Opera Scotland

Heritage Opera

Heritage Opera is Northwest England’s professional touring opera company.

It has made a number of welcome visits to Scotland, the entry below being taken from their website in September 2017

"Heritage Opera began in Leyland, Lancashire in 2006, when conductor Chris Gill arranged a short tour of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, which visited several Lancastrian venues. The tour went well, and he arranged and conducted at least three opera tours a year until 2011.

His wife, soprano Serenna Wagner, is still a company member but Gill decided to concentrate more on his teaching career and he handed over the reins to Sarah Helsby Hughes and Nick Sales who have been running the company ever since.

Chris remains as emeritus musical director and he is also the chairman of the charity that runs the company. Gill was also far-sighted enough to realise that producing operas in small stately homes, while a pleasant occupation that brought pleasure to many, would not put the name of Heritage Opera on the musical map. He had the audacious idea of commissioning a new opera, conceived for just their type of country house performance, and he approached arguably the foremost opera composer in the UK today, Jonathan Dove, to write it for him. The world première of Dove’s Mansfield Park, based on the Jane Austen novel, was given at Boughton House, the home of the Duke of Buccleugh, in Summer 2011. It toured Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire, and eventually appeared at the trendy London opera festival, Grimeborn, to rave reviews from the national press.

Chris Gill’s ambition to make Heritage Opera an artistic force to be reckoned with has paid off, and Heritage Opera is now regularly invited to play at top stately homes, large theatres, festivals and for corporate and private entertainment.

One of the reasons for Heritage Opera’s continued success lies in its uncompromising musical standards. Only professional singers are used, and wherever possible, performers with a northern link are given preference.

Recent developments include touring to various new venues in Scotland and Southern England, a repeat booking with the Northumberland Music Festival, a Young Artists Programme, intimate “A Passion For…” concert tours, and young musical dynamo Benjamin Cox becoming their regular accompanist "

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