Our debut was a three-act opera based on the story of Snow White, but told from a fresh, and darker, angle. To do this, we looked into the tales that, many centuries before the Snow White we know was invented, people were telling to their own children and grand-children. With this, we wanted to bring out the timelessness of folk stories, and the recurring themes in story-telling. Each story became an act in the opera, to which three different composers have given its own musical language.Visit our blog to read more about it, in the words of the team that created it!

Visit our blog

Our Team

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Lewis is one of The Opera Story’s composers for the 2017 season. He is currently Glyndebourne’s Young Composer in Residence.

Lewis Murphy


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Lucie is one of The Opera Story’s composers for the 2017 season. She is currently studying Ethnomusicology, and has had her works performed in venues such as The Southbank Centre and Cadogan Hall.

Lucie Treacher


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Tom is one of The Opera Story’s composers for the 2017 season. He has written two chamber operas previously, which were produced by his company, Shadow Opera

Tom Floyd


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James is our director for our first production, and has extensive experience in directing opera. James has worked for Opera North and Sadlers Wells amongst many other opera companies.

James Hurley


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Chris will conduct our first production with Multi-Story Orchestra. He conducts and helps to run Multi-Story Orchestra and has previously worked with the BBC Proms, Glyndebourne and Glyndebourne on Tour.

Christopher Stark


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JL Williams’ books include Condition of Fire (Shearsman, 2011), Locust and Marlin (Shearsman, 2014), Our Real Red Selves (Vagabond Poets, 2015) and House of the Tragic Poet (If A Leaf Falls Press, 2016). She was selected for the 2015 Jerwood Opera Writing Programme, plays in the band Opul and is Programme Manager at the Scottish Poetry Library.

JL Williams


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Rachel trained at the Motley Theatre Design Course London, and has a first in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art. Recent productions include Carmen, Idomeneo (Blackheath Halls), l’Ospedale (Wilton’s Music Hall), La Rondine (Go Opera), Semele (Hampstead Garden Opera), and Thousand Furs (Re:sound).

Rachel Szmukler

Set Designer

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Alice studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2014. She is a keen recitalist and has been featured on the BBC Radio 3 proms as well as performing at venues such as Leighton House, Kings Place and St Johns Smith Square. Her operatic performances include roles at Opera Holland Park, Garsington Opera, the Aldeburgh Festival and Longborough Festival Opera. She is generously supported by Opera Prelude.

Alice Privett

Soprano - Snow White

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Cliff has been described as a ‘Revelation’ (Daily Express), and as showing ‘exceptional promise’ (Opera magazine). He is a recent Masters in Performance graduate from the RCM generously supported by the Malta Arts Scholarship Scheme and Janatha Stubbs.

Cliff has also been one of the finalists in the Lies Askonas Competition and also made it to the final rounds of the Francesco Vinas and Belvedere International singing competitions. He also performed at the Office of the Prime Minister – Castille, the Royal Albert Hall in London and had the honour of performing in a master class for Robert Sutherland (Maria Callas’ ex- accompanist).

Most recently Cliff has been a part of the Glyndebourne Festival tour 2016, Performed Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah at St.Martin in the fields and was invited to perform alongside Joseph Calleja and global superstar Anastacia during Calleja’s Annual Summer Concert at Luxol, Malta.

Cliff Zammit Stevens

Tenor - Servant

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Polly graduated from the RCM with a Masters in Vocal Performance (Distinction), where she studied with Amanda Roocroft. Polly was the Theo Max van der Beugel scholar, and was also supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.

Recent operatic roles Tisbe La Cenerentola (HighTime), Angel BEL and the DRAGON & Wife 76 Days (RCM/Tête à Tête), Florence Pike Albert Herring (RCMIOS), Dritte Knabe Die Zauberflöte (RCMIOS), Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte and Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel (Durham Opera Ensemble). For the seven roles she played in Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics (British Youth Opera), she was awarded both the Dame Hilda Brackett Prize and the Basil A. Turner Prize.

Upcoming engagements include Fekluša Kát’a Kabanová (Opera Holland Park), Dritte Dame Die Zauberflöte (Charles Court Opera), and Olga Eugene Onegin (Whitgift School)

Polly Leech

Mezzo-soprano - Former Queen and Second Villagewoman

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Alison trained at GSMD on the prestigious Opera Course, under the tutelage of David Pollard. Last summer she sang in the 2016 Glyndebourne Festival, singing the role of the Bridesmaid in Le Nozze di Figaro Mozart after working with them in both the 2015 festival and the tour.
On the concert platform, Alison recently performed as a soloist in the Mozart Requiem at St Martin in the Fields. Other solo performances have taken her to the Buxton Opera House, Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Albert Hall and The House of Lords.
Future engagements for 2017 include Musetta La Boheme Iford Arts, Soloist Mahler’s 9th Symphony with the Bedford Symphony Orchestra and Mimi at the Watford Palace Theatre.

Alison Langer

Soprano - New Queen and First Villagewoman

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Rick began his vocal studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in The Netherlands where he studied with baritone Pierre Mak. He then went on to do his Master of Music and Master of Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama(London, UK) under baritone Robert Dean and later became a member of their highly regarded opera course.

