At Opera Holland Park, we know the most exciting part of the year has arrived when our team grows from just under twenty to around 300, as we’re joined by the talented freelancers who work onstage, backstage, Front of House and in our Box Office.

For World Opera Day 2020, we want to share a few of the projects some of those freelancers have been working on over the last few months.

COVID Classical

Dane Lam is on of our regular conductors and a Young Artists alumnus. He’s curated a series of Covid Classical Playlists, using music to explore emotions from hope and courage to anger and despair.

Here’s the first episode:


Safe At Home

Safe At Home is a series of live interviews conducted by soprano Nadine Benjamin. They feature dozens of creatives and performers, discussing topics like music education, mental health, creativity, singing and fundraising.

You can see the whole series in this playlist


A Very Brief History of Opera

Another of our regular conductors, John Andrews, has been exploring the history of opera. Over six episodes, he charts the art form from its birth in the late 16th century through to the present day, featuring plenty of musical excerpts.

Start the series here:


Opera in Lockdown

Singer Elizabeth Karani, in partnership with composer Richard Barnard, created a series of comic operatic songs which take a tongue in cheek look at classical music-making in the time of the Covid crisis. 

Here’s their song, Opera in Lockdown:

See more from Barnard and Karani here


A Few of My Favourite Songs

As well as working with our Inspire team on our digital outreach projects, soprano and singing teacher Naomi Kilby took part in the #setoperafree campaign, which saw 30 new songs written and premiered on Twitter. She also sang 100 songs in 100 days on Instagram and Facebook.

See all her performances here


Oper | A | Part

Oper | A | Part is a collective of singers, creatives, and instrumentalists, including many of our singers and chorus members. Directed by Ben Newhouse-Smith, they created this performance of ‘Gli aranci olezzano’ from Cavalleria rusticana.


My Latest Role

Ali Wright is one of the freelance photographers who normally capture our performances and events. During lockdown, she put together this photo series featuring performers who’ve taken on key worker roles during the pandemic.

View the My Latest Role photo series


We know not everyone has been able to keep performing and creating during this time for a huge number of reasons, and we celebrate those freelancers too.

Our industry would not be what it is without freelancers onstage and off. We look forward to a time when we can all come together to make opera again.


The featured image for this article shows the onstage freelancers who made up the cast and chorus of our 2019 Season production of Iolanta. It was taken by freelance photographer, Ali Wright.