Diva is Chamber Opera at its best. Encouraging young artists as well as established performers reviews for DIVAOPERA speak for themselves.
Founded in 1997 Diva Opera has earned an unrivalled reputation within the operatic world. The Saturday Night performance will one of around 50 annual performances given by the company, which tour as far afield as Russia, South Africa and the Far East.
Diva Opera are an internationally renowned chamber opera company that have been entertaining audiences for over 20 years.
Founded in 1997 by Anne Marabini Young and Bryan Evans, the company has grown over the years into one of the most revered opera companies in the UK.
“I was a singer and started the company to do a few concerts,” explained Anne.
“Bryan came on board after his job with another opera company ended, and we began to broaden it with singers from all over the country.”
Now Diva Opera stage around 40 productions a year, in both the UK and abroad, in countries including Japan, France and South Africa.
Over the years the company has staged over 2,000 productions of classic operas from Mozart, Puccini and many more.
“We’re a chamber opera company and perform in a smaller format,” continued Anne.
“We don’t alter the operas in any way, we just have a smaller cast of around 10 or 12, with a reduced chorus and piano rather than a full or reduced orchestra.
“And we perform in beautiful period costumes – it’s become a bit of a trademark for us and it makes the productions even more special.”
Anne – who originally hails from New Zealand – is the General Director, overseeing everything from travel arrangements to casting, while husband Bryan – who was awarded an MBE in 1993 for his services to music and opera – is the Music and Artistic Director.
Together the pair bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the company, along with their stage and wardrobe teams and performers from all over Europe.
Anne and her crew were preparing for a trip to France, having earlier this year visited Tokyo to perform.
She said: “We did three performances in an 800-seat venue in Tokyo and it was packed every night.
Opera Diva “We did three performances in an 800-seat venue in Tokyo and it was packed every night.
Singer Photos – top to bottom:
BARBARA COLE WALTON Coloratura Soprano was born in Canada and studied in the UK at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2016 she was listed on the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s 30 hot Canadian Classical musicians under the age of 30. Roles include Giannnetta L’elisird’amore (New Generation Festival, Firenze, Italy), BaucisPhilemon and Baucis, Juno The Judgement of Paris (Bampton Classical Opera), Lisette La Rondine, Fanny La cambiale di matrimonio, Thérèse Les mamelles de Tirésias. Recent highlights include cover Controller Flight (Jonathan Dove), Naiad and Echo Ariadne auf Naxos (Scottish Opera), Blonde The Abduction from the Seraglio (Diva Opera), Norina Don Pasquale (Wexford Festival ShortWorks) and Amarilli Il pastor fido (Handel) with New Chamber Opera.
RICHARD DOWLING Tenor studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he sang the role of Tom Rakewellin Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and was soloist in the Academy’s complete Bach cantatas series. He recently performed with English Touring Opera as a soloist in their productions of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and a triple Bill including music by Purcell, Carissimi and Gesualdo. Other roles include the High Priest Idomeneo (Buxton International Festival), Ferrando Cosi fan tutte (West Green Opera and ETO), the Sailor Dido and Aeneas (Birmingham OperaCompany), Nemorino L’elisir d’amore (Jackdaws OperaPLUS), The Glassmaker Britten’s Death in Venice (Garsington), Count Almaviva The Barber of Seville (Mid Wales Opera) and Pedrillo The Abduction from the Seraglio(Diva Opera).
SUSANNA FAIRBAIRN Soprano studied at the Wales Academy of Voice with international tenor Dennis O’Neill. Recent career highlights include Bess Foster Georgiana (Buxton International Opera Festival), Juliette Die tote Stadt (RTÈ Orchestra), Agathe in Malte Giesen’s new opera Wolfsschluch(Deutsche Opera Berlin at the Tischlerei). Other roles include GALATEA Acis and Galatea (Opera Theatre Company), Countess Le nozze di Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera), cover Donna Anna Don Giovanni (Opera North), Donna Anna, Belinda Dido and Aeneas, Eleonora Il furioso all’isoladi San Domingo, and Juno La Calisto (English Touring Opera), Count Gontran Une Education Manquee (Holt Festival, Grimeborn Festival), Crobyle Thaïs (Chelsea Opera Group), Margery The Dragon of Wantley (London Handel Festival) and Donna Elvira (Diva Opera). Her début solo CD, ‘Songs of Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz’, is available on Naxos.
