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Fiona Woolf DBE

Carolyn Ashford-Russell

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Last Updated: 14/11/23


Winter 2023

Triumph for Verdi’s Masterpiece

In these days when opera nationally is hit by cuts in public funding, and in London suitable venues get harder to find, the presence of that rare company NOT reliant on the largesse of Government is precious indeed. Such is Chelsea Opera Group who continues its regular stunning work supported only by the generosity of loyal patrons and donors. This was proven yet again by Un ballo in maschera last month when the audience were gripped by an exciting, fulfilling performance.  Compliments have flowed in.

With a large cast of ten soloists, this is one of the more expensive operas especially as most of the roles are strongly drawn. We are fortunate in attracting some of the busiest and best singers who can slot our one-night concert into otherwise full diaries – and who will often agree modest fees out of sympathy and liking for our modus operandi. Thus, as well as enjoying artistic licence free of external pressures, we also benefit from good relationships with artistes built up over years of mutual respect.

‘Verdi unconditionally triumphed’ said Agnes Kory (Seen and Heard International)

‘A shining star… and a knockout performance’ from Nadine Benjamin as Amelia was picked out by Claire Seymour (Opera Today) in ‘a strong team of soloists packing a vivid punch’.

‘Bravo again… for a world-class performance…. an absolute triumph.. one of the finest COG nights ever.’ Sam Krum (Robert Gilder Company). Anthony Negus, internationally-famed for his Wagner interpretations, was conductor for this, his other love, Verdi, and he led the company with masterful success.

New Website
Our current website at chelseaoperagroup.org.uk will soon be updated after many years of excellent service and we need a new Webmaster to help launch our redesigned site and take on this vital role. Suit professional or amateur with a love of IT and opera – young or mature, retired or in business.

Please contact Carolyn Ashford-Russell as soon as possible. The task will be changing Newsletters and inserting images every few weeks. The data needed will be provided and, like all our admin, this is a voluntary role.

Future Plans 2024
In February next year, we offer Lakmé by Delibes. The conductor is Matthew Scott Rogers who previously led for us the stunning Oberto (Verdi) last year; Mefistofele (Boito) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2019 and Samson et Dalilah (Saint-Saëns) in 2017. 

Tickets are available now – online/telephone (020 7730-4500) with £4 fee; free to ENCORE members or personal callers. There is a pre-performance talk, free to ticket holders.

Later in 2024, we perform Verdi’s I due Foscari with conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren. Gianluca Marcianò will be returning to conduct in November after his spectacular Andrea Chénier for us at QEH last year.

At Cadogan Hall:
Sunday 25th February 2024, Lakmé (Delibes), conductor: Matthew Scott Rogers
Sunday 9th June 2024, I due Foscari (Verdi), conductor: Matthew Kofi Waldren
Saturday 2nd November 2024, tba - conductor: Gianluca Marcianò.

COG Orchestra at Salisbury Cathedral:
Saturday 16th March 2024, Requiem (Verdi), conductor David Halls
Saturday 23rd November 2024, Elijah (Mendelssohn), conductor David Halls

Recruiting for the Chelsea Opera Chorus
To find out about joining our chorus please contact: chorus@chelseaoperagroup.org.uk

Support Our Work

COG receives no public subsidy. Ticket sales can never cover costs and prices need to be affordable. Funds are raised from private donors and supportive companies through our registered charity, the Chelsea Opera Group Trust (President, Dame Fiona Woolf) and for this we are enormously grateful. If you would like to donate or join the mailing list to stay informed, please contact: mailing@chelseaoperagroup.org.uk

Carolyn Ashford-Russell

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Tel: 020 8675 2779

Published and supported by the Chelsea Opera Group Trust
Registered Charity Number 247438 Bargate, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4QY

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