News & Updates
Keep up-to-date with upcoming events, news and information abut Cameratina and its collaborators
London 'Taster' Recital
Donors to this year's weekend of music were invited to a preview of what can be expected at Cameratina's weekend of music in April.
Susanna Stranders and Sir John Tomlinson were joined by some of the successful audtionees, who together gave a flavour of what might be expected in April's weekend of music: From darkness to light, the many shades of Puccini.
The stunning venue was the Clocktower at St Pancras, and enormous thanks is due to Peter and Timothy for allowing us to use their home.
Casting auditions for From darkness into light, the many shades of Puccini.
Susanna was joined by Elaine Fairless and Nigel Masters for a series of auditions for the various roles in Cameratina's weekend of music this April. The weekend is again to be hosted in Oborne Dorset and the working title for the weekend is From darkness into light, the many shades of Puccini.
There were many young singers who attended the auditions and the final decisions are being made a the time of writing. Two of the successful applicants were Victoria Armillotta (pictured) and Felix Kemp.
Sir John Tomlinson to direct and perform at Cameratina 2024
Sir John Tomlinson will be joining Cameratina in Oborne in April 2024, to work with Susanna to produce a weekend of Puccini and Friends. The working title is From darkness into light, the many shades of Puccini. Sir John will direct Il Tabarro and give a recital, as well as leading a group of singers in an open workshop. Sir John is a friend of Susanna Stranders, Cameratina's Artistic Director.
Sir John sang in the Scottish Opera Chorus from 1968 and in 1972 sang with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He was principal bass at English National Opera from 1975 to 1981. He was invited to Bayreuth in 1988 and appeared there for 18 consecutive seasons in the Wagner roles of Wotan and Hagen in the Ring, King Mark in Tristan und Isolde, Titurel and Gurnemanz in Parsifal and the title-role in Der fliegende Holländer. His career has taken him to all the great opera houses of the world as Wotan/Wanderer, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger, Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Boris Godunov, King Philip in Don Carlo, Claggart in Billy Budd, and Bluebeard in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. He was appointed CBE in 1997 and knighted in 2005.
Cameratina granted charity status
We are delighted that Cameratina has been granted charitable status. It is registered with the Charity Commission (ref no 1203870) and is recognised by HMRC as a charity (ZD22128) and its Memorandum and Articles can be viewed online at Companies House. Cameratina Limited (“Cameratina”) is a company limited by guarantee (No. 14462887). Its objectives are:
For the public benefit, to advance public education and appreciation of the art of opera in particular but not exclusively by
Promoting public operatic performances, recitals and workshops; and
The provision of training and workshops to performers/artists, and particularly young performers/artists to enable them to create works of artistic excellence.
Roderick talks about his upcoming royal engagement
Just a day after or so after Roderick Williams performed at Cameratina, he talks to Ivan Hewitt ahead of his Coronation performance.
Roderick directed Cameratina's 2023 Opera A Dinner Engagement, which took place on Saturday 29th April. He also led an open workshop along on Sunday 30th April with Cameratina's artistic director Susanna Stranders, to work with six young singers ahead of their performances in the recital later that evening.
Later that day, Roderick gave a recital entitled Fairest Isle, Jewels of British Song, in which he gave a stunning performance to a sold out audience.
A King's Commission!
We were delighted to hear that Roderick Williams OBE, has been commissioned to write write and perform at King Charles' Coronation this May. Rodney is both directing and performing at Cameratina 2023 this April!
Cameratina registers with Companies House
Originally an informal group of enthusiasts for chamber operas, Cameratina evolved into a corporate entity in 2022 in order to provide a more sustainable financial and governance structure. It is in the process of registering with the Charity Commission and HMRC and its Memorandum and Articles can be viewed online at Companies House. Its objectives are:
(1) To support and arrange for the staging of chamber operas and recitals of high musical quality at prices accessible to the general public; and
(2) To give young professional singers an opportunity to build their experience and repertoire alongside established professional performers.
It has three directors, Elaine Fairless and Nigel Masters, who act as executives, and Alison Munro, who is Chair of the company. All the directors act on a voluntary basis. Its accountants are Hunts Accountants, Oborne, Sherborne, and its bank is NatWest Ltd. Cameratina Limited (“Cameratina”) is a company limited by guarantee (No. 14462887).
The Artistic Director of Cameratina Limited is Susanna Stranders. Susanna is a pianist, conductor and répétiteur. She is on the music staff of The Royal Opera House and coaches at leading British conservatoires and international summer schools.
Fairest Isle – Lunchtime Recital
14th November 2022
The delightful programme of 12 jewels of the British art song repertoire was chosen and performed magnificently by Susanna Stranders with Katy Thompson, soprano, and Sarah Richmond, mezzo soprano.
This was a perfect taster for our April weekend with wonderful composers, including Vaughan Williams, Howells, Dring Parke and Pether, representing the countries of the British Isles.
