Ten Minute Treats
A series of ten minute concerts to enjoy with a cup of coffee, afternoon tea, between chores, or before bed....
October - an autumnal treat
Carola Emrich-Fisher (mezzo soprano)
Mary Anstey (piano)
2020 Felici Opera
Covid-19 Update - August 2020
Dear wonderful Felici Opera friends, audience members, performers, supporters and venue partners
Although Felici Opera, in line with the recent government mandate Felici Opera has "closed its doors" for 2020, we are still singing!
With grateful thanks to our Felici singers, Elspeth Wilkes (pianist) and Stuart Clark for his technical expertise we have produced a virtual performance of Verdi's Va, pensiero also know as The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from his opera Nabucco (1842).
We have produced this video in support of Mind for better mental health. The on-going Covid-19 pandemic has caused so many problems for so many people in the UK. Some have been ill, some faced bereavement, some have financial worries, some have faced huge stress at front-line essential work; others have felt isolated at home, have lost out on schooling and friendships. For some days have been very dark.
If you have enjoyed our recording of Va, pensiero it would be great if you could consider making a donation to Mind for better mental health. With many of their shops closed and fundraising events cancel, this great charity needs your support more than ever. Thank you!
Thank you for your continued support. We ask everyone please to follow government advice act sensibly and we look forward to seeing you safe and well once the national health crisis has passed.
FELICI OPERA FOUNDERS
Margaret Johnson and Zoe Jasko
THE FELICI ETHOS
Felici means "the happy ones" and so we aim to provide high quality and creative musical events - bringing happiness to audiences and performers alike. Although we are delighted to perform all over the United Kingdom we are particularly focused on the counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire - Local Opera for Local People!
Supporting charities is central to our ethos and so as a Community Interest Company (c.i.c) many of our events have a fund-raising element. Since 2016 we have supported a wide variety of charities including the NKF (National Kidney Federation), Macmillan Nurses and Medicins Sans Frontiers as well as local hospices and community projects.
We seek to support and nurture young people by including them in our events, introducing opera and classical song to school-age pupils and to support the career of young professionals.
We understand that our performers have diverse commitments and we always seek to be as flexible as possible with our rehearsal schedules whilst never compromising on the quality of our performances.
(Founder/ Musical Director)
As Co-Director, Margaret brings a wealth of experience from a number of fields.
She trained at the Royal College of Music. After graduation and a year of advanced studies, including work in the RCM Opera School, she completed her Diploma in Education at the Institute of Education. For many years her work as a professional musician continued alongside a career in education, teaching all ages from Early Years to adults. As a Primary Headteacher, she was involved in research projects with a number of higher education establishments such as Westminster College, Oxford (Study of Gifted and Talented pupils) and De Montfort University (MA Modules in Educational Management). During this time she gave presentations on many aspects of leadership, especially Strategic Leadership and Team Building.
As a professional musician, Margaret has worked with soloists, ensembles, choirs, choral and operatic societies and orchestras over many years, primarily in the North Herts area. She has a particular interest in and passion for the voice – possibly not that surprising, given her Welsh and Italian heritage! She currently works as a singing teacher and repetiteur/vocal coach as well as MD//Conductor. She met Zoe when, as MD, she worked with her on a production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Ultimately this led to the formation of Felici – a fusion of two highly creative minds!
Margaret is also a qualified Spiritual Director and a licensed lay Minister in the Church of England. Life coaching and counselling skills are endemic to her work. Her particular interest has always been the encouragement of personal growth and the development of innate talents and skills. She has spent a lifetime working to enable people to realise potential, particularly those in the musical profession.
In addition to her professional musicianship and her leadership and communications skills, she has an ability “think outside the box" alongside a passion to provide performing opportunities, especially operatic ones, and especially for young professional singers.
Zoe is an experienced performer, creative designer and events manager. Coming from an arts background focusing on literature, theatre and art history (French and History BA Hons Exeter, Victorian Studies MA, Birkbeck University of London) Zoe has worked in the areas of product development, designing and delivering training courses and corporate strategy in the private and public sectors as well as small businesses.
As an events manager she has recently lead the Music and Performing Arts Team in the Welwyn Garden Centenary Foundation’s birthday celebrations for the town and has been responsible for overseeing a programme of events that involves all areas of the performing art, including performers of all ages and ability and raises the profile of live entertainment in the community.
Zoe loves working with the talented Felici performers on diverse creative musical events. She is delighted that her love of singing and event organising enables funds to be raised for national and local charities. Singing the role of Zerlina in the Felici Opera's production in the Marble Hall inside Hatfield House has been just one of the highlights of the journey so far!
WHAT THEY SAY
"We very much enjoyed your performance of Cosi, three hours of sublime music with your excellent voices and acting. Thank you very much indeed".
" I really wanted to thank you again for the truly wonderful evening we enjoyed last night at Hatfield House. Your production of Don Giovanni was superb and the high quality of the cast and musicians along with the enormous amount of work that had gone into everything that made the occasion so successful was of course very apparent."
"I sincerely enjoyed watching and listening to this compelling production (Figaro). Not only was the singing beautiful and full of emotion but the acting was on top form. I loved how the audience didn't stop clapping at the end. Highly recommended and I can't wait to see another Felici production!"
"I've now seen your Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi and now I only ever want to go to see opera in English!"
"There were so many highlights in the evening that produced a joyous yearning for more!"
"We wanted to write and thank you and everybody at Felici for all of the hard work, energy and time that you gave to make your event (Marriage of Figaro) in aid of Place2Be such a storming success.... on behalf of all the children, family and schools that we work with, thank you for your generous support"
Councillor Alan Millard, Chairman of North Hertfordshire District Council said of A Night in Vienna -Gala (March 2018) “It proved to be a wonderful night, with brilliant singing, dancing and music, I thoroughly enjoyed travelling back to Vienna of yesteryear. A great fundraising night for the Hospice".
"It was a delight to meet you on that special evening in St Andrew's Church. The Felici Opera cast gave a superb performance of the opera Don Giovanni and the production was excellent" - Lady Skeet.