Choose Your Words – And Your Vice

A nice old vice!

How do you find things you need on the web? Chances are, you type a few words into Google or a similar search engine, and see what comes up.

Every month, we do the same with our show titles at Hatstand Opera, just to see what comes up. But we don’t just look at the search results, we also look at keyword results, the words you good people actually type in, not what we think you type in!

Now, the long and short of it is, “Vocal Vices” is not a phrase generally searched for much, so Google suggest other words that might be associated with that phrase, with some rather odd results…

Bench Vices – yes, Kirsty’s dad has one on his workbench, but it doesn’t sing very well

Vice cubes – another type of woodworking vice, we gather, not those vodka jelly cubes so popular at student parties a decade or so back

Vocal metal – we presume heavy metal, as in Black Sabbeth et al, but perhaps robots are finding their voices?!

Milling vices – a cocktail party for those who have strayed from the straight and narrow?

Hobby vice – yes, we know it’s a small vice for home use, but some might construe it otherwise…

Just to say that our next performance of Vocal Vices (the show) will be at Huntingdon on Friday 21 May – click on the dates tab for more info!

nice old bench vice pic by vipa at

Hatstand Opera go Into The Woods

Long time, no see?

We’re busy gearing ourselves up for the the first performance after our three month break by doing all those terribly unglamorous chores, such as running repairs on costumes and redesigning props that have suffered in transit over the last year.

For example, we needed to redesign our Wolf’s ears (for our item from Sondheim’s  ‘Into the Woods’). Originally, these were attached by Velcro to his hat, so they could be removed in transit. However, that didn’t hold them firmly enough, as he ended up with a nasty case of Droopy Ear Syndrome.

So we looked at gluing them on instead, but the combination of fur ears and felt hat was even worse, so his ears fell out sideways. Not a good look.

It was at that point that we remembered those craft sessions at school, when you made puppets from card and brass fasteners. Remember those? You know, the type that have a round head holding two prongs that you can open out to fix things, and stab your fingers if you’re not paying attention.

Much to our surprise, they are still readily available, and they are perfect for holding wolf ears firmly onto a felt hat. Admittedly, our wolf now have pierced ears in three places, but at least they now stay in place as our most charming Wolf sweet talks Little Red Riding Hood in the forest…

Opera, art and a Ferrari

A Ferrari 430 Badge (in case you were wondering)

Spring is definitely with us, and so an opera company’s thoughts turn to  – photo shoots!

Next week, we’ll be disporting ourselves across a Ferrari (well, someone has to) to promote our appearance at the Summer Art Exhibition at Project Workshops in Hampshire. Let’s hope the sun shines on the righteous – and us as well…

Friday 7 May 2010
Gala Opening of the Project Workshops Summer Exhibition
Project Workshops, Lains Farm, Quarley, Nr Andover, Hants, SP11 8PX
time: 6pm-9pm
tickets: £15
available from: 01264 889 889
In aid of Alzheimer’s Society

Hatstand Opera performance dates 2010

Don't be a chump - book your tickets now!

The Hatstand Opera performance diary is now online to October 2010, so get out your diaries and book a date or six!

And yes, booking early really does pay off this year!

Our shows include some special ‘early bird’ booking offers, such as buy one get one free for Opera in the Orchard.

Just click on Laurel or Hardy to see the diary!

Vocal Vices for Valentines Day

red heart for Valentine's DayWant to give something wickedly different as a gift this Valentine’s Day? How about a Hatstand Opera performance! OK, we probably can’t get it together for the actual day itself, but how about ringing us to discuss an opera performance by Hatstand Opera as the ultimate romantic present for 14 February 2010?

Every year, Hatstand Opera perform at private parties, dinners, anniversary celebrations, weddings and ‘significant birthday’ bashes for delighted guests and happy hosts. It’s easy to host a Hatstand Opera performance; all you need is a suitable space (which can even be your living room!), access to a 13 amp plug, and soprano-proof windows!

Call us on 01252 511 762 and solve your Valentine Day gift problems today.

Vocal Vices dates for 2010

Hatstand Opera have new Vocal Vices performances for 2010 – see the Tour Dates tab for details.

And if you’d like us to be musically wicked for your charity event, private party or summer ball, just ring us for a quote!

Merry Christmas from Hatstand Opera

Seasons' Greetings, the Christmas show from Hatstand Opera

All of us here at Hatstand Opera wish you a very

Merry Christmas

and a

Vocal New Year!

Toni, Kirsty, Richard, Bryan, Jochem,
Jeremy, Sue, Tim and Peter

Hatstand Opera launch Singers for Funerals

pink tulips, our chosen flowers for the new Singers for Funerals website

Here at Hatstand Opera, we’ve been working on our new venture, Singers for Funerals. As you’d expect, this new service offers professional opera singers for church funerals, memorial services, services of thanksgiving, civil funerals,  burials and cremations. So far, we have focussed on singing for funerals in the south of England, but we are expanding to include an arrangement with a funeral singer in Birmingham and the West Midlands region.

Hatstand Opera in Classical Music magazine

Tuck into opera in Tenby this September

Tuck into opera in Tenby this September

Yes, Hatstand Opera are in Classical Music magazine again, stuffing our faces (see above) on the Hornblower page. We’re delighted that the editor of CM himself, Keith Clarke, will be coming to our performance of “A Bite at the Opera” in Tenby, Wales, on Tues 22 September. And even more delighted that his esteemed magazine called us “the entirely wonderful Hatstand Opera”.

If you want us to entertain your guests in between courses of dinner for a charity event, international conference, mess night or just for fun at your own party or wedding, just give us a call. But not at lunchtime…

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!