INDEPENDENT OPERA at Sadler’s Wells was founded to serve as a London platform for outstanding new directors, designers, singers and others involved in the staging and production of opera. A wide-ranging repertoire was selected in order to showcase new talent in all areas of opera production, in addition to which concert performances and recordings were undertaken.
The opera company took its first steps with a production of Rossini’s La scala di seta at the Arts Theatre of the London Oratory School in 2005. Recognising the need for more formalised support for opera practitioners, the company soon established a relationship with Sadler’s Wells, presenting its first production, of Handel’s Orlando, at the Lilian Baylis Theatre in November 2006, reviving the production in concert at the Wigmore Hall in June 2008. In 2007 the company marked the 100th birthday of Elizabeth Maconchy with the production of two of her one-act operas, The Sofa and The Departure, given their first performances at Sadler’s Wells in the 1950s and 1960s. In November 2008, it completed a four year cycle of full-scale opera productions in London with a production of Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in a new orchestration by the composer Stephen McNeff for thirty-five instrumentalists.
INDEPENDENT OPERA Artist Support, created in 2007, is a comprehensive programme of scholarships, fellowships, partnerships and patronage designed to complement and continue the work of Independent Opera by providing ongoing financial assistance to young professionals involved at all levels in the production of opera. The programme of scholarships and fellowships, available to singers, directors and designers, is an integral component of the company’s objective: to give those involved in the staging and production of opera the support they need at the outset of their careers.
Registered Charity no. 1117559