In 2014 The Opera Group and Mahogany Opera joined forces to create
Mahogany Opera Group.
The Opera Group
‘The Opera Group has broadened the definition of what opera is, who it involves, where it happens and what aspects
of humanity it addresses.’
Richard Morrison, BBC Magazine (June 2011)
The Opera Group was founded in 1997 by John Fulljames to present contemporary work and new commissions at a time when these were largely neglected in the wider UK opera sector. The company has commissioned 15 new operas since then and toured across the UK as well as presenting performances in Paris, Barcelona, Bregenz, Zurich and New York.
The Opera Group has regularly commissioned and produced work with the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, Young Vic, Watford Palace Theatre, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Brighton Festival, Bregenz Festival, London Sinfonietta and CHROMA ensemble. In 2011 The Opera Group became Artistic Company in Residence at King’s College London.
Recent productions have included collaborations with eminent composers George Benjamin and Sir Harrison Birtwistle, as well as some of the UK’s finest composers from younger generations, including Luke Bedford, Julian Philips and Jonathan Dove.
The company received the Evening Standard Best Musical Award for Kurt Weill’s Street Scene in 2008 as well as the British Composer Award for Best Stagework for Edward Rushton’s Birds.Barks.Bones in 2005. Into the Little Hill by George Benjamin was shortlisted for The Southbank Show Award for Opera, Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Best Opera and Music Theatre Award. In 2013 David Bruce’s The Firework-Maker's Daughter was shortlisted for the British Composer Award for Best Stagework.
‘As an inspired decision‚ Aldeburgh drafted in Frederic Wake-Walker to direct all three with the equally ground-breaking company he founded‚ Mahogany Opera.’
Church Parables‚ Aldeburgh Festival, The Arts Desk.com (June 2013)
Mahogany Opera was founded in 2003 by Frederic Wake-Walker, producing site-specific opera that draws on various theatrical methods. Mahogany has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, Buxton Festival, City of London Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, LSO St Luke’s, Courtauld Museum, the Village Underground and at the Hermitage Theatre in St Petersburg to high acclaim, working regularly with Aurora Orchestra and Jubilee Opera.
Russian Tales was nominated for a Performing Rights Society Foundation for New Music best opera award in 2008 and the Church Parables were a highlight of the Britten centenary celebrations in 2013, most notably the Russian premiere of The Prodigal Son in the Hermitage Theatre in St Petersburg.