Victorian Opera Northwest promotes the excellent forgotten music of 19th century operas by British and Irish composers. 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 première recordings to be made for the collector.





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 here for details of these works.


Michael William Balfe's Satanella

This was the second Balfe opera to be recorded by Victorian Opera Northwest. It was recorded in July 2014 with Sally Silver, Kang Wang, Catherine Carby, Trevor Bowes, Anthony Gregory, Francis Church, Christine Tocci and Elizabeth Sikora, with Richard Bonynge conducting. Release details in due course.

The story is based on Cazotte's story Le Diable Amoureauz which was first turned into a French ballet. The opera was first presented by the Pyne Harrison Opera Company in London at the Royal English Opera, Covent Garden in 1858 where it was well received by the critics and audience for its fine melody: six encores were demanded on its first night. Composed in the late period of Balfe's career as an opera composer, its melodramatic story where evil is overcome by a strong religious faith was particularly enjoyed by the Victorians. It is interesting to note that the opera was followed a year later by Gounod's Faust, written on a similar theme. Some of the ballads became firm favourites for many decades.



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.


Sullivan's The Beauty Stone

This Chandos recording (CHAN 10794 (2)) with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Rory Macdonald is the first fully professional recording of the opera and features Elin Manahan Thomas, Toby Spence, Rebecca Evans, Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Alan Opie.  See here for more details.


Macfarren's Robin Hood

Victorian Opera Northwest's recording of Macfarren's Robin Hood has been released on Naxos 8.660306-07. John France in a MusicWeb International review wrote "This is a CD that all opera fans ought to have. Some people will ignore it simply because it was written by an Englishman during Queen Victoria's reign. They would be utterly misguided to do so. This is a great work; possibly the composer's masterpiece and is a light opera (not operetta) that can hold its best up against anything offered by the Italians and the French and the Germans from the same period."   Further details on the recording may 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