12pm, Saturday 12th September 2020
The first of 10 episodes of our digital production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe will be released on our website and Facebook page at 12pm on Saturday 12th September! This ambitious production was rehearsed and recorded entirely in lockdown. We will be releasing one episode per day for 10 days. To learn more about the project and to watch the operetta click here.
We do hope you can tune into Iolanthe - we’re excited to bring you our version of this enchanting and satirical operetta, with a sprinkling of added fairy dust of course!
What we do
Green Opera is a charity with a vision for making music and drama in a way that is environmentally sustainable. As an organisation taking a stand on the impact of arts on the environment, we are dedicated to inspiring others both to engage with this wonderful art-form and to take care of the world around them. We programme a variety of works from both the mainstream operatic repertoire in addition to lesser known or contemporary works. We hope to introduce the public who may be unfamiliar with opera as an art-form to the full spectrum of music and drama that it has to offer. Over the past year we premiered two new works, Eleanor Burke’s Fillu and Karolina Csáthy’s Gesualdo.
We'd like to see the arts inspire ownership of the emotions and narrative of climate change. We want to see spaces where audiences and artists alike can talk openly and listen readily, engaging both practically and imaginatively with the challenges of climate change. We want to hear about partnerships and collaborations and best practice, to hear that sector-wide behaviour change and diversity and inclusion are now the norm. We want to feel as though the climate crisis is being treated as a crisis, and that the arts aren't justifying extractive art for extractive art's sake. We want our arts to be measured with intention, communicated with determination, and performed with courage.
How we do it
Producing music and drama sustainably isn't as complicated as it might seem All of our resources are sustainably sourced: we upcycle props, costumes or scenery and recycle anything we no longer have a use for. We also use a paperless ticketing system and where printing is unavoidable, we do so on recycled paper. We are also interested in repurposing buildings: many of our productions take place in spaces that are not designed for theatrical use such as churches and libraries. We hope to extend our interest to abandoned and neglected spaces in the future in order to rejuvenate spaces that have been neglected.
We are also committed to educating the next generation of artists and audiences. By 2021, we plan to start delivering educational workshops at schools to introduce children to opera and also encourage to take care of the world around them. We also aim to work with vocational training establishments and young artist programmes to deliver workshops in being an environmentally-friendly performer and sustainable production design.
Work with us
GO are always looking to work with others who are equally passionate about responding to the climate crisis. We believe that we are stronger together and are always ready to work with and learn from others both in the arts and beyond. We are constantly look to find ways to improve the sustainability of our practice and share our knowledge with the rest of the arts community. To read more about our partnerships click here.
GO has been lucky enough to partner with several inspiring organisations and artists. We would love to hear from you and build our network. Simply email us at or fill in our contact form!
Eleanor Burke Artistic Director
Eleanor is a London-based director and choreographer a Junior Artists Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A trained ballet and contemporary dancer, Eleanor is also studying stage combat to expand her work to include fight and intimacy choreography. Eleanor wrote and directed Green Opera's inaugural production, Fillu and their première of Karolina Csàthy's Gesualdo. Eleanor read English at Trinity College, Cambridge where she was a choral and academic scholar and directed Bizet's Carmen; Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti; Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado; Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne/Der Schauspieldirektor. Eleanor has directed Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Opera Kensington); and was due to direct Poulenc’s La voix humaine (Raikes Consort/Green Opera) and be the Movement Director for Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti/Castaway (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) prior to Covid-19. Eleanor has also worked professionally as an Assistant Director. She assisted on and observed several productions as part of the Arcola's Grimeborn Festival 2019 including Scott Joplin's Treemonisha and Julia Burbach's staging of Wagner's Das Rheingold. She has also assisted Stuart Barker on Rossini’s La Cenerentola (British Youth Opera); Daisy Evans on Puccini’s La Bohème (Hampstead Garden Opera); James Hurley on his production of Massenet's Chérubin (Royal Academy Opera); and, most recently, Julia Mintzer on Holst’s Savitri (Hampstead Garden Opera). Upcoming projects include directing the Isolated Incidents (Green Opera Online) and the world-premiere of Edward Lambert's The Duchess of Padua (The Cockpit Theatre).
