erwartung / twice through the heart


A disused mine. You mime

The same sentence. The sound gets stuck.

Life. Life.

Shadwell Opera present a dazzling double-bill of one woman psychodramas: erwartung by Arnold Schoenberg and twice through the heart by Mark Anthony Turnage. Separated in the writing by ninety years, these two monodramas, both to words by female librettists, Marie Pappenheim and Jackie Kay, break apart and reconstitute the mind of an isolated woman in extraordinary stream-of-consciousness narrations

Directed by Shadwell Opera’s Artistic Director Jack Furness and Associate Director Celine Lowenthal, and conducted by Musical Director Finnegan Downie Dear, this programme will feature the role debuts of the exciting operatic talents Madeleine Pierard and Kate Howden.

Visit for tickets.


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Here’s a film about our performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ 8 Songs For A Mad King at St Anne’s, Kew Green, on May 8th 2016:



Shot by The Cleveland Agency


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8 songs for a mad king


We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be performing 8 songs for a mad king by Peter Maxwell Davies, at St Anne’s, Kew Green, on Sunday 8th May, at 3,30pm.

When we heard about the passing away of Peter Maxwell Davies, we decided we wanted to do something to show our appreciation for his amazing body of work. 8 songs is perhaps his most iconic work and, seeing as we’d done it in December at Bart’s Pathology, it seemed a good way to salute the previous Master of the Queen’s Music.
Nicholas Morris performing 8 songs for a mad king

Nicholas Morris performing 8 songs for a mad king

St Anne’s Church is also connected to George III, who is the inspiration for 8 songs. George III used to worship in the church and funded the building of the gallery.

We’re really excited to be doing such an incredible piece of music theatre again, and especially pleased that we’re able to offer it for free. It would be great to share it with lots of people.
poster by Rebecca Pitt

poster by Rebecca Pitt

Baritone – Nicholas Morris
Conductor – Finnegan Downie Dear
Director – Jack Furness
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SONG at Bart’s Pathology Museum

Following on from our recent production of SPEECH ACTS and last year’s SING and SPEAK concert series, we now present SONG…

SONG is a concert with movement and lighting at Bart’s Pathology Museum. Featuring emerging British baritone Nicholas Morris’ role debut in Peter Maxwell-Davies’ Eight Songs for A Mad King, and Schoenberg’s chamber arrangement of Mahler’s song cycle, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, this will be an extraordinary event in an extraordinary setting. Conducted by Finnegan Downie Dear and directed by Jack Furness, it will be an opportunity to listen to beautiful as well as challenging music whilst taking in the spectacular ambience of the medical specimens on display around you.


Maxwell Davies, Eight Songs for a Mad King
Mahler (arr. Schoenberg), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Nicholas Morris, baritone
Finnegan Downie Dear, conductor
Jack Furness, director

1 December 2015, 7pm
Bart’s Pathology Museum
Tickets: £10 / £5 students and under 25s


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We’re recruiting!

Shadwell Opera are looking for a Development Manager to join the team.

Shadwell Opera is an award winning opera company founded in 2009. The company has three aims:

To provoke new audiences with socially and politically engaged opera that speaks to a contemporary sensibility;

To enrich the operatic canon by focusing on recent works that, after their premiere, deserve to be heard again;

To give the best young singers opportunities to work in challenging modern repertoire.

The company is now growing, attracting investment, and producing operas of ever higher quality. The time has come to bring someone with creativity, passion and drive onto the team to help Shadwell Opera navigate the next stage of its hugely exciting journey. If you are interested in finding out more or arranging a meeting, please get in touch with

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For the next production, Shadwell Opera is going political…

SHADWELL OPERA presents SPEECH ACTS, a double bill of George Benjamin’s modern fable, Into the Little Hill, and Stravinsky’s wry spoken-word fantasy, The Soldier’s Tale.

In the run up to the 2015 General Election, Shadwell Opera is mounting two socially and politically charged works, intended to engage and provoke. Where Into the Little Hill takes on a searing relevance in a country dominated by anti-immigration rhetoric, The Soldier’s Tale slyly questions the greed and hypocrisy of capitalist society.

SPEECH ACTS will be an intimate examination of what it means to stand up and have your say.

8-11th April, 7.30pm, The Courtyard Theatre
Tickets: £17 (general admission) / £10 (under 25)

‘Into the Little Hill’
Emily Vine, soprano
Jess Dandy, contralto

‘The Soldier’s Tale’
Kathryn Lydia Griffiths, Narrator
Simeon John-Wake, Soldier
Temi Wilkey, Devil
Beverley Grant, Princess

Musical Director, Finnegan Downie Dear
Director, Jack Furness
Associate Director, Celine Lowenthal
Producer, Hanna Grześkiewicz
Associate Producer, Cécile Beauvillard
Designer, Georgia de Grey
Production Manager, Christopher Silvester
Stage Manager, Rachel Darwood
Video/Photographer, Thurstan Redding
Publicity Designer, Rebecca Pitt

Shadwell Opera gratefully acknowledges the support of George and Moira Yip, The Tsukanov Family Foundation, Ian and Cristina Taylor, Arts Council England and the Embassy of the Republic of Hungary.





We will then tour George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill to three community centres around the borough of Tower Hamlets to bring opera to their local communities: those that wouldn’t normally have access to opera performances. All performances are free entry to local residents. Dates for the tour are:

18th April: St Paul’s Church, Bow E3, 2pm
0208 981 3883

18th April: Southern Grove Community Centre, 6pm
0207 517 0409

19th April: John Scurr Community Centre, 3.30pm
0207 790 3113

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SPEAK: programme

Click here to be taken to tonight’s programme:

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SPEAK at Shoreditch Town Hall

Also join us for SPEAK – a one-off fundraising concert supported by Shoreditch Town Hall

18th November 2014, 7.45pm

Featuring Sarah-Jane Lewis, Alice Rose Privett and Love Ssega, and conducted by Finnegan Downie Dear, this concert will explore the boundaries between speech and music and showcase what Shadwell does best – to raise money for our future productions.

Ravel, Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Walton, Façade
Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire

Come and support us on this very special evening!
Tickets are £20, and are available here:

More detail also on


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SING at Rosslyn Hill Chapel

Since our successful run of ‘In the Penal Colony’ at the Arts Theatre last June, we have been busy planning our future productions. In the meantime, we have organised ‘SING’ – a series of four intimate fundraising concerts at Hampstead’s beautiful Rosslyn Hill Chapel, which will help with making our future plans happen.

The concerts feature some of the country’s most exciting up-and-coming singers and celebrate Shadwell Opera through the best of art-song.

First concert: Thursday 23rd October, featuring Amy Lyddon and Gareth Brynmor John singing songs by Brahms, Debussy and Ravel.

See the flyer for more details, and come and support us!
Tickets available here:

Thursday 23rd October, 7.30pm

Amy Lyddon – mezzo-soprano
Gareth Brynmor John – baritone

Songs by Brahms, Debussy and Ravel

Thursday 6th November, 7.30pm

Joanna Songi – soprano
Aidan Coburn – tenor

Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben and Dichterliebe

Friday 14th November, 7.30pm

Olivia Warburton – mezzo-soprano
Michael Mofidian – bass-baritone

Songs by Hugo Wolf and a selection of English Songs

Thursday 4th December 7.30pm

Angharad Lyddon – mezzo-soprano
Ross Ramgobin – baritone

Songs by Schubert and Ravel

Tickets: £8 (students) / £10 (general admission)

All proceeds will be used towards funding future Shadwell Opera projects.



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In the Penal Colony – TRAILER

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