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Fiona Woolf DBE

Duncan Orr

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Last Updated: 4/1/18



Winter 2017

Mosè in Egitto – 7pm, Saturday 24th February 2018, Cadogan Hall

Our 2017/18 season continues with Rossini’s opera, which opens with a plague of darkness and ends with the parting of the Red Sea. It is perfect for concert performance where these ambitious scenic demands can be fulfilled in your mind’s eye.

The conductor will be Robin Newton, who has given several successful performances of Italian repertory with us in recent years and the cast will include Catherine Carby, who was Romeo in our Capuleti e i Montecchi, as Mosè’s follower Elcìa. She will be joined by Anush Hovhannisyan fresh from a personal triumph as Violetta at Scottish Opera, singing Pharaoh’s wife Amaltea. Mosè and Aronne will be played by former members of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme, James Platt and Ji Hyun Kim. With its Egyptian setting and love story across a racial divide, the opera anticipates the plot of Verdi’s Aida. Rossini’s tenor is Pharaoh’s son Osiride, who is in love with Elcìa and will be sung by Nico Darmanin.

After he left Italy for France, Rossini produced Moïse et Pharaon, an expanded version of the opera which COG performed in 1972. This time we have chosen the tauter Italian original which had its first performance in Naples almost exactly 200 years ago on 5 March, 1818.

Tickets are already on sale and can be booked through the Cadogan Hall website:http://tinyurl.com/CHFeb18/

Doors will open at 5pm.There will be a free pre-performance talk for all ticket holders at 5.45pm given by Richard Osborne.

Future Concerts

Our 2017/18 season will conclude with a concert at Cadogan Hall on Saturday 23 June 2018. The opera has not yet been confirmed, so please keep an eye on our website for the latest news on this site.

The 2018/19 season opens on Saturday 27 October 2018, once again at Cadogan Hall. Helena Dix will sing the title role in Bellini’s masterpiece Norma. Then we return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 24 March 2019 for Boito’s Mefistofele conducted by Matthew Scott Rogers, and on Sunday 30 June, when Oliver Zeffman will conduct Rubinstein’s The Demon.

As usual the orchestra will travel to Salisbury twice in 2018. In March, we will perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion and then on 10 November we will commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War with a performance of Britten’s War Requiem. Outside engagements like these are important in helping us to raise the funds needed to promote our London concert series, so we are always happy to receive invitations for the group to perform. Let us know if you have any ideas.

Christmas Eve, 10th December 2017

Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera calls for a mid-winter blizzard, so it felt apt to wake up on the day of our performance to discover that it was actually snowing! Unfortunately, it soon transpired that in some places the snow was disrupting road and rail travel and several members of the chorus and orchestra were having problems making their way to the final rehearsal. One chorus member living in the Cotswolds was finally defeated by the lack of public transport but luckily everyone else made it in the end and the performance was a great success. The large cast threw themselves into the impromptu semi-staging and both chorus and orchestra responded enthusiastically to Timothy Burke’s energetic conducting.

‘Bravo to Chelsea Opera Group for bringing another operatic rarity to life, all the more welcome in providing seasonal cheer.’ (Classical Source)

‘…the chorus sang lustily and with character. The orchestra made the most of their opportunities, giving us some lovely moments of magical orchestration, and making the various orchestral interludes become part of the charm of the piece.’ (Planet Hugill)

Join Us!

If you have ever wondered how it feels to sing in an opera, why not consider joining our chorus?    Rehearsals are held in central London, normally over the five weeks before a performance, usually two evenings a week and one all-day weekend session. If you would like to know more contact us by emailing

Membership of the orchestra is by invitation, but we are always on the look-out for high quality players – especially double basses!!  If you are interested in finding out more or know someone who might be interested in playing with COG please let us know.

The best way to contact us is by emailing

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Duncan Orr

Supported by the Chelsea Opera Group Trust: Registered Charity Number 247438.
020 8675 2779:

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