Gothic Opera was founded in 2019 by sopranos Beatrice de Larragoiti, Charlotte Osborn and Alice Usher, and became a registered charity in 2020. The company specialises in performances of rarely-seen 19th-century operatic works that take inspiration from the uncanny and eerie atmosphere of Gothic fiction.
Click here to read Alice's article in Opera Now about the inspirations and goals that brought the company to life.
“A sort of delightful terror”
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, 1757
"I've always been intrigued by early gothic literature, such as The Monk and The Mysteries of Udolpho. During my art history studies, I was fascinated by the gothic revival aesthetic. When I was at the conservatoire in Paris, I wrote a research paper about how to 'stage fear' in French grand operas of the romantic period, investigating which special effects were used in the nineteenth century for operas like Robert le Diable and La Nonne sanglante.
In recent years I created programmes around gothic themes, and performed them in candlelit concerts, including those in which I worked with renowned concert pianist Karl Lutchmayer. I've dreamt since then of putting on those rarely-performed operas in their entirety, embracing their inventive spirit and faded desuetude."
"As a singer I have always relished being involved in unusual projects in unconventional spaces and, during my English literature degree, I loved learning about the gothic craze that swept Europe in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century.
I've also got quite a lot of experience as an arts administrator, including previous roles at St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Royal Opera House and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Gothic Opera has been a wonderful way to combine a number of my interests! Together with Charlotte and Béatrice I have relished bringing Gothic Opera to life, through our innovative programming and vision."
"In my own work as a soprano, I have always been passionate about exploring niche and rarely-performed works. I had been looking for an opportunity to work on the organisational side of an opera project and, when Béatrice first discussed with me the idea of putting on gothic operas for Halloween, I knew this was the one for me. We had worked together on a gothic project before and I had been inspired. Also... I have loved Halloween ever since I was twelve!"
Edoardo Cesarino (chair)
Louis de Charbonnières