Inside Richmond Theatre

Richmond Theatre reopens in community celebration

The curtain will rise on Richmond Theatre tomorrow evening after 559 days of darkness.

In a weekend celebrating the community, Richmond’s own Instant Opera will take to the stage with a one-off Grand Opera Gala, which has been postponed since April 2020 due to Covid.

Founded in 2017 by Artistic Director Nicholas George, this will be Instant Opera’s first production in almost two years.

George said: “This is a celebration of surviving and recovering. A celebration of a return to the stage and a return to performance.”

The theatre’s Communications Manager Jocasta Marron told South West Londoner the aim of the weekend is to celebrate and welcome back the community.

She said: “We are hopefully one of the things that the community has missed quite a lot, so we really wanted the first performance to be something for them and to have members of our community both on the stage and producing it.”

The Gala will be conducted by Oliver Till and feature both Richmond performers, including a community orchestra and choir, and international soloists such as llona Domnich, Anando Mukerjee and Franco Kong.

The group will peform a range of music, including arias, ensembles and choruses from composers such as Mozart, Verdi, Bizet and Tchaikovsky.

Poster for Instant Opera's Grand Opera Gala
THE BIG SHOW: The Grand Opera Gala will take place at 7:30pm on September 25 at Richmond Theatre.
Credit: Instant Opera

In addition to the Gala, Richmond Theatre will be hosting a range of free events and activities across the venue for an open day on Sunday, allowing a look behind the scenes.

From family fun puppet making classes to creative writing and dance workshops, the theatre is pulling back the curtain on what goes into putting together a show.

In an extension of the theatre’s usual classes that are run throughout the year, members of the public will have a chance to try out working alongside technicians at lighting desks or with microphones on stage.

Richmond Theatre is one of the last to reopen since closing its doors in March 2020, with The New Wimbledon Theatre opening earlier this month with Waitress, and nearby Orange Tree Theatre reopening at the end of August.

Marron said: “It’s so nice to have everybody back in the venue again and we’re ready to open.

“It’ll be quite nice for it to finally be our turn.” 

The Grand Opera Gala will take place on 25 September at 7:30pm. Tickets are available for £21.99 here. A few remaining tickets for the Open Day are available here.

Featured image: Credit to Nick Simpson.

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