Past productions

The Tales of Hoffmann – Offenbach – 2020

Winner of NODA District 1 Best Opera 2020

In the wonderful setting of St John’s Church you were able to use the natural acoustics of the space and, with excellent lighting and effects, create a powerful atmosphere. The lighting really focused the action and you created a pool in which your performers told the story. The columns all around you and the great space above only seemed to heighten the intensity of what was happening in the pool and, visually, it was very memorable. 

Lighting design by Robert Price was very impressive; it was really lovely lighting with effects pouring into that pool from the area behind the stage. I loved the haze backlit with the blue lights, the different effects when Hoffman wore his spectacles or not and the rain effect. All these, and others, were super and enhanced the production. 

Of course, it was not only a visual treat. Your principal performers were all in fine voice and your chorus gave strong support – understandable as so many principals were embedded in the chorus when not in their scene. 

Lysanne should be rightly proud of this production as all the pieces, either under her direct control or oversight, came together so well. Of course, the music is at the heart of any opera and the ensemble under Jack Wong’s baton, produced a wonderful sound, from five players (a string quartet and piano according to the programme). The balance with performers was well maintained and Offenbach’s lovely music filled the venue. There were some real highlights such as the famous Baccarolle, and trios in both the Antonia and Giuletta stories. 

This was a visual and musical treat. Your knowledgeable audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy the production, as did I. I wish you well for your future activities.

Andrew Rogers 
London Regional Councillor
NODA

The Magic Flute – Mozart  – 2019

Winner of NODA Best Opera 2019 and Best Female in an Opera 2019 (Rebecca de Coverly Veale as The Queen of the Night)
A lovely church setting and atmospheric lighting offered a glimpse of what was to come in this excellent production. A good use of the space and a herringbone seating pattern allowed the maximum exposure and immersion of the audience into the action which was very well done and allowed good sight lines through most of the performance. The singers were all accomplished and performed their roles ably throughout accompanied orchestrally by what can only be described and an “exquisite” chamber ensemble who provided exactly the correct balance and support through the wide emotional range of the piece without once becoming overly intrusive or distracting.

A lovely production, well sung, acted and played – and as an audience member, you can’t ask for more than that! Director Lysanne van Overbeek gave us a dynamic and lively staging which fully utilised the space and all the possible exits and entrances without the audience feeling like they were being disorientated. Sightlines were handled sensibly in line with the seating layout and the acting and singing married beautifully.

There had clearly been a lot of work put in by Chorus Master George Ireland in getting this double cast to the necessary high vocal standard. The chamber orchestra played beautifully throughout under the baton of Jack Wong who was very sympathetic to the needs of the singers and balanced the orchestra and vocals perfectly. Special mention should go to the sterling work by Andy Martin on flute whose tone and phrasing were beautiful at all times; it’s difficult to imagine a better sound for this piece

Robert Price’s lighting design for the production and the space was excellent. The depth of the performance space was well catered for and didn’t suffer from performers masking the lighting of others. The projections used for the trials by fire and water and other scenes were particularly well done and cleverly filled the central space giving a nice effect of a portal into the mystical. Haze/smoke were well used to create a deeper more solid lighting palette as necessary without becoming obscuring and distracting. A well designed and delivered plot which supported and complemented the action.
Simon Jones & Carly Hilts
Regional Reps
NODA London District 1

 

 

Orpheus in the Underworld – Offenbach – 2018

NODA was unable to review this production.

 

Der Fledermaus – Strauss – 2017

The chorus singing was superb throughout – all credit to them and to chorus master,. With a lovely balance of voices in all the chorus pieces, ‘Brother mine’ was particularly beautifully sung, with the intensity kept throughout the lovely wide dynamic range – a real triumph. The chorus members also reacted well and supported the soloists throughout; the czardas was sung astonishingly well, with beautiful flexibility in the runs.

The costumes, designed by Maryna Gradnova, were, without exception, superb, and a lot of thought had gone into hair and make-up too. Rosalinde’s party mask with hairstyle and floral coronet, for example, really did help to keep up the assumption that Eisenstein was unable to recognise her, and his silly turban allowed for much fun with Adele’s laughing song.
Zena Wigram, NODA Rep, London Area 2

 

Macbeth – Verdi – 2016

An excellent group working in support of the main characters helped give the piece colour and texture. I was particularly impressed by the witches with some stunning headdresses that really worked. Some accomplished singers of all ages in every part of the cast really gave the show impact… Ella Marchment had a slightly different vision of the themes and really gave us food for thought. Using the strong chess theme was a masterstroke which was the foundation on which everything hung. The theme worked well not only for its impact but also to give us a different insight into a very familiar story.

