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Fiona Woolf DBE

Duncan Orr

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Last Updated: 22/4/17



Summer 2017

Nabucco – Saturday 17th June 2017, 7.00pm Cadogan Hall

For our next concert we return to an opera that the group last performed in 1989, Verdi’s Nabucco.  I suspect our singers will be looking forward to performing the familiar Chorus of Hebrew slaves more than the second violins who are no doubt already practising its finger twisting accompaniment!  The conductor will be Gianluca Marcianò making a welcome return after Alzira in 2013.  He is also busy conducting Tosca for Grange Park Opera at the same time, so we had to choose our rehearsal dates carefully.  David Kempster, who sang the title role in our Prince Igor last autumn, leads the cast and is joined by three established COG favourites - Helena Dix (Abigaille), Peter Auty (Ismaele) and David Soar (Zaccaria).

Tickets are already on sale and can be booked through the Cadogan Hall website www.cadoganhall.com

There will be a pre-performance talk for all ticket holders at 5.45pm in the Cadogan Hall given by Simon Bainbridge.  For those attending the talk the doors will open at 5.00pm.

Samson et Dalila

Unlike the temple of Baal, the Cadogan Hall was still standing at the end of our performance of Samson et Dalila, but only just.  Several of the reviews commented on Aaron Cawley’s powerful performance as Samson, while Claudia Huckle, as Dalila, ‘made the part her own’ (Classical Source).

Matthew Scott Rogers was a popular choice as conductor and Planet Hugill  commented that ‘Scott Rogers and the orchestra were on thrilling form’.

It was gratifying to hear our chorus on top form for their last performance under the leadership of Deborah Miles-Johnson as chorus master.  She leaves the chorus in fine fettle as we begin the search for her successor.

Future Plans

Our 17/18 season will begin on Sunday 10th December 2017 with a performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve conducted by Timothy Burke.  As the concert date is later than usual and just before Christmas, it seemed like a good chance to revive a piece that has been on our wish list for quite some time.  You may remember our performance of Tchaikovsky’s Cherevichki (Little Boots) which is based on the same story.  This will be the first Rimsky opera that we have performed since The Snow Maiden in 1986.

On Saturday 24th February 2018 we continue our short series of operas on Old Testament themes with Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto to mark the anniversary of its first performance in early March 1818.

In November and March the orchestra will travel to Salisbury to accompany the Salisbury Musical Society in performances of A Sea Symphony and the St Matthew Passion under the baton of their regular conductor David Halls. 

Outside engagements like these are important in helping us to raise the funds for promoting our London concert series, so we are always happy to receive invitations for the group to perform.  Let us know if you have any ideas.

Help Needed

Chelsea Opera Group is run by a small number of volunteers who give freely of their time and skills to make sure that the concerts run smoothly.  In particular, we need someone to maintain our mailing list and organise the distribution of this newsletter.  It is a crucial part of building our audience. If you think you can help with this or in any other way please be in contact by emailing

Join Us!

If you have ever wondered how it feels to sing in an opera, why not consider joining our chorus?    Rehearsals are held in central London, normally over the five weeks before a performance, usually two evenings a week and one all-day weekend session. If you would like to know more contact us by emailing

Membership of the orchestra is by invitation, but we are always on the look-out for high quality players – especially double basses!!  If you are interested in finding out more or know someone who might be interested in playing with COG please let us know.

The best way to contact us is by emailing

Mailing List

If you are already a member of our mailing list and would like to receive this newsletter by email, please contact

Duncan Orr

Supported by the Chelsea Opera Group Trust: Registered Charity Number 247438: 21 Woodlands Road, Isleworth TW7 6NR
020 8675 2779:

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