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ENGLISH TOURING OPERA, the only English professional touring opera company, working on a minuscule Arts Council subsidy when compared to other, less adventurous organisations, is about to open its first post-Covid production in London, at the historic Matcham Hackney Empire (1 October 7.30 pm), before touring all over the country from Tunbridge Wells to Hexham via Exeter, mostly in venues which otherwise see no opera.

ENGLISH TOURING OPERA - AMADIGIThis Autumn the opera is AMADIGI, Handel’s fifth opera, dating from 1715, predating the Water Music by two years and unusual because not only is it a “magic” opera but also because its orchestration is much more interesting than many of his later works, including copious use of wind instruments. Burney, the C18 musicologist, called it one of Handel’s most inspired works, and its early performances were very well received, making the composer a lot of money!

ETO’s production is directed by the redoubtable James Conway, and boasts an array of fine singers: William Towers, Tim Morgan, Francesca Chiejina and Jenny Stafford, and is sung in Italian with easy to follow English surtitles, so is accessible to all.

Tickets are available from individual venues. For further information: www.englishtouringopera.org.uk


  • John Groves

    John Groves studied singing with Robert Easton and conducting with Clive Timms. He was lucky enough to act in the British premiere of a Strindberg play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe more years ago than he cares to remember, as well as singing at the Royal Opera House - once! He taught drama and music at several schools, as well as examining the practical aspects of GCSE and A level drama for many years. For twenty five years he has conducted a brass band as well as living on one of the highest points of East Sussex surrounded by woodland, deer, foxes and badgers, with kites and buzzards flying overhead.

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