Hatstand Opera at Holywell House SOLD OUT!

Rehearsing in a 'disco' marquee, with a 'chill-out' tent behind!

Rehearsing in a 'disco' marquee, with a 'chill-out' tent behind!

Our Vocal Vices performance at Holywell House on Sunday 13 September has completely SOLD OUT  – over four weeks in advance! It’s a superb result for the organisers, who are a small committee raising funds for their charity The Pinder Centre. We think it’s been such a success because of three main factors:

1. The performance is at lunchtime, and your ticket prices includes lunch! What could be better than lunch in an English garden, followed by our fun and entertaining show? Also, many of our older audience members appreciate an event where they don’t have to drive home long distances in the dark afterwards.

2. The tickets are just £15 each. And that includes a “French-style’ lunch. It’s a great idea as the catering is a doddle; cheeses, meats, French bread and salads, with a choice of two tasty desserts in the interval. No fancy frills, just good value entertainment and no-fuss food. Perfect.

3. The venue is exclusive – yet free! Thanks to the generosity of Lady Clarendon, our performance makes use of a marquee that’s already in her garden, and which otherwise would be standing empty until the hire firm comes to collect it midweek. It’s a trick we’ve used many times before, and it saves hardworking charity fundraisers hundreds of pounds over hiring a venue or their own marquee. (Hint: your local vicar often knows when wedding parties are happening which might involve marquees, or keep an ear open for friends and neighbours having parties for significant birthdays…)

So, congratulations to the Pinder Centre committee, and call Hatstand Opera now on 01252 511762 if you’d like to replicate their charity fundraising success in 2010!

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Private Hatstand Opera Performances

Tanks for the memory: two divas and a pianist on a Chieftan tank

Tanks for the memory: two divas and a pianist on a Chieftan tank

We’re performing Vocal Vices for a private members only club in Henley on Thames on Thursday, and we know it’s going to be a great evening, because we’ve been entertaining there for the last nine years!

They keep inviting us back because we always offer them something new for their members; the latest show, or a bespoke show created especially around their chosen theme. I think that’s what has made Hatstand Opera so successful over the years; the ability to create innovative, fun shows that entertain all comers, for almost any venue and event!

Her’s some of the special shows we’ve created for clients:

• An operatic wine tasting – Music of the Vine – featuring guest expert wine tasters including Malcolm Gluck, Oz Clark and Charles Metcalfe.

• An operatic cookery demonstration with “Ready, Steady, Cook!” star Lesley Waters.

• The Opera Grand Tour, singing under specific paintings in exhibitions and collections at galleries such as London’s National Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery  and Courtaulds Gallery

• Site-specific events with tailor-made programmes in locations such as Trafalgar Square, the Broadgate development (six stories up on an unfinished Norman Forset building), National Trust properties including Belton House and Clandon Park, and the Tank Museum Bovingdon!

So, if you’ve got an unusual venue or event (or both), give us a call and challenge us to create something special for you!

A few words from our Hatstand Opera fans..

It’s always nice to know what our audience think of our shows, so we were particularly chuffed with some comments we received about recent Vocal Vices performances. Pardon us while we revel in the glory for a moment!

All of our party went home completely bowled over.
AF, Begbies Traynor, on “Vocal Vices” at Exbury Gardens

Wow what a fantastic evening! It was absolutely brilliant and all those many hours of planning and preparation certainly paid off. I think we have raised the standard of how we stage fundraising events and have the makings of a fantastic template for the future.
CM, Ashton Gray Recruitment, on “Vocal Vices” at Exbury Gardens

I wanted to write and thank you once again for a wonderful performance on Tuesday night. The show was so well put together and covered such a different range of music. This has been a difficult year for me and I have enjoyed the great comfort that music has bought me. To hear you all sing on Tuesday really lifted my spirits and I thank you all for that. I do hope that you have already been booked for next year!
KS, audience member, on “Vocal Vices” at Frinton-on-Sea

Couldn’t have put it better ourselves…

The Hatstand Opera show must go on!

What a superb night we had at Frinton yesterday – blue skies, a still and warm evening, and the nicest audience, who loved every minute of the show.

Once again, as I predicted, we attracted a crowd of passers-by who even abandoned a cricket game to come and watch us for a while. And we had a chance to meet again one of the nicest public toilet attendants in the UK, who pipes classical music through the spotlessly clean clifftop loo block in honour of our visit, and sits outside during the show to make sure he can hear us sing!

One group of young local lads were so keen to be part of a Hatstand Opera show in some way (we presume) that they decided to literally pull the plug on the marquee’s electricity supply halfway through our show-stopping rendition of ‘Delilah’. Plunged into darkness, we couldn’t even sing on, as our digital piano needs its 13amps to make a noise!

Yet within a couple of minutes (if that) the marquee technical crew had the power back on, and after we’d got over our giggles, we managed to finish the show to rousing applause and general delight all round.

The performance was dedicated to Australian soprano Toni’s sister Joy, who passed away last week. Toni managed to fly home to see her for the last day, and then returned to sing this performance in her sister’s memory, after a round trip to Sydney and back in just six days.

So, thanks to the good people of Frinton and we hope to entertain you all again next year.