Of particular interest was that Roderick Williams OBE, our star singer this coming April, was amongst the composers performed and, better still, he managed to move his diary around to be with us in person.
VIARDOT200 has made the headlines!
We were delighted to have Michael White of Opera Now join us in Oborne for Viardot200 and to have received such plaudits. Amongst other things, Michael wrote of Cameratina's version of Viardot's Cinderella:
"Viardot's Cinderella has had dustings down in recent years at Wexford, Buxton and elsewhere, but never made the impact it deserves. At Oborne, I was seriously impressed by its all-round potential, thinking that its time has come, along with that if its creator."
VIARDOT200: Prima Donna, Composer, Muse and Inspiration
19 November 2021
Our lunchtime concert on 19th November was a taster for our next musical event, VIARDOT200, which takes place in Dorset on 2nd and 3rd April 2022.
The performance was led by our new Artistic Director, Susanna Stranders, from the piano, with singers Claire Lees - Soprano, Katy Thomson - Soprano and Kieran Rayner - Baritone. Susanna chose the programme of songs and piano pieces to illustrate the themes of Pauline Viardot as Diva, Composer, Muse and Inspiration. The programme proved a huge success with the music and voices pairing perfectly.
The concert allowed our subscribers to meet Susanna face to face. It also allowed to meet ‘Cameratina’ and to discover what we are achieving. Given our purpose to support opera recitals of the highest quality, in small spaces, and help young singers to gain experience, the concert certainly ticked all the boxes.
We were pleased that the photographer for the concert was Clive Barda OBE, doyen of opera photographers. It is his portraits of the performers that grace this article.
The opinion of all present was that the concert was a huge success and the best possible introduction to Pauline Viardot’s music.
Prestigious award for Dani Howard
10th November 2021
Cameratina are delighted to congratulate Dani Howard on her winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Award 2021 for a Large-Scale Composition for her Trombone Concerto commissioned by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cameratina’s own commission from Dani Howard is nearing completion and it’s world premiere will be performed at VIARDOT200 on 3rd April 2022 by Katie Bray accompanied by Ellipsis.
Cameratina announces London concert
as taste of Viardot200
6th October 2021
On 19 November 2021, Cameratina will host a lunchtime concert at 1901 Arts Club in Waterloo. Performed by new Artistic Director, Susanna Stranders, and three rising stars of opera, Claire Lees, Katy Thompson and Kieran Rayner, the concert will give a taster of the highlights to be expected at the Viardot200 event scheduled for April 2022.
Viardot200 will celebrate the extraordinary talents of composer and singer Pauline Viardot and her friends in fin de siècle Paris.
Young composers gear up for Viardot200
13th September 2021
Susanna Stranders, artistic director for Cameratina, reports enthusiastically on the progress of the brand new pieces by composers Dani Howard and Lilly Vadaneaux. Commissioned by the subscribers to Cameratina, the two new works will be premiered at the Viardot200 music event in Dorset in 2022. Susanna writes
“Pauline Viardot would have been delighted to know that her 200th anniversary would have inspired new works from two young women composers. A highly accomplished composer herself, she was also a great teacher and supporter of young musicians, with her Salons providing a platform for such young talent as Schumann, Saint-Saens, Massenet and Gounod.
Dani Howard is a British composer, already with international recognition, collaborating in projects in a range of media including dance, art, film and architecture. Her opera “Robin Hood” was first performed in London in February, 2019.
Lilly Vadaneaux studied at the Guildhall School of Music and is now mentored by Roxanne Panufnik. Lilly has been winning composition awards since the age of 11 - she is still under 20 - and has already had her music played on Radio 3.
Covid leads to delay of Aldeburgh performances for a second year
12th August 2021
Cameratina are disappointed to announce that their opera event, Spirit of the Sea, planned for September 2021 has had to be postponed for a second year.
Elaine Fairless and Nigel Masters, the organisers of Cameratina, said:
“We have reluctantly decided to postpone our opera weekend in Aldeburgh after our lead soprano, Rachel Nichols, stepped away from the venture over concerns regarding Covid infection. We understand Ms Nicholls situation and wish her well for her forthcoming performances. We will now reconsider the programme and seek to provide an equally engaging event in Aldeburgh, probably in the Autumn of 2022. In the meantime, we are grateful to the Jubilee Hall and The White Lion Hotel for their flexibility in supporting this postponement
New Artistic Director in first video interview
16th June 2021
Susanna Stranders, the new Artistic Director of Cameratina, spells out her vision for her first major project, Viardot200.
“Pauline Viardot was an extraordinary woman, one of the first international divas, a hugely accomplished composer in a time when women’s achievements were undervalued, and a Spaniard hosting one of the most glittering artistic salons in France.”
In this extended interview, Susanna introduces herself, her attachment to Viardot’s music and offers a teaser performance of the new Jeremy Sams translation of Cendrillon.