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The Royal Opera Chorus

The Royal Opera Chorus was created in 1946 for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II. Known then as the Covent Garden Opera Chorus, it first appeared during December the same year in Purcell’s The Faery Queene, staged together with Sadler’s Wells Ballet (now The Royal Ballet). Its first full-scale opera production was Carmen in January 1947.

Since then the chorus has been the backbone of The Royal Opera, performing in an average of 20 productions each season, in a wide repertory ranging from Baroque through to newly commissioned works. The chorus is frequently augmented by as many as 60 freelance singers when larger productions are mounted.

As most operas are performed in the original language (Italian, French, German, Russian, Czech) the chorus works closely with language coaches during the rehearsal period.

Due to the brevity of production runs (six or seven performances) the chorus will often be performing in two or three productions in the evenings while rehearsing one or two other productions during the day and also learning the music of several other operas, all at the same time.

Chorus Director
Renato Balsadonna

Assistant Chorus Master
  Stephen Westrop

Chorus Manager  Dermot Agnew

Assistant to the Chorus Manager  Naomi Lewis

Sopranos
Melissa Alder
Yvonne Barclay
Katy Batho
Joan Carroll
Tamsin Coombs
Marianne Cotterill
Eileen Hamilton
Bernadette Lord
Kiera Lyness
Anne Osborne
Deborah Peake Jones
Eryl Royle
Emma Smith

Contraltos
Louise Armit
Amy Catt
Amanda Floyd
Andrea Hazell
Elizabeth Key
Kate McCarney
Madeleine Mitchell
Deborah Pearce
Dervla Ramsay
Cari Searle
Renata Skarelyte

Tenors
Phillip Bell
Simon Davies
Alan Duffield
George Freeburn
Neil Gillespie
Elliot Goldie
Mark Guerin
Lee Hickenbottom
Andrew Macnair
John Mulroy
Andrew O’Connor
Luke Price
Andrew H. Sinclair
Douglas Telfer
Nathan Vale

Basses
Dominic Barrand
Donaldson Bell
John Bernays
Nigel Cliffe
Jonathan Coad
Jonathan Fisher
Christopher Lackner
Michael Lessiter
John Morrissey
Paul Parfitt
Bryan Secombe
Olle Zetterström