Why we are seeking funding
Dulwich Opera Company aims to raise £3,500 to fund our brand new, touring production of Bizet's Carmen. We have created a new chamber adaptation of the opera for a cast of 8 singers, who will be accompanied by piano. We will be touring to new venues in Winchester and St Albans, where we have recently introduced the company with an opera gala concert, as well as returning to Herne Hill School, where we presented a semi-staged performance of Don Giovanni for the Herne Hill Music Festival in 2016.
Opera is an intricate artform, with the hours of preparation and rehearsal involved, as well as costumes, props and set. Ticket sales generally make up around half of our production budgets; we receive no public funding, and therefore rely on the generous support of corporate sponsors and individual donors to keep ticket prices at an accessible level and offer much needed professional performance opportunities to young singers and creative artists.
We are delighted to be offering primary school children from The Pilgrims' School in Winchester the opportunity to perform in the opera, singing the children's chorus in act 1 at the Winchester performance, and will also be presenting an assembly based around the opera to primary school children in Herne Hill.
Dulwich Opera Company is seeking to build on the successes of our first two years, by reaching wider audiences and creating a more sustainable model for the future, where ticket sales can account for a greater proportion of our production budgets. Our dream is to be able to tour exciting, fully-staged productions with professional chamber orchestra and chorus to intimate venues across the country, creating more professional performance opportunities for young singers and musicians, and offering high quality performances of opera to ever increasing audiences. This project represents a stepping stone for the company, as we establish a presence in two new venues, developing a production that we can use in the future to build audiences in additional new venues.
By donating to this campaign you can help our talented creative team bring this new production to life, enhancing the artistic experience for the cast and their audiences.
Our creative team
For Carmen, we are delighted to reunite the director and designer team behind our production of Così fan tutte. Together with music director, Jeremy Silver, we believe we have a very talented and experienced creative team that any opera company in the world could be proud of.
Our director Ptolemy Christie has many years of experience working in opera and has directed Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cosi fan tutte, La traviata (Nevill Holt /Pimlico Opera), ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ (Nationale Reisopera), La traviata (Winslow Hall Opera) and Sondheim’s Assassins in two British prisons using a cast of inmates (Pimlico Opera). Assistant Director credits include Die Walküre, Götterdämmerung (Tiroler Festspiele), Pelléas et Mélisande (Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Jenůfa (Opera Zuid / Hannover), and he has assisted John Cox on numerous productions including Rake’s Progress (Glyndebourne, San Francisco and Opera Australia), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Royal Opera House and Melbourne Festival) Capriccio and Albert Herring (Opera Australia).
Our Musical Director Jeremy Silver has been acclaimed for being “as exciting as he is subtle in his conducting”. Jeremy Silver’s passionate music making and overriding sense of lyricism and balance have made him an esteemed conductor among orchestras, singers and opera directors alike.
Recent performances include Handel’s Alcina at Longborough Festival Opera and two exciting Donizetti rediscoveries, L’assedio di Calais and Il Furioso all’isola di San Domingo with English Touring Opera in performing editions resulting from his considerable editorial work on both scores. He has worked extensively in South Africa with all the country’s major symphony orchestras in repertoire ranging from the classical symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert through to the iconic works of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Saint Saëns Organ Symphony, Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony, Elgar Enigma Variations, several works of Ravel and the Webern Passacaglia. He has also conducted La Bohème and Le Nozze di Figaro with Cape Town Opera and Lucia di Lammermoor with Gauteng Opera (formerly BTE). As principal conductor of Opera Africa (2004 – 2007) he conducted productions of I Capuleti e I Montecchi, La Traviata and Rigoletto as well as a tour of the South African opera Princess Magogo to Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam.
A small selection of other productions in the UK includes Pelléas et Mélisande (Glyndebourne Touring Opera); Madama Butterfly (English National Opera); Aida and Carmen (Raymond Gubbay productions, Royal Albert Hall); La Rondine, Lucia di Lammermoor and Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Holland Park) and Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Fledermaus (English Touring Opera).Appearances abroad include productions of Les Huguenots and Tosca at the Opéra-Théâtre de Metz, a concert with the renowned Polish orchestra Sinfonia Varsovia at the Evian Festival, Turandot at the National Theatre in Malaysia and Die Fledermaus at Yale Opera. Contemporary work includes two operas by Mark Glentworth, Blood Rose and Ula, at the Tête-à-tête festival in London and the work of a variety of young composers over two years at the Jerwood Opera Writing Course at Aldeburgh Music. As staff conductor at English National Opera he worked closely with such composers as Mark Anthony Turnage, Gavin Bryars, Gerald Barry, Jonathan Dove and Martin Butler.
Jeremy Silver has been Music Director of Opera on a Shoestring, English Pocket Opera Company and Opera Brava where productions have included a national tour of Tristan and Isolde, Massenet’s Cléopâtre, Milhaud’s La Mère Coupable as well as La Bohème, Così fan tutte, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Traviata, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Giovanni. He also served on the music staffs at Scottish Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne.
Jeremy Silver studied Modern Languages and Music at Clare College, Cambridge and went on to study conducting at the Royal College of Music with Norman del Mar, continuing his studies for a number of years with internationally renowned teacher George Hurst. He furthered his studies at the prestigious National Opera Studio in London where he is now a member of the artistic team.
Leading our design team, Leah Sams is a set and costume designer, technical draughtsman and scenic artist based in London. She has designed shows from fringe productions such at ‘Trash’ (Rosemary Branch Theatre) to medium scaled shows such as ‘Broadway Showtunes’ (Bournemouth Pavilion).
Her roles in the West End includes design associate on ‘Cirque Berserk’ (UK Tour 2017), technical draughtsman on ‘Three Little Pigs’ (Palace Theatre), scenic artist on ‘American Idiot’ (The Arts) and the breakdown artist for costumes on ‘The War Of The Worlds’ (Dominion Theatre).
Work on an international platform includes set and costume designer for ‘Father Christmas’ which was performed in Singapore (SOTA Theatre), and the technical draughtsman on productions such as ‘My Little Pony’ (Asian Tour) and Three Little Pigs (International Tour).
She has also designed for Opera and Film, work includes design for ‘Così fan tutte’ (All Saints Church, Dulwich) and ‘Canal’ (film in post-production). Leah is also a graphic designer whose clients includes Avex Classics International and Imperial College.