Victorian Opera Northwest has promoted the excellent yet forgotten music of 19th century operas by British and lrish composers over the last fourteen years. A lot of this music was extremely popular yet has been unjustly neglected.

We uncover the hiding places of the original manuscripts, recreate fresh orchestral parts and print facsimile vocal scores to enable premiere recordings to be made for the collector.




New Recording:   Alfred Cellier's Dorothy (1886)

conducted by Richard Bonynge

Our recording of Alfred Cellier's light opera, Dorothy (1886) has been completed.  It was sung by students and post-graduates of the Royal Northern College of Music on the 19-20th February 2018 together with international soprano, Majella Cullagh, and under the direction of Richard Bonynge. The CD is expected to be released under the Naxos label in early 2019.

The singers are Majella Cullagh (Dorothy), Lucy Vallis (Lydia), Matt Mears (Wilder), John Ieuan Jones (Sherwood), Edward Robinson (Squire Bantam), Stephanie Maitland (Phyllis), Patrick Relph (Tuppitt), Michael Jones (Lurcher), Sebastian Maclaine (Tom), with chorus directed by Kevin Thraves.  

Cellier was known for his series of curtain-raisers that accompanied the Savoy Operas, and as musical director of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Between 1873-6 whilst at Manchester's Prince's Theatre he had written three light operas. Amongst them was an unsuccessful Nell Gwynne which was recycled with additional music and a new librettist as Dorothy. The opera was so successful that it achieved a record 931 performances and its box office profits built the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. Its star cast included well known singers of the day: Marie Tempest, Hayden Coffin and Ben Davies.

We sincerely thank the sponsors and subscribers who generously contributed to make this recording possible.

Backdrop to a Legend

by Raymond Walker & David Skelly

This new hardback theatre book on the scenic design of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company is shortly to be published by Limited Edition only. It details theatre history, lighting, the scenic artists, their fascinating lives and their working. Subscribers will be listed within the book and copies will be numbered. See here for more details. Please contact us for sample pages and any enquiries.  

Michael William Balfe's Satanella

Our performance of Satanella has now been released on Naxos 8.660378-79. It stars Sally Silver as Satanella and is conducted by Richard Bonynge. Details of the recording can be found here.

The CD set, collectors CD booklet (with full libretto); original libretto facsimile; vocal score and band parts are available from Victorian Opera Northwest. Please contact us for details.


Sullivan's On Shore & Sea and Kenilworth

The recording  of Arthur Sullivan's forgotten cantata, On Shore & Sea (1871) together with the masque Kenilworth (1864) was released in July 2014 on Dutton CDLX 7310, , conducted by Richard Bonynge, AC CBE. Soloists Sally Silver, Nico Darmanin, Louise Winter, Donald Maxwell are joined by the John Powell Singers. See hereb> for details of these works.  


British Opera Overtures

The orchestra of Victorian Opera Northwest under Richard Bonynge have recorded a number of Victorian English opera overtures and they are now available on SOMM CD 0123 : British Opera Overtures. More detail on the content can be found here.



Victorian Opera Northwest are grateful for and rely on the contributions from sponsors who make these ventures possible. A tremendous amount of work is necessary to resurrect these works from oblivion and to create fresh scores and parts and sponsors and subscribers are needed to help meet all the costs. Sponsors' details will be printed within the CD booklet and they will receive advance complimentary copies.  Please contact us if you are interested in contributing.

We are very happy to welcome soloists and conductors interested in this genre to join us and take part in the recordings.



  Site donated by Victorian English Opera