2 March 2018


From September 2017 to March 2018, the National Opera Studio collaborated with the Victoria & Albert Museum to put on a series of 18 concerts to accompany the V&A’s exhibition Opera, Passion, Power and Politics, and celebrate the NOS's 40th anniversary year. Over this period of over six months, 58 artists performed in front of almost 2,500 people in the V&A’s Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre –  alumni, current young artists, this year's Artist-in-Residence and NOS artistic staff. Artists were asked to consider the exhibition's themes, composers and stories, and the programmes were rich and varied in repertoire, from Monteverdi to Birtwhistle, song to opera, and artists spoke eloquently about their choice of repertoire and the background of the works, giving the audience real insight into the world of opera. 

Throughout the series, NOS and V&A staff spoke to audience members, meeting people of all ages and backgrounds, and found that many were new to opera, often exploring the art form for the first time and enjoying what they had experienced:

Opera is new to me, I'm more of a jazz man! The new experience was good for me, I'll be back next week.

It was a great taster session, the room where it was held was magnificent. I'm going to The Marriage of Figaro, this has probably given me a good insight! It was great, as I'm new to it all.

NOS Chief Executive Emily Gottlieb said “our V&A concert series, which accompanied the exhibition ‘Opera: Passion, Power, Politics’ for its entire duration, has been a true collaborative effort between two organisations; not only providing a welcome live, and free, experience for all museum-goers, but also helping to celebrate the National Opera Studio’s 40th anniversary. In total it has involved thirty-six singers and twenty répétiteurs alumni spanning all four decades of our existence, and we have reached an audience of nearly 2500, most of whom are new to the Studio. We are incredibly grateful to the wonderful alumni who all donated their services for this series- a testament to the regard with which they hold the NOS and the difference it has made to them as professional artists. And it is a testament to the vision, spirit and drive of the exhibition’s lead curator, Kate Bailey, and the efforts of our NOS staff, that this ambitious and rewarding series of concerts has come to fruition. This was collaboration at its best and I am proud that in our 40th Anniversary year we have been so clearly able to showcase the results of our high quality training, for which we are so highly regarded”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Although the series has come to a close, there are still plenty of opportunities to experience our events.  For full information, visit our What's On section.


Header photo; Matthew Durkan and Richard Hetherington (right to left) © NOS 2018. Photograph by Roger Way