'Opera Offstage' calendar launched

An exclusive calendar featuring some of Britain’s best loved opera stars was launched at the Future Gallery, London, on Monday 22 October.

The calendar offers a glimpse into how the stars like to spend their precious time 'off stage'. We see Renée Fleming enjoying the buzz of London’s theatre scene, Susan Bullock and Richard Berkeley-Steele at their favourite West End club, Sarah Walker relaxing in her indoor pool, and many more.

The calendar was celebrated with a launch event at The Future Gallery in London, featuring an exhibition of all of the calendar artwork. Hosting the evening was BBC presenter Katie Derham, and the guests were entertained by performances from Elizabeth Watts, Duncan Rock and Nicky Spence.

The idea for the calendar came from leading Scottish tenor and ENO Harewood Artist Nicky Spence. Nicky was supported during his studies through our awards for young artists and was the driving force in getting some of the biggest names in opera to participate in the calendar.

Nicky Spence said, ‘As we spend the bulk of our professional lives singing out the whims of ill-fated divas, heroes and ardent lovers, it is fun to be able to offer a vignette into the lives of Opera Singers off-duty. Having been generously supported by The Fund during my studies, it’s an honour to be in the position to give something back in organising this project. From the smallest of notions, The ‘Opera Offstage’ calendar has turned into a glorious product, which we hope will find a loving wall in the home of many an Opera fan!’

The Hon. Richard Lyttelton, Chairman of the Musicians Benevolent Fund, commented, ‘‘Opera Offstage’ has only been made possible by everyone involved generously donating their time to help support musicians. We are extremely grateful for the enthusiasm and good-will which has gone into creating the calendar. We couldn’t be more thrilled with it.’

The calendar is priced £12 and is available to buy on our online shop.

Elsewhere on the web, Norman Lebrecht chooses his favourite calendar images on his blog and Lesley Garrett is interviewed about her photo shoot by Classic FM.

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