Highbury Opera Theatre

Highbury Opera Theatre

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Education
  • Local / community
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Britain



Highbury Opera Theatre (HOT) was founded in 2012 and is based in Highbury, Islington. It is a community-based charitable trust managed by a team of local professional musicians and committed volunteers.

HOT’s mission is to produce performances of high-quality music theatre and inspire future generations of creators by bringing professionals to perform together with amateurs and people of all ages in particular young children.

HOT has presented seven large-scale productions in iconic London venues such as the Bloomsbury Theatre and Islington’s Union Chapel with the support of local partner organisations and schools, local and national funders and a loyal and growing audience.

HOT promotes contemporary opera. British composers Jonathan Dove, James MacMillan, Scott Stroman and Benjamin Britten have benefitted from productions of their works and from the music's exposure to thousands of children through performances and workshops. 




In 2016 HOT produced the first fully-staged London performance of Kurt Weill's opera ‘Lost in the Stars’. Based on Alan Paton's book 'Cry The Beloved Country' set in apartheid South Africa it is a powerful story about compassion and understanding instead of hatred and retaliation. It engaged a diverse mix of performers from different backgrounds and people from the local community 

In 2018 HOT commissioned artistic director Scott Stroman along with librettist Tamsin Collison to compose ‘Fever Pitch - The Opera’ based on local author Nick Hornby’s book about being an obsessive Arsenal fan. ‘Fever Pitch’ engaged over 80 performers of all ages, and played to audiences of 2000 in addition to 1000 children in bespoke schools' performances. It received excellent press and media coverage, one critic writing that "projects like this create the future of opera”. 

HOT’s most recent Sept 2021 production was a short, new, jazz infused opera ‘The Weekend’ based on the play by Michael Palin. It was a small production composed again by Scott Stroman and Tamsin Collison working in collaboration with Michael Palin. The opera it was performed in conjunction with local Highbury choir Eclectic Voices in the Bloomsbury Theatre by a mix of amateur and professional singers and musicians in the Bloomsbury Theatre to critical acclaim.


Our production for 2022-2023 will be to create a cross-generational community opera exploring the theme of time in the past present and future. It will be devised by the community and facilitated by HOT's creative team. 

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