Opera Holland Park so far…

Posted on: July 24, 2015 in: CLS Behind the Scenes, Retrospect

We’re nearly to the end of this year’s season at Opera Holland Park and hasn’t it been a good one! In this post we’ve collected some of our favourite photos from our stint in the pit at our favourite open-air opera festival (nope, we’re not biased at all…), press quotes and tweets. And don’t worry – there is still time to catch a show before the season is over… just check out their website at operahollandpark.com for more information on their current productions.


The productions this year have been fantastic – it’s been great to be involved. Below our some of our favourite pictures of the various shows that have been on, including Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Verdi’s Aida and Puccini’s Il Trittico.

Aside from the amazing performances, wildlife in the pit has been rather prominent this year…  sightings this year include some backstage bumblebees, the park’s resident peacocks and a cheeky squirrel who gave himself a little tour of the set for Jonathan Dove’s Flight!

As always during rehearsals for the season, the orchestra have gone through a mountain of tea and biscuits… Here are some of our favourite snaps from the array of rehearsals in various venues. As you can see from the pictures, we are proud to have gone green this year and invested in some china cups (instead of polysterene) which, needless to say, have gone down very well with the musicians…! #itsthesmallthingsthatcount

An English summer means that the season hasn’t always been sunshine, and it’s hard to believe that the players actually began the season in hats, gloves and coats! Luckily the beautiful flowers around the venue made everything a bit more sunny…


“The City of London Sinfonia, conducted by Matthew Waldren, lap up every woodwind caress and piquant phrase” – Geoff Brown on Lakmé, Spectator, July 2015

“A feast for the ear… Manlio Benzi conducts the City of London Sinfonia in an excitable reading of the gorgeous score.” – Rupert Christiansen on Aida, Telegraph, June 2015

“Throughout the City of London Sinfonia gave a beautifully poised and controlled performance and rightly received strong applause at the interval and at the end.” – Robert Hugill on FlightOpera Today, June 2015

Binding the whole evening was Stuart Stratford’s conducting of the City of London Sinfonia. Each piece had its strongly drawn personality – Il tabarro, with its klaxons, fog-horns and other noises off, was full of atmosphere and creepy tension, the musical vision at the end of Suor Angelica was all you really needed by way of ecstatic revelation, and Stratford did a marvelous job of highlighting Puccini’s dwelling on comic detail in Gianni Schicchi without losing the comic pace. – Peter Reed on Il trittico, Classical Source, June 2015

“Brad Cohen gets sparkling playing out of the City of London Sinfonia and it is fascinating to be able to watch the high-energy agility demanded of the players.” – Richard Fairman on FlightFinancial Times, June 2015