A relatively new arts organisation, Nova Music has already established itself as a successful company working with singers and instrumentalists of the highest calibre. Its focus is on artistic excellence and creative production which always has music at its heart.
The brainchild of highly respected British conductor and festival director, George Vass, and founding producer Alison Porter, Nova Music has gradually developed into the multi-faceted company it is today.
Orchestra Nova made its professional debut in 2001 at London’s Purcell Room; since then it has fulfilled a wide variety of engagements throughout the United Kingdom, and has made a steady stream of orchestral and operatic recordings for the Dutton Epoch, Guild, Toccata Classics, British Guitar Society and Champs Hill labels.
The company has also been involved in the production of chamber opera for several years, having produced the premiere of That Man Stephen Ward (an hour-long music theatre piece by Thomas Hyde to a libretto by David Norris) for the 2008 Hampstead and Highgate Festival and in May 2009, under the aegis of Hampstead Springfest, giving a critically acclaimed production of Britten’s Curlew River with a cast that included Robert Murray as 'The Madwoman'.
At the 2010 English Music Festival, Nova Music presented its first independent fully-staged production – Holst’s chamber opera Savitri coupled with a rare concert performance of the incidental music to Hassan by Delius.
In 2013, Nova Music Opera celebrated the Britten centenary with a hugely succesful UK tour; Curlew River was paired together with a specially commissioned chamber opera, Hagar in the Wilderness, from Scottish composer Sally Beamish and librettist Clara Glynn.
For its 2014 UK tour, Nova Music Opera coupled two specially commissioned works to great acclaim: Airborne, Cecilia McDowall's work, to a libretto by Andy Rashleigh, about a WW1 pilot and his sweetheart and Stephen McNeff's Prometheus Drowned which examines the curious circumstances of Percy Bysshe Shelley's death in Livorno, Italy in 1822. Full details including cast lists can be found here.
2015 and 2016 saw the revival of Thomas Hyde's That Man Stephen Ward coupled with a commission from Charlotte Bray to a libretto by Amy Rosenthal, Entaglement, which examines the end of Ruth Ellis' life, before her contoversial exceution in July 1955. Premiered at the Cheltenham Festival and repeated at the Presteigne Festival and at LSO St Luke's in London, both works were a great success with audiences and critics alike
Nova Music Opera has commissioned a major new work from composer Joseph Phibbs and dramatist Laurie Slade. Juliana, based on August Strindberg's dark stage play Miss Julie, will premiere at the Cheltenham Music Festival in July 2018, embarking on a UK tour soon afterwards; full details will be available in the Autumn of 2017.
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