Our production of the new ‘people’s opera’ BLOOM BRITANNIA was staged for the first time in October 2021 at St. Mary in the Castle in Hastings. An affectionate, comic opera, bringing together influences from folk, pop and jazz, this is an opera like no other, and is at the heart of our mission to engage new participants, as well as new audiences, in the experience of opera.
Composer: ORLANDO GOUGH
Librettist: STEPHEN PLAICE
Director: POLLY GRAHAM
Artistic Director: JENNY MILLER
Conductors: CHRISTOPHER STARK/MARK AUSTIN
The culmination of many years of development, with a leading creative team working with the communities of Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill – children, young people and adults – many of whom performed on stage alongside an outstanding professional cast and live band, BLOOM BRITANNIA is a hilarious, raucous, challenging, action-packed, thrilling production celebrating the joy of singing, music and creativity. Read more about the development of the project HERE.
‘Barefoot Opera’s stupendous community opera BLOOM BRITANNIA had its last performance today. What a dazzling delight, a faultless production embodying the spirit of Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea. I’m honestly overwhelmed by the professionalism of this opera but further moved by the community engagement. Quality always shines through and this production scores on every level...truly a triumph.’Audience Feedback 2021
Participants and participating organisations
- A chorus of local people from Hastings, St. Leonards and Bexhill from across the generations.
- Singers from several community choirs including Hastings Philharmonic Choir, Sound Waves Community Choir, Opera South East, and vocal groups Acapella Bellas, Rattlebag, Now and Then
- Participants from Arts On Prescription and The Seaview Project
- Pupils from Dudley Infants School and The Hastings Academy