Lizzie Thomas Producer
Lizzie read Modern Languages at UCL, majoring in French. As part of her studies, she spent her third year abroad living in Paris, working in advertising for Elle Magazine. Throughout her time at university she contributed to and sang in a number of UCOpera productions and, during her final year, she produced the British staged premiere of Smetana's Libuse at the Bloomsbury Theatre. More recently she was Assistant Producer for Spectra Ensemble's Treemonisha at the Grimeborn Opera Festival. Lizzie is currently working in advertising for Publicis Media but is delighted to have the opportunity to continue her involvement in the Arts and Opera.
Jonathan Whiting Composer-in-Residence
Jonathan is a freelance award-winning composer who specialises in vocal and theatrical music. He graduated from King's College London with a First Class degree in Music where he was taught composition under Dr Edward Nesbitt. As an academic, he specialised in musical theatre, particularly the analytical approach to the music of Stephen Sondheim. Currently Jonathan is studying for a Masters in Composition at St. John's College, Cambridge. Jonathan has received commissions and performances from the Modern Music Society of King's College London and Guy's Chapel Choir and has two publications with Queen's Temple Publications. He also works as editor and typesetter for world-renowned musical pedagogue and composer, Paul Harris, and assists in the running of the annual International Malcolm Arnold Festival. Upcoming projects include the premiere of his operatic scene, 'The Porter' as part of Green Opera's Isolated Incidents project and 'Sleeping Beauty' (Cambridge Footlights).
Nina Vinther Environmental Officer
Nina is a First Class Modern and Medieval Languages Graduate of Cambridge University. She studied French, German, Dutch, Polish and Danish alongside lots of singing, from jazz, to lieder, to musical theatre, to Trinity College Choir. In her final year she worked with various students, academics and staff on environmental questions from divestment to subsidised rail travel. Besides her love of performance, Nina is passionate about outreach and education and never takes music for granted – she believes that musicians should be stewards of the human habitat and the arts alike. Music has huge potential to connect people to their emotion, to communicate truths not easily communicated, and to build communities in times of crisis. She is determined that our conversations about "eco-friendliness” shouldn’t be a gimmick; they must be formalised and sustainable change organisationally implemented.
A troupe of upper class boys tangle with a swarm of mischievous fairies as they try to woo the much-desired Phyllis. However, Phyllis is in love with Strephon – half-fairy, half-mortal, a commoner and the nephew of the Fairy Queen. When the pompous men break up the happy couple, the fairies vow revenge. Frivolity ensues as lofty lordlings and feisty fairies collide in the ever bumpy road to love.
Eleanor Burke and Aya Robertson lead a cast of talented young singers in their digital production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s enchanting and satirical operetta Iolanthe. Video editing by Charlie Jonas.
This ambitious project was filmed entirely in lockdown and will be broadcast in 10x10 minute daily episodes across our Facebook page and website from 12th September 2020.
All episodes are available to watch on demand for one month after the broadcast.
12 young composers respond to the theme of ‘isolation’ in our first contemporary opera project, Isolated Incidents, directed by Eleanor Burke and musically directed by Callum Huseyin.
From Beckett’s Waiting for Godot to a cat and dog waiting for their owner, this smorgasbord of operatic scenes, Isolated Incidents, tells a range of stories inspired by isolation through a variety of musical styles.
Broadcast details coming soon!
As a non-profit organisation, we rely on the generosity of individuals to make the creative and environmental endeavours that go hand-in-hand at Green Opera possible, especially during these uncertain times for the arts.
Become a Patron
Inspired by the idea of a sustainable opera company?
Want to help ensure an artistic and environmental legacy?
Select an option from our patronage system and help our company thrive.
1. Priority booking for all performances
2. Regular company updates from our e-bulletin
3. Acknowledgement of your support in our programmes
All Friend benefits plus:
Invitation to join the company for post-show Company drinks
Invitation for two to dress rehearsals
All previous benefits plus:
Two complimentary tickets to First Night performances and pre-show receptions
Complimentary programme at each performance
Opportunity to sponsor an instrumentalist in fully staged productions with credit in the programme
All previous benefits plus:
Invitations to meet the cast and creative teams and attend working rehearsals and sitzprobe, where you will get an exclusive view of our productions coming together
Opportunity to sponsor a principal role in fully staged productions - will be kept up to date with the performer’s progress throughout their involvement in the production and credited in the programme