St Paul's Opera

Clapham, London

Your story

St Paul’ Opera, Clapham - an opera company at the heart of Clapham, SW4.

Group introduction

St Paul’s Opera was founded in 2013 by Clapham local Patricia Ninian. It’s raison-d’etre is to bring high-quality fully staged opera to the beautiful venue of St Paul’s Church, Rectory Grove, in the heart of Clapham Old Town. Our aim is to provide opportunities for local people to come together and experience wonderful music, for a fraction of the cost of the West End. As a result of our growing reputation, our much-loved summer opera has expanded to include a programme of concerts and galas throughout the year, alongside workshops and masterclasses. We rely on local volunteers to put on the opera and run it during performances.

Many of St Paul’s Opera’s talented singers are alumni of Morley College in Lambeth, famed for its excellent training in the creative arts and particularly in music. The company has also provided a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to gain their first experience of stage performance, which is crucial for developing their careers. Past performers have included students from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire.

Our productions bring people together from all other Clapham. Each Opera and concert provides an opportunity for local people to be involved. The chorus for example is drawn from members of St Paul’s Church, the Clapham Community Choir, the South West London Choral Society and from the wider community. Many people have sung opera for the first time through the Chorus, and others have gained the confidence and experience to land solo roles in operas and concerts in subsequent years.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

A grant of £500 would enable St Paul’s Opera to continue our programme of events throughout the year, by covering some of our core costs such as musicians’ fees and hiring music. This summer, our production is Cosi Fan Tutti by Mozart, which is being performed 29th & 30th of June. We then have 2 gala concerts later in the year. This funding will allow us to keep ticket prices affordable and for provided free or subsidised tickets to local schools and groups working with vulnerable people in Clapham.

We know from surveys at previous events that coming to St Paul’s Opera makes people feel part of the parish community and wider Clapham, even if they don't usually attend community events. Your support will keep this Opera Company at the heart of the community and to give opportunities to young singers and musicians alike.

"“On behalf of all PCC Members we would like to thank you for arranging and organising the opera performance ' The Magic Flute'.  It was extremely well received of a very professional standard and was a quality performance. To you and your team we are very grateful to you in offering your time and talent to St Paul's.” St Paul’s Churchwarden, 2016

“A highly enjoyable opera – the cast were very good and their enthusiasm was infections! Well done! The church is a nice community setting. Thank you for a pleasurable evening.” Audience Member, 2017

“St Paul’s Opera, Clapham has given me an opportunity to sing in an opera of amazing quality, that as an amateur, I’d never normally get to do. It’s really boosted my confidence as a singer and I can’t wait to be involved in more performances.” Chorus/Opera Cast Member 2015-2017"

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