Sonia Ben-Santamaria has to be commended for stepping into the not inconsiderable shoes of Brian Galloway who was taken ill and unable to play his usual key role. Her style was both flamboyant and passionate giving the music real bite.

The group goes from strength to strength with a number of new members and a packed house they continue to bring grand opera to an appreciative and loyal audience.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

A Masked Ball – Verdi – 2015

A strong cast was used well with all the principals having excellent singing voices… Director Ella Marchment’s programme notes gave us an insight into her thinking which was both interesting and added to the overall theatrical impact within which the performers exceled.

Brian Galloway conducted throughout providing excellent support of the on-stage talent. His contribution is truly pivotal to the continuing high level of performance from the group. We experienced a magnificent sound quality which allowed the audience to hear clearly not only the quality of the singing but also the lyrics so vital to the plot.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

Carmen – Bizet – 2014

The classic opera set is modern Britain gave this production and interesting and quite different feel from the traditional interpretation. This was much more of a theatrical experience with an interesting set and some spectacular acting as well as exceptional voices all working together to bring the show to life.

It was an interesting use of supporting performers with some fairly distinct sub groups. Firstly the friends of Carmen worked well as a group. A large group of children also gave us a different and charming perspective. Overall the singing was excellent with clear diction and great harmonies. Everyone performed with real enthusiasm and moved well throughout.

Isabelle Hatton clearly had a strong focussed vision of what she wanted to achieve and did so. Aided by a strong cast this was a well put together piece of theatre and was a real testament to her efforts.

Brian Galloway directed both the singers and the pianist well the sound levels worked well. I was surprised that the march of the Toreadors worked so well with only a piano accompaniment but it did. The sound overall was excellent and this is enhanced by the acoustics which work with the performers giving a rich mellow tone.

 

 

 

 

 

Rigoletto – Verdi – 2013

Some exceptional singing talent was on show, particularly from the principals, and meant a really memorable experience for all who attended on what was an evening of foul weather. Isabelle Hatton as the director used the space and the performers well and an alternative setting gave the show added impact. Interesting costumes were used mainly in the New York gangster style which helped define the period setting. The jacket worn by Rigoletto was particularly striking and clown like again reinforcing the character.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

Falstaff – Verdi – 2012

Set in modern times and against the backdrop of political corruption helped give it a real edge which was developed well. A fairly sizable cast worked well together and the individual roles were well cast matching the age and personality of the role… A good chorus provided depth and support, playing minor roles when required. They sang well and this also added to the overall impact.

Jack Furness showed some nice touches as director setting the piece in modern times gave quite a few options and these were used well. The spectacular final scene was excellent and meant the show went out on a high.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

The Magic Flute – Mozart  – 2011

A packed house saw an excellent performance of Mozart’s classic to a warm spring evening in West London. The casting matched the players to the demands of their roles well and the singing was excellent throughout. Will Wrightson’s direction was excellent and well thought out making good use of both the setting and the talent at his disposal; Brian Galloway’s musical direction was spot on he led both musicians and the cast well from a good position meaning he was visible to them throughout.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

 

 

 

Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky – 2010

Winner of the NODA Flame Award 2010
This was a superb performance. Well cast, well acted and with exceptional singing throughout. The audience clearly enjoyed it and responded with prolonged applause which was well deserved. The casting was excellent reinforcing the ages of the characters well. This combined with their excellent singing voices made the performance credible and engaging.

Clearly a lot of planning had gone in to make all aspects of the production work together. The whole was definitely greater than the sum of it parts. Brian Galloway as conductor was supported by Anthony McCarthy on piano. He conducted both the performers and the musical accompaniment well such that both were seamless.

The scene where Lensky is shot by Onegin was cleverly managed such that the “gunshot” was well orchestrated and co-ordinated obviating the need for an explosion on stage.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

The Merry Wives of Windsor – Nicolai – 2009

The stage was in effect a corridor between the audience, the direction from Michael Gieleta, needed to be well thought out, and it was. The action took place in an area which acted as centre stage and allowed a good view of the players.

