Past events

Please see below for information on our past productions:                              

For more information about our principal singers, please click on their name.

On the 13 and 14 July 2024, Arcadian Opera performed Bizet’s inimitable opera, CARMEN. a sizzling portrayal of a strong and beautiful woman, who craves attention and provokes jealousy and compulsion, thereby wreaking havoc and destroying lives. First performed in the late nineteenth century in the Opéra Comique in Paris, its scandalous storyline shocked its first audiences but since then Carmen has gone on to become one of the most popular and most performed operas of all time. Fast moving, colourful and dynamic it is an excellent ‘first opera’ for a novice opera goer as well as a favourite with established audiences.

Once again Arcadian Opera performed in English, this time in a translation by Howard Williams. Spoken dialogue will be used between the musical numbers as per Bizet’s original production. Young professional singers will take the leading parts, supported by the Arcadian Opera Chorus, a Children’s Chorus from the Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton, dancers from MKDance Theatre, and the Arcadian Orchestra. Performances were at 4pm with an hour and a half’s interval in which patrons enjoyed their picnics within the beautiful surrounds of Stowe.


Carmen – Wiktoria Wizner

Don José – Daniel Bell

Michaëla – Claire Filer

Escamillo – Samuel Lom

Zuniga – Alex Pratley

Mercédes – Noémie Johns

Frasquita – Polly Clarke

Dancairo – David Broom

Remendado – Thomas Wood

Morales – Yang Wern Ooi

In a break from their past productions,  in July 2023 Arcadian Opera emulated the popular garden opera format with an earlier start time of 4pm – leaving plenty of time in the interval to enjoy a picnic in the beautiful surroundings of Stowe. Performed in an audacious new English translation by Jeff Clarke of Opera della Luna,  in DON GIOVANNI the roles were sung by professional singers supported by the experienced Arcadian Opera Chorus and Orchestra.

The Cast:   Don Giovanni – Samuel Lom, Leporello – Leo Selleck, Donna Anna – HeMing Li, Don Ottavio – Daniel Bell, Donna Elvira – Stephanie Bodsworth, Zerlina – Laura West, Masetto – Sebastian Stride, The Commendatore – Tobias Odenwald

Arcadian Opera wowed  audiences  with their  production of Gounod’s rousing and phantasmagorical opera FAUST on 29 and 30 October 2022. Filled with popular choruses and arias FAUST was performed by emerging successful professional opera singers, who were supported by the Arcadian chorus, orchestra, and dance company.

In May 2022 Arcadian Opera performed to a packed out audience of several hundred in St James the Great, Hanslope.  Performing some favourite opera choruses as well as some more little known, but no less dramatic and memorable pieces, Arcadian Opera were gratified to have been joined by some of the outstanding operatic singers of our generation.

The audience were in turn delighted by The Jewel Song from Gounod’s Faust sung with effervescent joy by soprano Alison Roddy; filled with awe and totally captivated by Rebecca Bottone’s rendition of  Let the Bright Seraphim from Handel’s Samson and enchanted by Bonaventura Bottone’s performance of the cavatina Salut! from Gounod’s Faust. They sang several other outstanding opera favourites in which they were joined by the talented young artists Thomas Isherwood, Charlie Baigent, and Sebastian Stride

On 23 and 24 October, 2021, Arcadian Opera produced a colourful and fun packed Magic Flute.  With wonderful professional principal singers, a full orchestra and a very strong local chorus the opera was supplemented by the ethereal voices of talented local teenagers as the three guiding spirits, while their corporal entities were represented by three spectral wraiths with glowing wings – classical ballet dancers.  Papageno was accompanied by three small dancers as birds and the Papageni conjured up by Papagena were represented by several more local children, all thrilled to be taking part in their first operatic production.  The whole was enhanced with a backdrop of original hand painted, moving projections adding an additional element of surprise and wonderment.

The audience were extremely complimentary, some of our keen opera goers saying it was the best Magic Flute they’d ever seen,  and, although making a small country based opera company financially viable doesn’t get any easier, all the happy customers and performers alike make it worth the struggle.

Papageno – Charlie Baigent
Tamino – William Branston
Pamina – Charlotte Hoather
Sarastro – Vassily Savenko
Queen of the Night- Katherine Blumenthal
First Lady – Susanna MacRae
Second Lady – Sarah Bowkley
Third Lady – Emma Wheeler
Monostatos- Matthew Scott Clark
Papagena Judit Felszeghy
The Speaker – Sebastian Stride
Priests – Phillip Abbott,  Nick Adams,  Russell Grant,  Paddy Marshall

Supported by the Arcadian Opera Chorus and the Arcadian Opera Orchestra

Dancers supplied by The Attitude School of Dance, Milton Keynes

Arcadian Opera Present Open Air Opera at Stowe

Arcadian Opera is very pleased to announce that they are bringing a production of England’s favourite one act opera, Henry Purcell’s  Dido and Aeneas, to Stowe on the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

On Saturday 29 August and Sunday 30 August 2020, at 2:30pm, we are performing our first open air opera on the Palladian North Front of Stowe House.  This sublime venue, the largest jewel set in Stowe Landscape Gardens, is the perfect place to perform Dido and Aeneas.

The audience are invited to bring picnics to the area near the North Front, and afterwards they will be seated by stewards at the correct distance from each other on the open air auditorium.  All the Government Guidelines on social distancing at open air events will be strictly observed.

We are thrilled to announce our cast, who have agreed to this venture at very short notice!  Please click on their names for more information.

