Opera and pubs - why they are the perfect combo

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What do pubs and opera have in common? Not a lot you’d think, that is until now when we have partnered up with the amazing Rogue Opera company who are taking centre stage in some of our most stunning pub gardens to bring you an operatic extravagance with a difference this summer. 

Rogue Opera are a touring operatic company who are passionate about bringing opera to different spaces and audiences. Founded in 2017 by with Bronwen Stephens-Hardin, after feeling frustrated that the unique experience of operatic theatre wasn’t accessible enough for everyone, Rogue Opera has since developed into a talented cast of performers and creative directors bringing top class performances to audiences in unexpected places. Here Bronwen tells us more about how the idea for the company came about and what makes the combination of opera and pubs so special.

Tickets are now on sale

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"Since a young child I have always loved opera, but a career in events and marketing lead me on a slightly different path for a while. It was around 10 years ago I decided to retrain and realised that operatic performance didn’t have to be a ‘one size fits all’ format. I made it my mission to make opera more accessible to people, and with the help of my skills in events and marketing, launched Rogue Opera in 2017.

We’re all so excited to be back in front of a live audience, it’s been an indescribable 16 months for the arts, we adapted by doing lots of live streaming but there is nothing like the connection and energy you get from a live show so we’re definitely happy to be drawing a line under virtual performances and getting back out there!

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And being a company that thrives on reaching new audience in unconventional locations, there is no better place to come back with bang than in pub gardens. They fit especially well with opera too as it was traditionally performed in spaces where people socialised and enjoyed themselves collectively – a far stretch from the Royal Opera House, so performing in a pub garden feels like bringing it home in a way, as it’s such an immersive space and the audience can really get up close and personal with the performance.

Despite opera often having a reputation as being something reserved for the elite, I would urge everyone to give it a go! Its reputation can act as a barrier for people but Rogue Opera is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the  experience – we focus on popular characters and motifs so you may well be surprised at how much you recognise but also the themes of opera run through modern life, so even without our contemporary adaptation which we’ve introduced to give it a more relatable edge, the essence of opera is about inherent human emotions, love, passion, grief, loss, betrayal, celebration – things which everyone is able to connect with. 

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And where better to dip your toe than the great British pub, I love a pub garden and the British summer, there is nothing like the buzz of a pub garden where people can get together and catch up long into the evening, especially after the year we have had - so performing in some of the most beautiful gardens in Fuller’s is a real treat. It’s almost the perfect celebration of lockdown ending, the beauty of performance and the joy of socialising, with a glass in hand and all at the same time!" 

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Taking place from 18 August 2021 – 18 September 2021 

Book your tickets here 

“The singing, acting and staging were superb. As good as I have experienced at Covent Garden.” - Audience Review, Don Giovanni, 2019, Omnibus Theatre, London 
 
“A dramatic, mini opera - engaging, very entertaining and mesmerising voices” - Private Pop-Up Garden Opera Client

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