Clearly music is a key part of opera. Anthony McCarthy on piano played superbly throughout. This gave a level of sound which suited the venue and complemented the singers perfectly allowing the audience to clearly follow the plot. Brian Galloway conducted both piano and the players keeping a good co-ordinated pace throughout. The sound was amazingly enhanced by the design of the church and the use of the space under an arched roof. The absence of an echo meant the sound of music and voices were blended beautifully.
Tony Sweeney, NODA Rep, London Area 1

 

The Tales of Hoffmann – Offenbach – 2008

I do enjoy my nights at Opera Integra. The ensemble are there to enjoy themselves whilst stretching their performance abilities. The enjoyment shows so please keep up the good work. The music of Offenbach is nothing short of wonderful and I’m sure that Brian Galloway had as much enjoyment in rehearsal as he appeared to do whilst Conductiong. The same must be said for the talented pianist Anthony McCarthy.
Stephen Macvicar, NODA Rep, London Area 3

 

Oberon – Weber – 2007

Notable features of this Michael Gieleta production for me were the strong chorus work and significant amount of youthful performers. Opera can sometimes be seen as stuffy and not very accessible for the younger element but they were very much to the fore in this production. I liked the chorus remaining on stage in Act One and merely turning their backs to be invisible.

Another strength of this production was the narration. It is not always easy to follow the storyline within an opera, even when sung in English. By using narration, we were much kept up to speed. I think the narration, wriitten and performed by John Edmunds was marvellous. His rather dry, whimsical delivery brought much welcome amusement to proceedings.
Stephen Macvicar, NODA Rep, London Area 3

Ernani – Verdi – 2006

I must pay my respects to the musical side of this production. Opera Integra do not I assume have a budget for an orchestra but more than made good with the combined efforts of pianist Andrew McCarthy and Conductor Brian Galloway. For more than three hours these two gentlemen gave full concentration and leadership to the ensemble. They were a pleasure to watch.

The ensemble worked very hard throughout. There were many faces which were ‘working’ the whole time and this was fantastic to see.
Stephen Macvicar, NODA Rep, London Area 3

A Masked Ball – Verdi – 2005

This production of Verdi’s opera was a credit to the Group with its high vocal standards and ability to convey the emotions of the story… The chorus throughout the evening were in fine voice and provided a very sound platform for the telling of the story and from which the principals could perform with confidence. Director Sarah Chew ensured that there was a sense of spectacle to the ensemble scenes and pathos to the more intimate ones. I thought that the various entries into the acting space and general use of the space were well thought out.

The Musical Direction of Brian Galloway was superb, which together with the fluid musicality of the pianist Justin Bissell made a very eloquent framework for the whole evening.
John Huckle, NODA Rep, District 1

 

Staged performances 2004 – 1976

Il Trovatore – Verdi – 2004

A Day in the Reign – Verdi – 2003

Atilla – Verdi – 2002

Der Vampyr – Marschner – 2001

Nabucco – Verdi – 2000

L’Incoronazione di Poppea – Monteverdi – 1999

Macbeth – Verdi – 1998

Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) and Gianni Schicchi (Pucinni) – 1997

Der Freischütz – Weber – 1996

Faust – Gounod – 1995

Ariadne auf Naxos – Strauss – 1994

Falstaff – Verdi – 1993

The Fairy Queen – Purcell – 1992

Die Zauberflote – Mozart – 1991

Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart – 1990

Un Ballo in Maschera – Verdi – 1989

The Rake’s Progress – Stravinsky – 1988

Iphigenie en Tauride – Gluck – 1987

Idomeneo – Mozart – 1985

Orpheus in the Underworld – Offenbach – 1983

Roland – Lully – 1983

La Clemenza di Tito – Mozart – 1981

King Arthur – Purcell – 1981

Orfeo ed Eurydice – Gluck – 1980

The Fairy Queen – Purcell – 1980

L’Incoronazione di Poppea – Monteverdi – 1979

Il Ballo delle Ingrate (Monetverdi) and Dido and Anaeus (Purcell) – 1979

Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart – 1978

The Waterman – Dibden – 1977

Cadmus et Hermione – Lully – 1977

Satanella – Balfe – 1977

Cosi fan tutte – Mozart – 1976

Der Wildschutz – Lortzing – 1976