Opera Circle


Photo Roger Way

The Highgate Opera Circle meets generally on the first Wednesday of each month in the Victoria Hall commencing at 7.30pm.  Membership is free with a £5 donation (£10 for non HLSI members) for each event.

 The Opera Circle aims to inform and encourage the appreciation and understanding of what is for many the most emotionally powerful and moving of all art forms.  Members, who range from opera supporters to music professionals, meet to share in their enthusiasm and love of opera through a variety of planned events, all of which are open to non HLSI members.

 Most evenings focus on presenting an introduction to an opera by looking at the background to its composition and comparing different singer’s performances on video in alternative productions.  Sometimes an artist comments on his own interpretation in a particular role, such as the Covent Garden bass Robert Lloyd, who recently described his approach to the role of King Philip in Don Carlos.  Richard Suart on another evening demonstrated his various roles in G&S.

 The Opera Circle’s association with the Royal Opera House enables a major operatic concert to be given annually by some of the young up-and-coming Covent Garden singers, seen with Robert Lloyd in the 2016 event below.

We have looked at particular singers, such as Mirella Freni in her various roles. Felicity Palmer has recently been discussing her career.  Mark Elder and David Poutney have also been previous guests.

 The Opera Circle has recently developed a partnership with Hampstead Garden Opera, who with their creative team and singers profile their forthcoming new productions twice a year in the HLSI.

 Visits to opera houses both in the capital, and other parts of the country are a regular feature on our social calendar.

 If you like opera do come and join the circle of friendly opera enthusiasts.  We look forward to welcoming you at our events itemised below!

 If you wish to keep up with all our activities, please email us for a membership form at operahlsi@gmail.com   Membership is free.

October 2017
Wed 04

Philip Sheffield

From Buenos Aires via Llandudno to La Scala Milan! Join international su

November 2017
Wed 08

Dame Josephine Barstow

An evening with the great international British soprano talking about he

December 2017
Wed 06


(inc. Christmas social) In advance of live relays from both the Met and

January 2018
Wed 24


An introduction to one of the most well known and popular operas compari

February 2018
Wed 21

Cosi fan Tutte

Cosi fan Tutte (inc. Annual Meeting) Ahead of the forthcoming Met relay

March 2018
Wed 21

Luisa Miller

Prior to the Met relay, an introduction to a rarely performed Verdi oper

May 2018
Wed 02

La Traviata

Introduction to the world’s most performed opera, followed by Hampstea

June 2018
Wed 06


Prior to the forthcoming ROH performances, an introduction to one of Wag






Highgate Opera Circle Programme 2016/17


All events in the HLSI commence at 7.30



Wed 5 October           Magic Flute

Introduction to Mozart’s opera with Robert Lloyd, comparing artists and performances, followed by some of Hampstead Garden Opera’s singers from their forthcoming production.


Wed 2 November        The Art of Tito Gobbi

Presenting the art of Tito Gobbi and celebrated baritones in their definitive roles.


Thurs 15 December     La Boheme

(inc. Christmas social)

Comparing the plethora of great artists and performances on video.  From Bjorling & Tebaldi, to Pavarotti & Freni, Scotto and Gheorghiu.


Wed 4 January            Tristan & Isolde

Discussion of recent productions at the Met and ENO, in comparison with other performances.


Wed 8 February          La Traviata   

(inc. Annual Meeting)

Ahead of the forthcoming Met relay, introducing the opera’s origins and profiling the many great performances.


Wed 1 March              Idomeneo

Prior to the Met relay, Opera Circle members introducing the elements of Mozart’s flawed masterpiece, containing some of his greatest music.


Wed 29 March            Coronation of Poppea

Introduction to Monterverdi’s last opera, followed by Hampstead Garden Opera’s creative team on their forthcoming production.


Wed  3 May    Rosenkavalier

Prior to the forthcoming Met relay with Renee Fleming, introducing the opera’s origins and profiling some historic performances.


Wed 7 June     Otello

(Inc. summer social)

Ahead of Jonas Kaufmann’s debut in the title role at Covent Garden, a comparison of the great performances, followed by an analysis of the minds of both Iago and Otello by John Cordingly.


Other Events


In addition to these events in the Victoria Hall, there are regular visits, sometimes with pre-performance discussions, to English Touring Opera, Garsington and Glyndebourne.





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Opera, the most diverse, exciting and complex of art forms