Home Page
About COG
Future Concerts
Box Office
Rehearsal Schedules
Past Performances

Fiona Woolf DBE

Sue Benjamins

(c) 2001, HappyDog Enterprises
Last Updated: 13/5/21

follow me on Twitter
follow me on facebook
Chelsea Opera Group



Download a pdf of details of what is involved and how to apply.


Message from the Chairman, March 2021

Time is marching on, and we are not so far through Covid as we had hoped. You will see below that another cancellation has been made; that the summer is looking doubtful for any event from COG although some opera houses thankfully are scheduling performance. BUT Chelsea Opera Group is now planning confidently for a marvellous return to concert with Donizetti’s ROBERTO DEVEREUX in the Autumn. We are sad in our loss in January of our very old and good friend, conductor Andrew Greenwood, who was very much looking forward to leading us in this, one of his favourite works. As a special tribute, and in recognition of his long history with Chelsea Opera Group, there will be special mention in the evening’s programme of Andrew.

The show has to go on. An inspiring Conductor already known to COG and familiar to many of the leading names in the opera world has been appointed, GARY MATTHEWMAN. This will be his first full opera with our group.  Gary is a pianist and conductor, performing with many leading singers and having led significant orchestral programmes. 
In 2019 he was made Artistic Director/Principal Conductor of London's Orion Orchestra. Performances included Handel's Messiah with the Choir of King's College London; Mozart's Concerto in C minor K491 with Imogen Cooper; Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with BBC broadcaster Zeb Soanes, and Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite. Other engagements include Britten’s War Requiem  with soloists Mark Padmore and Roderick Williams and the Mowbray Ensemble at The Sage Gateshead. Assistant conductor positions in opera include Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Wagner Das Rheingold for Graham Vick’s Birmingham Opera Company with the CBSO; Donizetti L’elisir d’amore for Glyndebourne on Tour; Puccini La Bohème for Cape Town Opera; and Britten Turn of the Screw for La Monnaie, Brussels. 

As a pianist, Gary is a regular  at London’s Wigmore Hall, and his international appearances include recitals at Carnegie Hall New York, Musikverein Vienna, Philharmonie Paris and Bolshoi Theatre Moscow. He has partnered Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sumi Jo, Nuccia Focile, Ailyn Perez, Louise Alder, Joyce DiDonato, Kate Lindsey, Caitlin Hulcup, Mark Padmore, John Mark Ainsley, Sir Thomas Allen, Roderick Williams, Dimitri Platanias, Andrei Bondarenko, Adam Plachetka and Matthew Rose.

Gary is professor of vocal repertoire at London's Royal College of Music, and repertoire coach for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. We are excited to be performing with Gary and sharing this with you, our keen supporters.

Sue Benjamins, Chairman, Chelsea Opera Group, March 2021.                                         



Sunday 31st October 2021 at Cadogan Hall


Gaetano Donizetti

(sung in Italian with English surtitles)



Sadly we have had, yet again, to cancel our Concert, Making Opera Live Again, -- we thought we had got it breathing but there you go, lost again, due to the continuing closure of theatres. The future, as far as the summer goes, is still looking very unclear so NO TICKETS on sale yet for any event …but….SHORTLY...WITH GROWING CONFIDENCE, AND WITH GREAT DELIGHT, we will be announcing full cast details for our AUTUMN event which is Roberto Devereux, by Donizetti. This is one of Donizetti’s most lyrical pieces, full of melody for the superb soloists we are lining up for you and with lots of lovely chorus. The score will once again show off our Orchestra’s talents to delight us after the long absence from stage.  


31st October 2021 - Roberto Devereux at the Cadogan Hall, led by conductor Gary Matthewman with Helena Dix as Elisabetta. Tickets are on sale now at Cadogan Hall.

For 2022, with the hope of freedom from restrictions, we plan a return to the pattern of three operas, dates to be announced but based around Spring (March); early Summer (probably June) and Autumn late October/early November. We are working on the details now.

With good wishes to you all, and looking forward to performing once again.

Sue Benjamins
Chairman, Chelsea Opera Group

The Chelsea Opera Group holds a unique place in the history of British opera. ....' (&London magazine). Read the full article (pdf)which appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of &London magazine produced by Sunday Publishing for UK property partnership Strutt and Parker.

‘Chelsea Opera Group’s three concert performances a year are among London’s most joyful operatic events.’ Richard Nicholson  at Classical Source

"As for Elizabeth Woods, it is hard to provide a technical commentary to her nigh-on-perfect performance." (Mariana Romani reviewing Simon Boccanegra at MusicalCriticism.com). See Elizabeth Woods in Come in quest`ora bruna.

"Opera simply does not come much better than this: the Chelsea Opera Group’s concert performance of Verdi’s Macbeth was an unqualified triumph." (Evan Dickerson at Seen and Heard)

‘A great work superbly done. The conductor was Richard Bonynge...There was fine playing and choral singing.’ Tim Ashley in The Guardian  reviewing COG’s performance of Donizetti’s Belisario.

For forthcoming performances see Future Concerts

For booking information see Box Office page

For links to complete reviews of recent performances see Reviews.

(Go to top)