twitter facebook Instagram

Festival 2010 – Press


Below the Press Release, click on the Mermaid pin-up thumbnail to read the full preview and the Sailor to read the review!


With its highly anticipated opera about the life of Anna Nicole Smith next season, Covent Garden is clearly moving in on the territory usually inhabited by guerrilla opera company Tete a Tete. But its really only thanks to this awesomely inspiring outfit that we now regularly expect lyric dramas about, for example, fetish shoe dealers, the cartoon character Krazy Kat, Sarko meeting Sarah Palin and gutter press
Metro preview of festival opening 05.08.2010
The madly eclectic festival is back in Hammersmith to present a cornucopia of Opera and Music theatre, featuring major companies and rising stars! BUY NOW
Time Out 07.2010



Baton down the hatches and set sail for the high C’s!

5 – 22 August 2010


Riverside Studios,
Crisp Road,
London W6 9RL
Box office: 020 8237 1111

Tickets: £6/£4 per show and £25.50 / 21.50 Meal Tickets (Meal Tickets include entrance to two performances and a two course meal at the Riverside Bar and Kitchen. Meals can be booked to be served at the time you request before, in between or after the shows.

Visionary opera company Tête à Tête is delighted to announce the full programme for its fourth and best yet, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. Over 200 artists from across the creative spectrum come together for this annual celebration of musical experiment and daring, now firmly established as London’s operatic fringe across three weeks in August. Audiences can dive into the creative process with leading stars and emerging talent, bask in the glow of Tête à Tête’s Lite Bites, micro operas performed in public spaces across Hammersmith, and dip their toe in to try something totally different across four shows a night at the capital’s most daring summer music festival.

Following the highlights announced in June, including Mark Ravenhill’s first operatic text with Intolerance, the London premiere of Opera North’s operatic dinner party, The Lost Chord and Scottish Opera’s shaw for 6-18 month year old babies, BabyO, over 25 fully staged and works have now been programmed into this year’s Festival.

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival continues to attract major names to explore new ways of working. Star opera singer, Sally Burgess, who made her directorial debut at last year’s festival, returns to direct Neal Thornton’s musical psycho-drama Sonya’s Story, based on Chechov’s Uncle Vanya featuring stunning mezzo Caryl Hughes. Acclaimed composer/singer/pianist Errollyn Wallen explores her performing practice, expanding it by adding a string quartet, and this year’s Festival also features a rare opportunity to see leading composer/songwriter Helen Chadwick perform one of her acclaimed solo shows. In addition to major companies Opera North and Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera also make an appearance this year with Search for Sounds.

Developing established and emerging talent is a core part of the Festival. Young company Warehouse Ensemble bring together some 30 composers for their Six Word Operas – operas created from librettos of six words – plus Gutter Press Productions and Manchester based Sawn-Off Opera also present their work at this year’s festival.

Tête à Tête’s Lite Bites continue to be a Festival highlight and the perfect vehicle for developing new work. Two of last year’s Lite Bites, by composer Laura Bowler (Size Zero Music Theatre) and Jordan Hunt (of The Irrepressibles) and John Joseph Bibby return with further developed versions of their shows as part of the Festival programme. Plus this year’s Lite Bites, newly commissioned super-short operas will be developed and performed in care homes, shopping centres and parks around Hammersmith. This year they include Julian Grant’s Only Connect featuring Sarah Palin and Nicolas Sarkozy, Dominique le Gendre’s The General, Robert Fokkens’ Contact and Stephen Crowe’s Just Bloody Schmooze the Woman!

For the first time, audiences can also enjoy a whole festival’s worth of shows wherever they are thanks to the Tête à Tête Library within the Tête à Tête website. This is an invaluable new resource for artists, promoters, funders, producers and audiences to share work, anyone can sit back and enjoy videos of all the shows in the previous year’s Festival.

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival is generously supported by: Arts Council England, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the PRS for Music Foundation and The Fidelio Charitable Trust.

About Tête à Tête

Tête à Tête has established a peerless reputation for bringing hugely innovative small-scale opera of outstanding quality to the widest possible audience. High quality intimate, uplifting and pioneering productions such as the worlds first opera about giving birth (PUSH!), a collaboration with knitters and spinners from Shetland (Odysseus Unwound) and evenings of bite sized chamber operas with six librettists and composers (Shorts, Six-Pack, Blind Date) have received rave reviews and delighted audiences new and old.

“Leading stars and up-and-coming young things will rub shoulders in a programme that centres on four shows per night and pushes the boundaries of what opera means and can do in the 21st century.”


“There’s no stopping pint-sized Tête à Tête, now launching the fourth version of its ever-expanding opera festival in Hammersmith.”
The Independent


“For years, playwright Mark Ravenhill kept quiet about his love for opera. Then he decided to write one – about irritable bowel syndrome”
The Guardian


Listen to Bill Banks-Jones and Danny Broad talking about the Festival and Lite Bites on BBC Radio 5

Listen to Mark Ravenhill talk about opera on BBC London!

“You never know quite what you’re going to get or how good or bad it’s going to be, and that’s exactly as it should be.” The Telegraph

“…this year’s Tête à Tête festival blends its own creations with shows emanating elsewhere that fit neatly into its free-and-easy format.”
The Guardian


“Bill Banks-Jones…describes his three-week festival of new and embryonic operas as “not what is, but what might be the future”
The Times


“Another summer, another refreshing Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival at the Riverside Studios, offering an ‘anything goes’ smorgasbord of contemporary music theatre.”
The Stage


“The anything-goes context of Tête à Tête’s enterprising opera festival at the Riverside Studios, now in its fourth year, seemed like a good place to try it out [Martinů’s The Three Wishes].
The Arts Desk


“Full marks to Sally Burgess who makes this a commanding piece of theatre [Sonya’s Story].“
remotegoat reviews Sonya’s Story


“С глазу на глаз с современной оперой [Face to Face with Contemporary Opera – Review in Russian]”
BBC World Service


“Can’t stopera with the opera”
remotegoat reviews Sonya’s Story and Six Word Operas


“Tête à Tête’s annual festival closed with a flurry of recent, new and still-developing works”
Ana Picard Independent on Sunday