MATTHEW HARGREAVES Bass Baritone studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Operatic highlights include roles in Amadeus (National Theatre), Kommissar Der Rosenkavlier (Welsh National Opera), Sciarrone Tosca (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Inspector A Dog’s Heart (La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Leporello Don Giovanni and Death/Dog/Smith in Dove’s Swanhunter (Opera North)‚ Angelotti Tosca and Douphol La Traviata (English National Opera)‚ Stagehand The Makropulos Case (Edinburgh Festival and Opera North)‚ Four Villains Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Leporello and Commendatore Don Giovanni, Osmin The Abduction from the Seraglio (Diva Opera) Other roles include Nardo La Finta Giardiniera (Buxton Festival)‚ Montano/Herald Otello (BBC Philharmonic) and Ceprano Rigoletto (London Symphony Orchestra), Figaro, Leporello (Opera Holland Park), Count Tomsky The Queen of Spades, Zurga The Pearl Fishers and Basilio Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park).
PETER BAILEY Will accompany on Piano. PETER BAILEY Piano studied at the Royal College of Music with Colin Horsley OBE, Geoffrey Parsons and Graham Johnson. As an accompanist he regularly performs at opera gala events throughout the country with singers from all the major UK opera houses. He has performed extensively in Europe and broadcast on radio in the Netherlands and Sweden. As Music Director of Pavilion Opera over a 21 yearperiod, Peter has given over 1000 performances of chamber opera throughout the UK, Europe, the Far East and at the Bermuda Festival.
Recent engagements have been in Worcester Cathedral, Sandringham House, The Painted Hall (Old Royal Naval College) and the Beurs van Berlage (Amsterdam). He has released 4 Cds, is a visiting accompanist at the RCM and frequently works with members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the ROH.
Provisional Program – A Selection from:
Tickets £17.50 from Salisbury Playhouse (01722 320333), to include an interval drink and parking. Tickets go on sale -TBC.
This concert is generously sponsored by Bluestone Vineyards
Bluestone is a family owned and family run business located outside of Salisbury directly off the A303. With easy access and so much to see and do it is the perfect place to spend half a day, a whole day or even a few hours. Located adjacent to a family petting farm, which is perfect for entertaining the kids. It even has a great little cafe serving all kinds of delicious hot meals, cold snacks and drinks galore! The coffee is amazing and is roasted and blended locally in Andover.
The vineyard is beautiful and on our good days in England when the sun is shining and there are no clouds to be seen, you could mistake yourself for being on a vineyard in the Mediterranean. The vineyard is immaculately kept and the focus of the vineyard management is on the quality of the fruit, so aesthetics don’t necessarily come first. It’s all about balance. It just so happens balance looks great and tastes so good.
We currently provide vineyard walks and wine tastings bookable via our website. These take a few hours and are a great way to discover a very high standard of English grape growing and English sparkling wine. It is taken by one of the owners, Toby or Nat, who manages the vineyards by themselves (with some much needed volunteer help at harvest). You will get a very intimate and informal tour where you can touch upon anything wine related and ask anything. It’s a safe place.
We can offer a number of wine related activities for one and all from comparison tastings to food pairings. If it involves food and wine, we’ve got you covered. Just get in touch and we can create a wine experience that fits your needs.
The vineyards & brand were named as such as a nod to the local and World renowned heritage site, Stonehenge. This part of Wiltshire has a long established history of great importance and continues to be very important to the local and national economy. We hope to encapsulate the longevity of this iconic monument and build that into our brand, our wines and what we hope to offer the surrounding community for years to come.
Bluestone Vineyards consists of 3 distinctly different sites totalling 10 acres planted with the recognisable chardonnay, pinot noir and the lesser known, pinot meunier. Each site has specific blocks expertly located and playing to the individual strengths and characteristics of each grape variety. In the winery this enables us a greater ‘palette with which to paint our masterpieces’. Bluestone is wholeheartedly focussed on creating artisanal sparkling wines made from grapes grown in our vineyards in WIltshire. From the 2019 vintage onwards this will be the case.
Looking to the future we are focussing on wine tourism, adding to Wiltshire’s pull as a premium food & drink destination county. In the meantime, it is a slow and steady pace growing towards our goals. All we can do for now is to provide artisanal and high quality English sparkling wines with honesty and great passion.
Decanter World Wine Awards – Bronze Award
WineGB Wessex Regional Awards – Bronze Award & Trophy for best small producer of sparkling wine