Royal Opera Chorus

The singers and staff of The Royal Opera Chorus company.


Chorus Director

William Spaulding

Assistant Chorus Master

Genevieve Ellis

Chorus Manager

Lee Bamford

Assistant Chorus Manager

Rosie Purdie


Tamsin Coombs

Stephanie Louise Edwards

Esther Mallett

Caroline Modiba

Emma Smith

Helen Withers


Madeleine Mitchell

Cari Searle

Marianne Vidal

Miranda Westcott


Patrick Ashcroft

Phillip Brown

Simon Davies

George Freeburn

Alex Haigh

Nick Hardy

Tim Parker-Langston

John Mulroy

About the Chorus

The Royal Opera Chorus was created in 1946 for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II. Known then as the Covent Garden Opera Chorus, it first appeared during December the same year in Purcell's The Faery Queene, staged together with Sadler's Wells Ballet (now The Royal Ballet). Its first full-scale opera production was Carmen in January 1947.

Since 1947 the chorus has been the backbone of The Royal Opera, performing in an average of 20 productions each season, in a wide repertory ranging from Baroque through to newly commissioned works. The chorus is frequently augmented by as many as 60 freelance singers when larger productions are mounted.

As most operas are performed in the original language (Italian, French, German, Russian, Czech) the chorus works closely with language coaches during the rehearsal period. Due to the brevity of production runs (six or seven performances) the chorus will often be performing in two or three productions in the evenings while rehearsing one or two other productions during the day and also learning the music of several other operas, all at the same time.

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Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)