Pimlico Opera

Founded in 1987 by Wasfi Kani CBE, sister company Pimlico Opera works in prisons and primary schools. More than 60,000 public have been taken into prison, more than 2,000 prisoners have participated and there are 6,060 Primary Robins receiving an impressive 100,000 hours of teaching in the school year

Nobody 2

We are doing more in prison

The need for regular purposeful activity in prisons is greater than ever.

We have worked in prison since 1989 (35 years) and are revising the structure of our prison work by (a) maintaining contact with the prison throughout the year with weekly sessions (b) making the large-scale project biennial (once every two years)

More information follows.




What we do with Primary Robins

50 years ago, children at every primary school would have sat around a piano learning songs. This essential part of growing up has been a casualty of today’s curriculum.

At no cost to the schools, a teacher is sent to give a half hour singing class to Primary Robins every week of the school year. Each term the Robins have a new specially prepared Song Book of around ten traditional songs, one of which is in a foreign language.

The Song Books include musical notation. It is not intended to teach the children to read music, but some see the pattern of how they sing and what the dots do.

All the schools have Key Stage 2 level 4 results below the national average, with higher than average numbers of children receiving free school meals. Primary Robins are disadvantaged children within disadvantaged communities. Their lives are enriched and horizons expanded through this exposure to music and singing.



Primary Robins



Johnny Veeder

The Johnny Veeder Fund

Johnny Veeder QC 14 Dec 1948 – 8 Mar 2020

Pimlico Opera was close to Johnny’s heart and this fund will be used for the work in prison and primary schools.

A colleague writes : “It is difficult to find words to commemorate Johnny Veeder. Difficult because he was such an extraordinary person in so many ways . . .

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Musical Chairs

Free seats for young people

Young people aged 14-18 are eligible to apply for free tickets on selected dates. These free seats are funded by donations from individuals.

I really enjoyed my first experience of an opera. I didn’t really know what to expect but thought that the setting, the theatre and the picnic in the grounds all made for a really great evening. I am very grateful to the Musical Chairs Scheme for enabling me and my family to go free of charge, as I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to go or even thought about going. 

Eleanor McPhilips (aged 14)

Teachers are welcome to apply on behalf of pupils.



George Meagher Chair
John Derrick
Jeremy Farr
Anne Sparrowhawk
Natalya Zeman
Rebecca Anderson
Isabella Murray
Andy Uttley
Eleanor Cranmer Company Secretary