Welcome to Fringe Opera,
the online guide to opera in alternative venues.
This website was created with the belief that opera should be available everywhere, and to everyone. While large-scale opera continues to flourish in grand opera houses, a recent surge of small production companies are striving to transform opera’s image, bringing both classic and contemporary works to new spaces and new audiences. These venues are informal, intimate and affordable, and the productions themselves – whether in the pub, an empty warehouse, a music festival, a night club or an independent theatre – serve as proof that sense-tickling opera can thrive in just about any context.
Some companies provide contemporary approaches to classic works, while others stage more traditional productions in adventurous settings. Others create new works altogether, combining the basic ingredients of opera with other concepts. Down to earth and all-encompassing, these progressive productions are dropping opera into the heart of modern culture, providing opportunity for singers, igniting a fresh enthusiasm for the genre and simply widening the contexts in which we can enjoy this extensive art form.
Fringe Opera will tell you what’s on and where, along with reviews of current productions and behind-the-scenes features. Great for anyone keen to break tradition but not the bank, or simply wanting to experience an exciting alternative to the opera house.
Francesca Wickers, Founder and Editor
A music graduate from The University of Bristol, Francesca works as a freelance journalist and editor. She discovered an appetite for opera during a five-month placement with the Opéra National de Paris, and went on to extensively research the increasing accessibility of opera in today’s society for a final-year dissertation entitled The Democratisation of Opera: A Choice Between Accessibility and Authenticity? As she wrote, she became hooked on discovering the high-quality and affordable opera to be found cropping up in alternative and intimate locations. Passionate about spreading the word, Francesca reviews all current productions that fall into this category, and stays up to date with this innovative movement.
Mary Grace Nguyen is currently studying for a Masters in Journalism at Birkbeck College (having graduated from UCL with a degree in Anthropology, studied Modern Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies and taught English in Japan.) She writes for various London theatre blogs, is co-founder of Birkbeck’s online student magazine, Flock To The Crown BBK, and enjoys writing poetry, short stories and opinion pieces.
FringeOpera.com currently features productions in London only, with every intention of expanding. Watch this space!