follow me on Twitter
follow me on facebook
Home Page
About COG
Future Concerts
Box Office
Rehearsal Schedules
Past Performances
Contact us/Join/Support

Fiona Woolf DBE

Carolyn Ashford-Russell

(c) 2001, HappyDog Enterprises
Last Updated: 14/5/24


Summer 2024

Lakmé Triumph!

Totally revelling in a sumptuous Delibes’ Lakmé at Cadogan Hall last February, with our performers at their best in front of an enthusiastic near-full audience, I mused on the thin line between a thriving arts scene – and near extinction.

Not for many years has it been so important to make the most of, and appreciate, the options that still exist to enjoy the best of opera on our doorstep. Currently the shrinking chances even in London to enjoy – and at reasonable prices – the best of opera makes even more valuable the contribution smaller companies such as COG, which are independent of public subsidy, can make. We are ever grateful to our generous donors and supporters both new and longstanding who help make this possible. Thank you to you all, you know who you are!

Our three concert performances each year provide a reliable thread of exciting works that act as a conduit to lead newcomers further into the genre and provide stepping stones to younger artistes. Those developing soloists and conductors work alongside established ‘names’ and create magic. Audience reaction to Lakmé showed just how enthusiastic that support is. Critics were unanimous in their praise:

Chelsea Opera Group ‘thrill a packed Cadogan Hall’ – Sam Smith, Opera Classical Music Review
COG acquitted itself masterfully in adding what is now a more or less a rare opera to its repertoire – Curtis Rogers, Classical Source
COGs Lakmé has provided a ton of memories to keep at least this listener going’ – Colin Clarke, Seen & Heard.

I due Foscari – 6.30pm, Sunday 9th June, Cadogan Hall

More than 90% of seats were filled for Lakmé, and tickets are already selling well for our next concert – Verdi’s I due Foscari – from £15 plus £4 fee for online/telephone bookings (020 7730 4500). No fee for ENCORE members or personal callers.

The Conductor will be Matthew Kofi Waldren making his debut with COG. A stunning cast has been assembled with welcome return visits by soloists popular in past productions. They include Andrii Kymach as the Doge of Venice; Pablo Bemsch as Jacopo Foscari; Anush Hovhannisyan as Lucrezia Contarini; Emyr Wynn Jones as Jacopo Loredano; Andrew Henley as Barbarigo; Georgia Mae Bishop as Pisana, with John Vallance as an Attendant and Kevin Hollands as the Servant. Andrii Kymach won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2019 and sang the title role in The Demon by Anton Rubinstein for COG just eight days later! Pablo Bemsch sang Faust for COG in 2019 and Anush Hovhannisyan has sung many roles for COG – Sita in Le roi de Lahore, Amaltea in Mosè in Egitto, Tamara in The Demon and Leonora in Oberto.

There will be a pre-performance talk at 5.15pm in the hall for ticket holders.

Puccini Centenary Night – Saturday 2nd November

Just 100 years after Puccini’s death, we will perform three of his works – Capriccio Sinfonico; plus La Messa di Gloria and Le Villi. Casting and ticket sales will be announced soon.

COG Orchestra at Salisbury Cathedral

And on Saturday 23rd November, we are thrilled that our Orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah under the baton of the Cathedral Musical Director, David Halls.

Webmaster Wanted!

We need a Webmaster to help launch our redesigned site and keep it up to date. This would suit a professional or amateur with a love of IT and opera – young or mature, retired or in business. It would involve updating the website every few weeks with images and text which would be provided by other COG volunteers. Like all our COG roles, this is a voluntary role. If you are interested or would like to discuss further what this role would involve, please contact Carolyn Ashford-Russell as soon as possible.

Volunteer with COG

Here again, the need for more volunteers is essential, anyone with any spare time – say a few hours a month – would be most welcome. They are needed to ensure COGs survival into the future. Tasks involve managing the COG website, planning publicity, etc. There are also many other small jobs that need to be done/could be done by someone who currently does not have a role.

Recruiting for the Chelsea Opera Chorus

To find out about joining our chorus please contact: chorus@chelseaoperagroup.org.uk

Support Our Work

We work hard – along with the support from donors – to keep seats at affordable prices so that a night at the opera can still be a manageable treat even in hard-pressed times. Cadogan Hall is a beautiful venue with comfortable seating, where the audience is never far from the action and where sightlines are good. Ticket prices start at £15 and the early 6.30pm start on Sunday performances means that most people can still get home easily – or have time for supper out. COG receives no public subsidy. Ticket sales can never cover costs. Funds are raised from private donors and supportive companies through our registered charity, the Chelsea Opera Group Trust (President, Dame Fiona Woolf) and for this we are enormously grateful. If you would like to donate (or join the mailing list to stay informed), please contact:

Carolyn Ashford-Russell

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter




Tel: 020 8675 2779

Published and supported by the Chelsea Opera Group Trust
Registered Charity Number 247438 Bargate, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 4QY

(Go to top)