He has been a guest performer at the Dutch National Opera Academy and Dutch Opera Studio, and is also a distinguished oratorio and lied singer.

He was a prize winner at the 2013 Summer school of the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst “Mozarteum” Salzburg and won both first prize and audience prize in their Humor in Musik competition.

Rick Zwart

Baritone - King and Prince Raven

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Berrak studied at GSMD and the National Opera Studio. She has worked with Glyndebourne, Opera Holland Park, UCOpera and is the Musical Director for Pop Up Opera.

Berrak Dyer


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Ben enjoys a varied career working across plays, musical theatre and opera. Recent lighting designs include Carmen, Idomeneo and Noye’s Fludde (Blackheath Halls), Cabaret (ACT Aberdeen), L’Ospedale (Wilton’s Music Hall), Man of La Mancha and Into the Woods (Bridewell Theatre).

Ben Pickersgill

Lighting Designer

The Reviews

The Observer

For its inaugural event, and with evident skill and professionalism, the Opera Story – co-founded and run by two volunteers who also have day jobs – has avoided these pitfalls. Their triple bill, entitled Snow, proved a strong and absorbing evening.

Planet Hugill

This was an impressive first project for The Opera Story. All three composers impressed in different ways, all three are young and their opera show an interesting grasp of operatic form and further essays from them are to be encouraged. The hard-working cast coped admirably with three different styles, and gave performances which brought out the very best in the music

The Stage

An auspicious debut


The three pieces of Snow have a cinematic feel to the music, an impressively cohesive combination of three composers’ work.

Opera Now

This field (contemporary opera) has a new player: The Opera Story’s first ambitious production, Snow, was a three-part work by three different composers, based on somewhat lurid versions of the Snow White story

Opera Magazine

All three (composers) demonstrated genuine skill in operatic composition and even greater potential. Word-setting felt natural , and in each instance the orchestral accompaniment of the 12-piece instrumental ensemble, eloquently conveyed under the baton of Christopher Stark, developed real dramatic atmosphere

Southwark Business Today

Their first venture in Southwark’s Bussey Building is a resounding triumph, and they hope to produce their next venture in yet another extraordinary Southwark building. Let us wish them every success

Peckham Peculiar

An immersive opera based on the tale of Snow White but from a fresh, darker perspective is opening at the Bussey Building in February…

The Venue

CLF Art Café The Bussey Building

133 Rye Lane
SE15 4ST

We worked with the CLF Art Café / Bussey Building in Peckham for our first production. This amazing venue corresponds very well to what we want to achieve with our productions, which is to allow you to feel the magic of opera as close as possible, and break the distance between the performers and the public. Each act of Snow was performed in a different floor, with stunning sets that made the most of the space and provided for an immersive experience.

Many thanks to…

Arts Council England


Trusts & Foundations

The Boltini Trust

The John S. Cohen Foundation

The Bacon Charitable Trust


Corporate Partners


Individual Donors

  • 11 Anonymous Donors
  • Anne Humeau (In memoriam Pierre & Madeleine Lapostolle)
  • George Szmukler
  • Clémence Humeau
  • Antony Feeny
  • Benjamin Liebermann
  • Clare Sutherland
  • Alexander Mackay
  • Olivier Humeau
  • Nick & Amanda Feeny
  • Anna Andreyeva & Adam Kellerman
  • Juan Pablo Fajardo
  • Gerardo Duplat
  • Benoît Humeau
  • Liz Treacher
  • Richard & Jessica Tatz
  • Lucie Humeau
  • Shamsu Yusof & Mark Gibson
  • Alice & John Chute
  • Eduardo Fajardo
  • Alexandre Mendelewitsch
  • Alejandro Santamaria
  • Jessica, Suzy and Karen Fogg
  • Yaprak Dyer
  • Skyler Shaw
  • Martha Cano & Lucy Neiva
  • Hanya Chlala
  • Jérôme Lapostolle
  • Trevor Pinnock
  • Emmanuelle Aubertel
  • Juan Sebastián Fajardo
  • Clive Shore
  • Saul Santamaria
  • Jane Stevenson
  • Snizhana Tykhorska
  • Danya Chaikel & Miel Huijben
  • Maud Saint-Sardos
  • Fiona Dobie
  • Emma Sutherland
  • Meriel & Jeremy Greenhalgh
  • Lynsey Willis
  • Elin Fålted
  • Eliana Galindo
  • Marc van Wilijck
  • Maureen MacGlashan
  • Joan Busby
  • Dottie & Ian Preston
  • Anastasia Tikhonova
  • Carlos Arango
  • Elizabeth Howard
  • Christine Gough
  • Judith & Phil Colman
  • Amélie Fleuret
  • Sophie Dow
  • Anna Crowe
  • Kate Gadsby
  • Cheryl Field
  • Nicholas Parle
  • Andrew Sutherland
  • Robyn Marsack
  • Sylvie Soudan
  • Lilias Fraser
  • Jennifer Sutherland
  • Sarah Melrose Tynan
  • Helena Leonard
  • Sheena Geraghty
  • Monica Sutherland
  • Louise Humeau
  • Virginie Rouas
  • Marcela Rueda
  • Augusta Miller
  • Matthew Palmer
  • Jonathan Gibbs
  • Julia Jones
  • Sue Butters
  • Timothy Charles Langston