Heber Opera in 2023

  • Posted on: 12 March 2023
  • By: Michael Withers

2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Heber Opera.

Many of you will know that Dorothy Withers has decided to step down as director after last year’s production of Flotow’s Martha. We are so grateful for everything that she has contributed to Heber Opera over the years and we have been especially lucky to have her direct all the productions since 2015 with her usual flair for the dramatic and imaginative interpretations of the stories. She also created the singing translations for these productions. She will be sorely missed!

However, we are extremely lucky to have Ian Gledhill joining us as stage director. As well as decades spent translating and directing opera, Ian has a vast experience of the theatre including stage management and appearing on stage himself. He also lectures regularly on a variety of topics ranging from trams, transport and architecture to the history of Gilbert and Sullivan (together and separate) and the works of Jacques Offenbach. We are looking forward to the insight and enthusiasm that Ian will bring to our autumn show The Tales of Hoffmann.

Come and sing Hoffmann

We start the year’s activity with a new venture for Heber. We will be holding a launch event for our 2023 main production, The Tales of Hoffmann. This will take the form of a ‘come and sing’ workshop on Saturday 15 April 2023. It’s going to be a sort of ‘study day’ and will include introductory talks about Offenbach and his music as well as the opportunity to sing a couple of chorus sections and learn some basic staging with the principals. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn about an opera from the

If you would like to sign up, or just want a bit more information please contact Jenny Hawkes (jenny@heberopera.co.uk) or call 07770 962811

Concerts 2023

We have already started work preparing for two concerts to be held in May:

  • Saturday 20 May in King Edward Hall, Lindfield
  • Saturday 27 May in Hurstpierpoint Village Centre, Hurstpierpoint

This year we ask the question ‘where do the stories for operas come from?’ Most of the operas that are well-known today have their roots in literature. Some from plays, some books and short stories, a few even from poems – hence our concert’s title: ‘From page to stave’.

The programme will include readings from the original source literature to put our extracts into musical and literary context.

The programme will also include the first performance of a new work by Tim Nail, our indefatigable repetiteur. ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ is Tim’s setting of the W.B.Yeats poem for baritone, oboe, string quartet and piano. Steve Hawksley will be the baritone soloist.

Tickets will be available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/heberopera

Tales of Hoffmann

Our autumn show will be Offenbach’s last opera The Tales of Hoffmann, with performances at most of our regular venues:

  • Saturday 23 September in King Edward Hall, Lindfield
  • Sunday 24 September in the Steyning Centre, Steyning
  • Saturday 30 September in Uckfield Civic Centre
  • Sunday 1 October in Hurstpierpoint Village Centre

Put the dates in your diary and watch this space for further information.

Come and join us

We are very keen to welcome new members into the Heber Opera family. There are vacancies in all parts. The rehearsal atmosphere is friendly and very supportive and it’s a great opportunity to develop your singing and stagecraft.

Please pass the word to anyone you think might be interested; no operatic experience necessary, just a love of singing!

For more information or an informal chat please contact Michael Withers on 07802 735190 or email michael@heberopera.co.uk