Different opera every night at Islington pub

AN OPERA house in the back room of a pub is about to give locals the chance to see four different shows a week.

OperaUpClose, a one-year-old production company which runs London’s Little Opera House at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, begins its first ‘rep’ season on Sunday.

Usually an opera will run for one extended season of around six weeks, but the scheduled rep season means five different shows will run alongside each other, beginning with alternate performances of Cinderella and Madam Butterfly, before adding new productions of The Barder of Seville, Pagliacci, La Boheme and HMS Pinafore throughout February and March.

Adam Spreadbury-Maher, artistic director of London’s Little Opera House, said: “Doing five operas at once from the back room of a pub is bonkers, but I think it might work. It enables us to do lots of new work whilst keeping popular productions running. If people come and enjoy it they can come back without waiting six weeks.”

The newest opera venue in London, the King’s Head Theatre will be hosting shows seven nights a week, with a pool of around 150 busy directors and performers playing different roles on different nights. Some singers will be appearing in three different operas a week.

In an effort to make the opera engaging and accessible, all are performed in full English translation, and the unfunded production group is determined to champion new compositions and original work. “Larger organisations won’t take the risks that we can, so we have been given a mandate to do lots of new work,” said Mr Spreadbury-Maher. “It is important work and we have a lot of flexibility.”

The season kicks off this Sunday with a double bill: Madam Butterfly the matinee at 3pm and Cinderella the evening show at 7pm, with tickets from �15.