Founded by Brian Galloway in 1971, Opera Integra is an award-winning member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA), and is renowned for its productions of a very high standard. Our wide-ranging repertoire includes fully-staged operas with a professional reduced orchestra, opera galas and staged opera scenes with piano. We believe passionately in the power of opera to bring people together. We not only support vibrant new talent at the early stages of their careers but we also provide a platform for those who enjoy singing as a creative pastime and want to venture into the world of staged opera. Former members have taken up professional concert and recital work and have also gone on to work at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, English National Opera and other British, Irish and Continental European opera companies. Singers of all ages and abilities are welcome to join us.
Originally formed under the name The Opera Workshop by Brian Galloway and Janet Colebrooke in September 1971, it was initially devised as a performance platform for emerging singers, with concert performances of popular works. These quickly became fully-staged productions including popular operas, rarely performed works and even UK premieres of early works. To date Opera Integra has performed over fifty different complete operas as well as a wide selection of excerpts. Its production of Onegin in 2010 won the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) award for the best amateur production in London – the first time the award had been given to a grand opera production.
Previous members include Jean Copeland, Breffni Horgan, Timothy Oldroyd, Lilian Lee, Cathryn Pope, Joy Roper, Jennifer Samson, Alma Sheehan, Susan Underwood and Nuala Willis. They went on to enjoy successful professional careers with companies such as ENO, the Royal Opera House, Glydnbourne, WNO, Opera North, English Touring Opera, Opera Holland Park, as well as other major opera houses in Europe.
Under the expert direction and enthusiasm of Brian Galloway, this small company with its humble beginnings gained a reputation for the quality of its music and singing, for its wide-ranging and challenging repertoire and for performing early opera. Opera Integra has built an impressive catalogue of performances with Galloway at the helm. These included Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress as well as a rich selection from the Verdi canon. Galloway sadly passed away in March 2016 and is greatly missed, though Opera Integra continues his legacy.