge Youth Opera and is also a sought after pianist, repetiteur and teacher.
Susan is a expert music leader and has over twenty years of experience as a singing teacher, specialising in working with young people. Alongside this, Susan has a busy career as a soprano as well as an active consort and session singer. This is her first production with W11 Opera.
Chris studied Music and Drama at Aberystwyth University, followed by a PGCE from Goldsmiths. In 1990 he decided to pursue his passion for drawing, working in 2D animation. Chris joined the W11 Opera team in 2020 to illustrate our film, Jukebox, and returns for our 50th Anniversary film production, It’s Your Move.
Amy is a UK based film maker, producer, distributer, and director. She has worked for W11 Opera, in several different capacities, since 2016 on The Price, Shadowtracks, Ever Young and Jukebox. A Brit-School trained performer herself, she greatly enjoys showcasing and supporting the performances of our young cast on film.
Neil & Anett have been working together at W11 Opera since Deep Waters in 2014. They create amazing sets (Neil) and costumes (Anett) that have transported us to the bottom of the ocean, the inside of a top-secret laboratory, or the concourse of Waterloo station!