Dido – Phillipa Thomas

Aeneas – James Hutchings

Belinda – Rebecca Bottone 

The Sorceress – Louise Crane

The Lady in Waiting – Elise Fairley

Mercury – Tom Dixon

Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet,                                                   19 & 20 October 2019

Although often overlooked owing to Gounod’s more famous opera Faust, written the previous year, his rarely performed Romeo and Juliet has exquisite music and is a mesmerising vehicle for the age old Italian story that Shakespeare made so famous. The opera libretto keeps closely to Shakespeare’s story with the addition of a trouser role – a popular theatrical conceit of the time.

Once again Arcadian Opera  employed established professional singers to sing the demanding lead roles in the opera and they were accompanied by the Arcadian Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Although current productions of Romeo and Juliet are more often than not updated, the set and costumes designed by Stage Director Ali Marshall, put the action back in the wild and dangerous times of fifteenth century Italy, when gang warfare was also a fact of life.

Romeo – William Branston

Juliet – Charlotte Hoather

Stephano- Elouise Waterhouse

Gertrude – Gemma Morsley

Mercutio – James Gribble

Tybalt – James Hutchings

Paris – Matthew Clark

Capulet – Richard Woodall

Friar Lawrence – Tobias Odenwald

The Duke of Verona – Oliver Gibbs


Featuring the Opera Babes, with Louise Crane, Elouise Waterhouse, Gabriel Courvoisier and Richard Woodall

The Gala, held in the Roxburgh Theatre, Stowe, Buckingham on 4 May at 7:30pm included a lively selection of opera favourites.  The concert opened with a selection of pieces from the Magic Flute. The Opera Babes sang a medley of Mozart including pieces from Cosi fan Tutti.  There was also stirring stuff from Carmen and a beautiful piece from Saint-Säens Samson et Delila which accompanied the dancers in spring rites at the Temple of Dagon.

The second half of the Gala introduced the audience to Gounod’s often overlooked opera Romeo and Juliet, which the company will produce in full in October. The dancers then performed the Bacchanal, also from Saint-Säens Samson et Dalila.  The rousing conclusion was the the choral finale of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg.

The Wreckers, 27 & 28 October 2018

In celebration of 100 years of the beginning of women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom we performed Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers on  27 and 28 October 2018.  For this we garnered several excellent reviews including from Opera Magazine and a four star review from The Stage.

Thirza, Pascoe’s wife – Jennifer Parker

Mark, a young fisherman – Brian Smith Walters

Pascoe, the village pastor – Steven East

Lawrence, the keeper of the Light – Ian Beadle

Avis, Lawrence’s daughter – April Fredrick

Harvey, Lawrence’s brother in law – Richard Woodall

Tallan,  landlord of the village inn – Phillip Abbott

Jack, Tallan’s son – Elouise Waterhouse

Lighting Designer – Matt Caton

Projections Illustrator – Toby Marshall

Opera Gala, 24 March 2018

Hosted by TV personality and celebrity auctioneer Charlie Ross with:

 Louise Fuller, Soprano;

Louise Crane, Mezzo Soprano;

Elouise Waterhouse, Mezzo Soprano;

Gareth Lloyd, Tenor;

Wesley Biggs, Baritone;

David Hansford, Bass.

The Elixir of Love, 27 & 28 October 2017

A vibrant production of this sizzling opera by Donizetti in a new translation by Musical Director Justin Lavender.  Going back to the original Italian with its whimsical jokes, Justin has written a lighthearted libretto which trips off the tongue and is thoroughly enjoyable for audience and singers alike.  Set in an imaginary nineteenth century English village to reflect the English translation, to complete the fun there is a cameo appearance by TV personality and celebrity auctioneer Charlie Ross!

Adina, a young, independent landowner – Emma Charles

Nemorino, a simple shepherd lad – Ben Smith

Gemma, an elderly sheepdog – Gemma Harvey

Gianetta, a saucy maid to Adina – Susanna MacRae

Sergeant Belcore, a womanising soldier – Wesley Biggs

Dr Dulcamara, a mysteriously successful doctor – Tobias Odenwald

Cochise, Dr Dulacamara’s henchman – Phill Abbott

Dr Septimus Stradling, the village pastor – Charlie Ross

Farmhands and their families played by the Arcadian Chorus

Gala Concert, 3 June 2017

with Natasha Day, Soprano; Louise Crane, Mezzo Soprano; Wesley Biggs, Baritone.

Original costume design by Gillian Liddel for the Polovtsian Dances Choreographed by Tamara Vile, danced by Kay Fagan, Elise Fallon, Jessica Hingham, Crystal Leung-Yi, Ana Pereira, Kiabella Sgambati, Charlotte Watson

La Boheme, 5 & 6 November 2016

Puccini’s ever popular La Boheme is startlingly reimagined in Arcadian Opera’s first ever production for the Roxborough Theatre at Stowe. The struggling bohemians of fin de siècle Paris are transported to the fringes of the Bloomsbury group in 1930s London. Sung in English, with full orchestral accompaniment and a large chorus of talented local singers.


Mimi, a freelance embroiderer – Natasha Day

Rodolfo, a struggling writer – Gabriel Courvoisier

Marcello, an unsuccessful artist – Wesley Biggs

Musette, a cabaret singer – Sara Whichelow

Schaunard, a musician – Jacob Bettinelli

Colline, a philosopher – Tobias Odenwald

Benoit, a slum landlord – Paddy Marshall

Alcindoro, a man about town – Chris Marlow

Parpignol, an itinerant toy seller – Luis Orozco

The Policeman – Nick Adams

Gala Concert – 24th March 2016

We are delighted to announce we will be performing our first Gala. It will start at 8pm and is in the The Ugland Hall, Stowe School. Performers will include Justin Lavender, The Opera Babes, Louise Crane, Stephen Gadd
By George | 16th February 2016 | Past Events
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