Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2017 – Report and Video

Thursday, 17th August 2017


After 3 action-packed weeks, the curtain on Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival has fallen for the 10th time. During 24 July – 13 August 2017, we travelled across Kings Cross, putting on over 35 productions which featured over 300 artists, who were watched by over 3,000 people!

Thank you to everyone who made the operas, watched a show, took part in discussions and supported our work, You can read all about it below.


24 July saw us open the festival in truly unconventional style – packing a carriage of the Caledonian Sleeper full of performers to perform the world premiere 7of ‘Belongings‘. The work, composed by Samuel Bordoli, was featured by a splash of news outlets, including BBC News, The Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio 4 & Classical Music Magazine.

The production returned to London the following week with a run of pop-up performances in public spaces around Kings Cross, as well as its first performance in a theatre at RADA Studios as part of our final week. You can read about the production’s success here.


The following day (25 July) we opened our doors for two days to audiences at The Place Theatre; 8 productions which included a London debut from the newly established opera company The Belfast Ensemble, a group of talented young people from Opera North’s Youth Company & Soosan Lolavar’s powerful work ID, Please, which garnered national attention for its strikingly relevant story about immigration and border control. Nick Kimberley from The Evening Standard described it as “powerful, moving, even amusing”, whilst also saying that the festival will “confound your expectations” – a fantastic seal of approval for everyone involved in celebrating our 20th anniversary year.


You can see a round-up of our productions at The Place here:



We were delighted to return as part of the brilliant Cubitt Sessions programme for 2017, with 6 shows from 1 – 9 July taking place on the purpose-built stage at Lewis Cubitt Square. Commuters and passers by took in a breadth of talent, from parody opera performances to acapella groups and MOBO award-nominated singer songwriters. You can see a snapshot of this year’s Cubitt Sessions below:



Our final week of #TaTFest17 saw us set up home with our friends at RADA Studios from 10 – 13 August, with 19 daring and intimate productions. The halls at RADA were packed for 4 days with an assortment of fictional characters, including albatrosses, astronauts, serial killers, parents, poets, Nebudchadnezzar & mad kings! We were also delighted to celebrate our 20th anniversary year in true style with a fun-packed performance of the specially-curated ‘Score’ featuring highlights across our 20 years supporting, promoting and nurturing new opera.



Check out these shots from around the festival…


Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival day #1 (photo by Claire Shovelton)

Our festival was also a host of something very special this year – our very own ‘podcast opera’, written by Olivier Award-winning composer Martin Ward. Road Memoir is a dramatic, moving and innovative twelve-episode podcast series, combining solo soprano with spoken text, music and sound design to tell the fictional story of an individual’s journey from normal civilian to displaced refugee. You can listen on catch-up  here: https://TeteATete.lnk.to/RoadMemoir