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How it all began... #throwbackthursday

La boheme, Charlie Morris, Andrew McGowan, Pete Stuart, Harry Benfield

As individuals we always loved opera, but it was watching a performance of La bohème by Headfirst Opera (2016) in a tiny pub-theatre in South-East London that sowed the seeds for Opera in a Box to form. For us, it was the first time that we’d seen the art form taken out of an opera house, and presented up close, intimate and accessible, and inspired us to bring this style of operatic theatre to the South-West. From the company’s conception, it was always our vision to put on opera that was accessible, innovative, encapsulating of all areas of the arts, and nurturing of young talented musicians and creatives. Opera in a Box presented their inaugural production of La bohème at the Bristol Bierkeller in Winter 2016. This was set in a modern-day, performed in the round, and featured a full cast of young, local singers and theatre creatives from the South-West, as well as talented painter and artist Hugo Lloyd-Winder, who we collaborated with to create an instillation of artwork featured within the production and in the venue as a whole. It gave us great pride to see that our marketing brought in two sold out performances, many of whom were young and having their first experience of opera. The following March, the company received the NODA Innovative Production Award for these performances. Since bohème, all of our shows have strived to present intimate and innovative opera to new audiences, in off-the-wall, but accessible venues, and we feel privileged to be the company whom for many, people have their first, and often very memorable experiences of opera.

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