Project information

Celebrating 25 years of remarkable music-making

A celebration of an amazing milestone - overcoming all past challenges, Bampton reaches its 25th birthday. We'll celebrate with very rare performances of Nicolo Isouard's Cinderella (1810), a concert celebrating Mozart's soprano Nancy Storace, and Menotti's much loved Amahl and the Night Visitors.

March 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Bampton Classical Opera

Bampton Classical Opera logo
  • Need


    We are widely recognised for breaking the traditional mould of operatic repertory: so many companies, large and small, play safe and only perform a relatively small canon of accepted familiar pieces. Bampton takes risks, and it repays magnificently: we have revitalised fascinating works and thrilled audiences and critics with our discoveries. We provide a supportive atmosphere for young professional singers, providing fascinating challenges and helping their emerging careers to develop.


    We'll give at least 4 staged performances of a significant 'forgotten' opera, Nicolo Isouard's 'Cendrillon' (Cinderella) of 1810. We have a showcase London concert to celebrate the bicentenary of Mozart's favourite soprano Nancy Storace. We'll give two performances at Christmas, aimed at families, of Menotti's 'Amahl and the Night Visitors'. We plan chamber music and talks around our birthday celebrations in Bampton.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To rediscover rare classical-period operatic repertory.


    » Performances of 'Cinderella' in 3 venues - Bampton, Westonbirt, London; (a 4th is under discussion) .
    » Nancy Storace concert in St John's Smith Square London.

    Success is measured through audience attendance, their feedback e.g. questionnaires, the comments by press critics, and through our ever-growing general reputation.

    Aim 2

    We will support the early career development of outstanding young professional singers.


    » All our performances showcase outstanding emerging singers and players, drawn from audition and our biennial Young Singers' Competitions.

    Positive reviews by critics are instrumental in developing early careers - our press reviews are always strong, thanks to our experience in selecting the very best singers.

    Aim 3

    We will educate, entertain and inspire the public through our work.


    » We give our audiences new musical experiences, enabling them to discover and learn about music they have never before encountered.

    We have created audiences thirsty for novelty and fresh experiences. Our success is proven in comments received and also through winning new members to our Friends' organisation.

    Aim 4

    We will add to musical knowledge.


    » Our work with rare opera involves creating new musical editions from 18th-century sources such as manuscripts, and new English translations.

    Our scores and translations have been taken up by other companies, especially in Australia and USA. Our expert programme notes are frequently referred to and quoted online.

  • Impact


    Our work will bring changes in the experience and careers of talented young singers, frequently demonstrated when they move on to perform with the major national and international companies. Often audience members and our many volunteer helpers comment on the life-enhancing activities which they experience. 2018 will be a pivotal year for us, as we face specific challenges related to our main venue and to core personnel: our project will be significant in marking a conclusion and a new start.


    The risks are chiefly financial, since we depend significantly on private and charity donors. We have always maintained fair ticket prices in order to widen accessibility, but consequently box office income covers less than half our costs. The risk is failing to reach funding targets. We are however flexible and adept at running a lightly-funded organisation with minimal overheads, and we develop various fundraising strategies such as our 'Sponsoranaria' scheme.


    We invite donors to see and enjoy our performances. We write formal feedback reports, and offer access to critical reviews and press coverage through our website. We hold specific events for our Friends members to engage their interest and future support.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £141,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £73,000 professional fees fees to singers, creative personnel
      £7,500 venues hire hiring fees for our major venues
      £27,500 technical costs costs of music, staging, scenery, costumes
      £17,500 marketing PR agency, D&P, advertising
      £15,500 admin, misc catering, accommodation, licenses, insurance, contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Friends' organisation standing orders £8,500 Guaranteed
    regular trust funds £4,500 Conditional
    regular major individual donors £14,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We have traditionally performed in two rural locations in Bampton, Oxfordshire and Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, where we have built up new audiences in areas not usually served by such activity. We also always perform in central London, and from time to time in Oxford. We attract significant number of retired people, but cover all age ranges. Families and children attend our open-air performances in Bampton, and we will be targeting these also for our 2018 productions.


    Our varied audiences, professional musicians, volunteers and musicologists. Our activities are small in scale, but we are well supported by about 25 volunteers who have come to discover the benefits of working with us in a range of activities (e.g. front-of-house, backstage) which they had never previously encountered. Our musicians become very loyal, gaining a very positive working experience with us, which they often profess is more supportive than with many bigger companies.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 25 years of successful, enterprising experience and have rediscovered many treasures of forgotten 18th-century opera, giving more than 10 significant UK premieres. Numerous press reviews praise our unique achievement, especially our brave choice of repertory and our sound instincts in identifying outstanding young musicians, building a corporate brand based on superb vocal abilities, diction, blend, interpretation and stage-craft.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gilly French

    Co-artistic director/trustee. A founder of the company, acclaimed experience as a translator, choral conductor and administrator.

    Jeremy Gray

    Co-artistic director/trustee. Also a founder. Director of Productions, responsible for all staging aspects, and much acclaimed in the press.

    Hilary Reid Evans

    Chair. A retired management consultant of international standing.