Beyond the summer we like to stay in touch with members, holding Happenings in special and secret venues in delightful corners of London and Surrey.
The events embrace the exceptional, the amusing, the entertaining and the delicious.
Here are some recent Happenings:
We gathered to hear composer Anthony Bolton and director Stephen Medcalf reveal how they will bring the radioactive plot of The Life and Death of Alexander Litvinenko to life this summer.
Singers Hanna-Liisa Kirchin, Xavier Hetherington, Lorena Paz and Edmund Danon, who will play Andrei Lugovoy this summer, serenaded guests.
This world première promises to be electrifying.
The Grand Winter Dinner
The magnificent Grand Winter Dinner took place on 20 February at Middle Temple Hall, London.
Members gathered over a delicious meal in the beautiful Elizabethan Hall to celebrate our collective achievements at the Theatre in the Woods.
There was gorgeous singing from Wynne Evans and a superb Mendelssohn octet from the Yehudi Menuhin School.
Next year’s event promises to be just as special.
The beautiful Rebecca Hossack Gallery played host to a gathering of those eager to learn more about this summer’s upcoming production of La Bohème.
Donald MacLeod and Michael Fontes spoke about the real Bohemians of 19th century Paris and Soprano Ailish Tynan serenaded guests. Ailish sings her first Mimi in La Bohème this summer.
Clementi and clocks
For the first Happening of 2020 members gathered for a tour of Clementi’s house in Kensington.
After, we explored the delights of Howard Walwyn’s Shop of Fine Antique Clocks with a glass of wine in hand.
Our second annual Immortals Dinner took place on Thursday 21 November, in the gorgeous garden shed of Joanna Lumley.
28 of our Immortals & Beloveds – a munificent group who have pledged a gift to Grange Park Opera in their Will – gathered for a delicious feast
Muzio Clementi House
This November music lovers gathered at the former home of Clementi, Father of the Pianoforte.
Afterwards, we dined at nearby Sally Clarke’s.
On 31 October we took a group of our members to Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End.
Zizi Strallen plays the title role with Charlie Stemp as Bert the chimney sweep.
On 28 October Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach made his London debut at the Southbank centre with a programme of Verdi, Donizetti, Tchaikovsky, Bizet and Rachmaninov.
Andrei won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year competition this year at which Wasfi Kani was a judge.
To spread the word in south west London we launched the Wimbledon friends at Oscar & Margaret Lewisohn’s home on 26 October.
Mezzo soprano Olivia Ray, Anna Politkovskaya in The Life & Death of Alexander Litvinenko, serenaded us with Habanera from Carmen and Bill from Showboat.
Rothschild Sky Pavilion
On 21 October we savoured an evening of music from pianist Iain Burnside and several of the ENO’s Harewood artists at the spectacular glass-sided Rothschild Sky Pavilion.
On 19 October Sarah Minns performed a fantasia on Miss Havisham’s wedding night and the poems of Emily Dickinson for the inaugural performance in the Piccolo Theatre.
The Piccolo Theatre is an intimate space in the stage right wing of the opera house which seats 50.
Opera at Albany
On 15 October Damon de Laszlo welcomed an intimate group to Byron’s Chambers where Ailish Tynan (Mimi, La Bohème) serenaded us with Puccini.
On 1 October composer Anthony Bolton revealed how the radioactive plot of this opera is depicted.
A further masterclass is being held on 28 January.
On 17 May we gathered at Chilworth Manor in Surrey, suppliers of our delicious rose wine each season, for an evening of musical revels, drinks and canapes.
Grand Winter Dinner
On 28 February the third Grand Winner Dinner took place at Goldsmiths in London.
There was a champagne reception followed by dinner in the Livery Hall with various musical revels.
Dr Bill at The Charterhouse
On February 12 we celebrated a century of genius with an interview with 106-year-old Dr Bill Frankland, a Charterhouse resident.
Dr Bill worked alongside Alexander Fleming (and continues to publish papers) and survived “Hell Island”, a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.
We descended beneath Euston and Charing Cross to explore the disused subterranean tunnels where vintage advertisement posters and the Leslie Green statue are frozen in time.
Wasfi led a small family of members on a curated trip to Parma – Verdi’s homeland.
We took in three operas – Attila, La Trouvère and Macbeth and visited the Teatro Regio and Teatro Farnese.
We marveled at the hi-tech beauty of the McLaren building, designed by Norman Foster. There were amazing cars, guided tours to secret corners and music from Claire Rutter who starred as Amelia in Ballo in Maschera.
We held a champagne reception & dinner at the gorgeous Mansion House to celebrate our collective achievements at the Theatre in the Woods.
Royal Naval College
We took in the baroque masterpiece that is the ceiling of the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College.
The old operating theatre
Writer and actor Dolya Gavanski gave a talk on Russia’s obsessions with gambling in the old operating theatre, which was discovered in the roof space of a baroque church.
An American in Paris
A group delighted in Gerswhin’s musical ballet at the Dominion Theatre in London.