Opera Holland Park

Sick Singers

Michael Volpe | Posted 17.05.2013 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

If you or I get a cold we can sit at our desks, doped on Lemsip and trundle through our day's tasks unwatched, unnoticed, silently. That is a luxury not afforded a performer who must force their voice into spectacularly unnatural contortions, expending monumental amounts of energy in the process.

Gok's Opera Makeover

Michael Volpe | Posted 09.04.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

Best known for his various television series, How to Look Good Naked, Gok's Fashion Fix, and more recently, Gok Cooks Chinese, fashion consultant Gok Wan hardly fits the cliché of the standard opera-lover.

To Boo or Not to Boo

Michael Volpe | Posted 08.04.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

I always wonder why it is that audiences boo. Opera audiences can get extremely cross about interpretations of their favourite operas, especially the classics. I'm more concerned with the need, the irresistible urge even, to be outraged by a director's interpretation and to give voice to that frustration.

Collective Efforts

Michael Volpe | Posted 25.03.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the success of a company is founded on everybody who is engaged with delivering its product, the rewards and praise ...

In Search of Jewels

Michael Volpe | Posted 07.02.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

A reality that all opera houses face is that audiences tend to gravitate towards the works they know. In fact, this isn't a problem only experienced by opera houses but there is a peculiar perception afoot that by presenting these works we are, by definition, asking audiences to consider them all to be masterpieces and as such they are frequently judged on that basis.

To Them All We Must Give Applause

Michael Volpe | Posted 30.01.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

The arts industry is, especially today, awash with the cult of personality. Too often the focus is drawn to the people at the top, or the PR stunts that propel them onto a few thousand twitter feeds and by which an industry appears to now be judged, diverting the issues or introducing unnecessary ones.

Under the Influence

Michael Volpe | Posted 07.01.2013 | Home
Michael Volpe

The resurgent Evening Standard newspaper in London, which still manages to look and read like a real newspaper whilst being a "free-sheet" held its an...

Conditional Love for the Olympics

Michael Volpe | Posted 27.09.2012 | UK Sport
Michael Volpe

A billion words have been written about the opening ceremony so I won't add to them, save to say that it has given a little boost to the nation's feelings for the Games which nevertheless still teeter on the line between a full embrace and complete intolerance.

Olympic Heaven or Hell?

Michael Volpe | Posted 10.09.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

So it is nearly upon us, this festival of sport like no other. I love the Olympics and spending hours watching various obscure sports and I always thought that winning a gold medal must be the greatest sporting achievement there is.

They Give, We Gain

Michael Volpe | Posted 19.08.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

A happy fact of life at Opera Holland Park is that our largest source of income still comes from the seats we sell to our audience. For an arts organisation that has to be a healthy state of affairs; the art itself is the focus and driver of everything. But we, like others, have to find people and organisations with the resources to make the books balance.

Opera Challenge Returns

Michael Volpe | Posted 18.08.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

I have made much of the need to introduce people to the world of opera and part our effort to achieve this takes the form of the Opera Challenge, now in its third year. In essence...you come on a free ticket and then pay what you believe it is worth in the form if a donation to our Inspire project. Simple. We tend to run this scheme for our rarities. See below...

The First Opera?

Michael Volpe | Posted 29.07.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

It seems to me that if a person has no knowledge or experience of opera at all, we can send them off to see pretty much anything at all that we know to be beautiful, dramatic and engaging. Why might a novice not enjoy Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre Re?

Good luck Mr Gelb!

Michael Volpe | Posted 21.07.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

A firestorm has erupted in the opera world over what has been called "censorship" by the Metropolitan Opera House of the magazine Opera News

Bringing Them In

Michael Volpe | Posted 16.07.2012 | UK Entertainment
Michael Volpe

Since my last blog several correspondents have asked what the world of opera does to introduce more people to the art form. I can't speak for other co...