Visit London Blog » opera holland park Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Where To See Outdoor Theatre and Opera in London Fri, 17 May 2013 09:57:58 +0000 Not only does London boast a world-leading range of theatres and opera houses, but you can also watch many fantastic productions in the great outdoors, at a variety of stunning venues around the city. Some of them are even completely free, but for many events it’s highly recommended that you book in advance.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

One of London’s most popular outdoor entertainment venues is the enchanting Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. This amphitheatre is completely exposed to the elements, and there are few more atmospheric places to watch theatre than in the dusky confines of the Regent’s Park, with London’s bright lights seemingly a world away. Productions this year include To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice and The Sound of Music, and pre-theatre dining options include pre-packed picnics and a barbecue. Until 8 Sep

The Scoop at More London

Situated just by London Mayor Boris Johnson’s office by Tower Bridge, this sunken theatre is host to a plethora of free entertainment during the summer. From Wednesday to Sunday you can see free open air theatre here in the evenings, and this year there will two short productions based on the ancient Greek city of Thebes. A family production of the Prince of Thebes takes place at 6pm, followed by a more adult staging of Oedipus and Antigone at 8pm. 7 Aug-1 Sep 

Opera Holland Park

Every summer a marquee is erected in front of the glorious Holland House, allowing visitors the chance to watch wonderful operas in the grounds of Holland Park without getting wet! As well as seeing productions such as Madam Butterfly, the Pearl Fishers and new family opera Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you can also enjoy a pre-prepared picnic in their alfresco dining areas beforehand. 4 Jun -3 Aug

Fitzroy Square Opera

For one night a year, Fitzroy Square Opera brings the magic of traditional country house opera to London. This year, on 27 June, you can sit in this luscious square in Fitzrovia and enjoy a production of Bizet’s Carmen. You can also order a pre-prepared picnic (£22), enjoy freshly cooked paella in the interval or simply avail yourself of the cash bar.

Shakespeare’s Globe, Southbank

At this incredible reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre you can choose whether you have a fully outdoor or partially indoor theatrical experience! The stage is situated under the sky, but there are seats available within the covered theatre section if you don’t feel like standing in the exposed middle with the ‘groundlings’. Scheduled for 2013 are favourites such as King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, and you can buy standing tickets for just £5. Until 28 Sep

Theatre in the Square with Lyric Hammersmith

Watch live outdoor theatre for free in the Lyric Square, Hammersmith, thanks to a festival staged by five of the country’s most exciting theatre companies. A collaboration between HammersmithLondon, Lyric Hammersmith, Latitude festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival and Watford Palace Theatre, this festival is sure to offer innovative, enjoyable and eccentric entertainment. Keep an eye on the theatre’s What’s On section for more details. 12 Jun-5 Jul

BP Summer Screens

The BP Summer Screens bring one of London’s most exclusive indoor venues – Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House – to the great outdoors. Better still – screenings are free! You can see the ballet Mayerling (13 June) or operas La Rondine (11 July) and Tosca (18 July) in outdoor spaces such as Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and Woolwich.

Chiswick House and Gardens

You can watch both opera and theatre alfresco at the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens, which stages a range of both as part of its excellent events programme. During July you can catch productions of Carmen, Gulliver’s Travels and A Little of What You Fancy! on the rear lawn of the House. Tickets are £30 and full details are available on the venue website.

Fulham Palace

On 7 July take the whole family to Fulham Palace for a theatre production of Babe: the Sheep Pig which is sure to delight both adults and children alike. Taking place in the Walled Garden, the production starts at 2pm and tickets cost £8 for children or £12 for adults.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

London’s biggest festival of outdoor theatre runs from 21 to 29 June and brings performers to the parks and streets of Greenwich and the surrounding area. You can see everything from street dance to aerial theatre at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival – take a look at our pick of the highlights here.

More London theatre

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Jordan in London: Pianist Tala Tutunji Fri, 03 Feb 2012 15:01:54 +0000

Pianist Tala Tutunji is half Turkish and half Palestinian. She grew up in Jordan, studied in the UK, and now splits her time between Jordan and London. Her aspiration is to bring musicians together to transcend distance, borders and culture.

Tutunji runs Middle Eastern music courses at Chelsea Music Academy, which she founded with composer Bushra El-Turk. Her next London performance will be at Concert for Peace and Prosperity: Eastern Voices – Western Echoes at Cadogan Hall on 20 February.

We caught up with her for our World in London series.

How long have you been based in London?

I moved to the UK when I was 14 and went to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. I came to London from 2005 to 2009 and this is where I did my Masters at Trinity and also worked at the same time.

Right now I’m based between London and Jordan. For this year I’m based in Jordan but I’m always coming in and out of London. I can’t stay away! I travel to London whenever I have concerts, which is four to five times a year.

How would you describe your music?

I was classically trained, so there’s a strong Western classical influence. But because I’m Middle Eastern I try to do a fusion of both worlds and explore that.

I perform music which is by contemporary Arabic composers. It could include the piano and also Arabic instruments at the same time, such as the qanun, which has the same strength and body as a grand piano but is smaller.

We did an event for Opera Holland Park in October last year where we were asked to “Arabise” popular Western operas. It was a really interesting event.

We worked with the opera singers from Opera Holland Park and brought some Arabic musicians, and instruments like the nai, which is the Arabic version of the flute.

What can people expect to see and hear at the concert on 20 February?

I’m really excited to perform in this concert because there are many opera singers from Syria, Jordan, Jerusalem and Lebanon. We’ll be performing with the Orion orchestra, a Western orchestra. It will be an interesting blend of Western classical opera with Arabic music as well.

The music is based on a Lebanese folk tune but also has the Western classical influence. I’m going to speak a little bit in Arabic, trying to act as a vocalist at the same time. It will start Western and gradually get more Oriental towards the end of the concert.

With the Arab Spring it’s the perfect thing to do, to try and stretch the boundaries and explore all the different influences.

Do you have any other performances coming up in London?

We’re planning to do another event, Al Bassara (the fortune teller). We’ll probably work with more Eastern European influences on that. Hopefully that will be in summer 2012 in London, we’re not sure where yet.

Tell us about the Middle Eastern music courses at Chelsea Music Academy

We’re organising various events including Middle Eastern workshops for people. We’re working in London to spread the word on Middle Eastern musical influences.

Sometimes, prior to a concert, we do various workshops so people know more about the music when they come to a concert.

Where else would you go for a taste of Jordanian culture in London?

I know a lot of Lebanese and Palestinian places but I haven’t been to anywhere in London that has a Jordanian taste – yet!

There’s the Anglo Jordanian Society which does a lot of things. And there are the Maroush restaurants which are practically Jordanian. There are a lot of events organised through SOAS.

Now that I’m away from London for a while I really appreciate the eclectic feel of London. Sometimes when you leave you start to appreciate what it’s all about!

Do you have more Jordan in London recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.

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