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Fiona Woolf DBE

Sue Benjamins

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Last Updated: 2/8/21

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Chelsea Opera Group



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Message from the Chairman, June 2021

WHAT a disappointing year! – but marvellous events are ahead. TICKETS are now selling again, for Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux first and some Verdi and Gluck next year – full details below. Music industry difficulties have stopped performances in Queen Elizabeth Hall both this year and next, but our programme includes exciting events at Cadogan Hall. Strenuous efforts failed to find an alternative to QEH for summer,  and even a planned extra June date in Cadogan Hall has fallen as it clashed with the just-announced Queen’s Platinum weekend and we think you will all be at a party somewhere!

Meanwhile we had the sad news that the great soprano, Pauline Tinsley died in May aged 93. Pauline was renowned for her roles in Wagner, Verdi, Mozart and many others. She sang in twenty COG operas between 1957 and 2004, including, in 1977,  the title role in Strauss’ SALOME with Nicholas Braithwaite conducting. This led to a Guardian newspaper review describing Pauline as “gloriously riding the orchestral flood, demonstrating her ideal Salome voice, lithe, penetrating and luscious”.  A sample of Pauline's singing can be heard in a recording of the closing scene here on Youtube.

ROBERTO DEVEREUX by Donizetti 5pm, Sunday 31st October 2021 at Cadogan Hall.
Conductor Gary Matthewman. Cast includes Helena Dix, Christopher Turner, Catherine Carby, Julien Van Mellaerts and James Platt. TICKETS now ON SALE at Cadogan Hall

OBERTO by Verdi, 7.30pm Sunday 3rd April 2022 at Cadogan Hall.
Conductor Matthew Scott Rogers with cast including Anush Hovhannisyan (Leonora), Carolyn Dobbins (Cuniza) and Peter Auty (Riccardo).  Ticket sale tba.

ORFEO ED EURIDICE  by Gluck 7.30pm, Saturday 29th Oct 2022 at Cadogan Hall.
Conductor Gary Matthewman with cast including Caitlin Hulcup (Orfeo) and Fflur Wyn (Eurydice). Ticket sale tba

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


Sunday 31st October 2021 at Cadogan Hall
Gaetano Donizetti
(sung in Italian with English surtitles)

 Sunday 3rd April 2022 at Cadogan Hall
OBERTO by Verdi

Saturday 29th October 2022


For 2022, we had intended a return to the pattern of three operas, mixing the venues between Cadogan Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall on South Bank where we have more orchestra space for “bigger” works. Unfortunately, the implications of Covid and government restrictions have kept the Queen Elizabeth Hall closed this year until at least August, thus removing our summer event; and the hall is due for only limited opening dates in 2023. We are hoping to hold a spring event there, in 2023, and are working with management to achieve this. Meanwhile, organisers at Cadogan Hall have worked tirelessly and imaginatively throughout the whole pandemic period and we nearly managed a concert there three times, with social distancing, only to be stymied once just 4 days beforehand, by changes in the national rules.

The three events listed above – Roberto Devereux, Oberto and Orfeo ed Euridice – are planned to be full attendance seating, as expected to be compliant by then; with particular care to hygiene and safety generally in the venue.

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

Sue Benjamins
Chairman, Chelsea Opera Group

Tickets are now on sale for Roberto Devereux – £15 to £38 – from the Cadogan Hall. Their box office is open to personal callers from Tuesday – Friday, 12pm - 6pm.

For forthcoming performances see Future Concerts
For booking information see Box Office page
For links to complete reviews of recent performances see Reviews.

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.

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