''Both productions held an extremely high standard of singing, and the presentations were equally entertaining, as well as being very different. For Lecocq 's version we were in the graceful world of 1850s Padua. The Bizet opera was updated so that the Councillor had become a true Essex Man; thus emphasising the central contrast of the double presentation: Bizet's rather abrupt comes, against Lecocq 's more lyrical approach. It worked perfectly.''

Le Docteur Miracle
Essex County Standard


''A fine range of talent was displayed in the opera, resulting in a convincing and enjoyable production. In the final scene, as Silla re-unites Giunia and Cecilio allows exiles to return, and announces the end of his dictatorship, honour, love and virtue triumph as the voices in Mozart's lyrical music.''

Lucia Silla
Essex County Standard

''Dodgson has purposely composed music which is fluent and melodic,giving his singers expressive lines and phrases. Thomas McIntosh conducted with firm discipline and integrity, relishing the melodies,and keeping an admirable balance between orchestra and singers.The sets were cleverly designed to use the Minstrels Gallery of the hall to advantage, particularly in the trial scenes, and the costumes seemed absolutely authentic.''

Margaret Catchpole
Music and Musicians


''As producer and director Thomas McIntosh gave a performance of stunning imagination. Using the resources of The Old School to the full, he combined the set, lighting,costumes, and superb singing to the work which brought out with deft touches the haunting beauty of Purcell's music and showed it to be much more than an historical curiousity.''

King Arthur
East Anglian Daily Times

There is a strong tradition of opera at The Old School which has evolved over two decades.Thomas McIntosh, artistic adviser and director of Opera Anglia, has assembled a repertoire which reflects a special interest in the English musical theatre of the 1700s. Opera Anglia has also become a notable showcase for outstanding young singers, and its performances are set in the unique surroundings of The Old School,which nestles in a small river valley at the heart of the Suffolk countryside.

The artistic aims of Opera Anglia are to strive for musical excellence and to entertain its audiences with polished, professional productions.Opera should be an enjoyable experience, and Opera Anglia's success is a tribute to this philosophy. The opera-goers are drawn from a network of avid fans from the local community, from throughout the UK, and indeed, from all over the world. Thomas McIntosh, who is an internationally renowed conductor and pianist, turns each opera into an unforgettable musical and theatrical event.

Opera Anglia is keen to rediscover works which changing fashions or simple neglect have pushed to the margins of the popular repertoire.The Old School with seating for 150, cannot stage grand opera but, far from being a limiting factor, this has acted rather as an inspiration to find sometimes forgotten works which are ideally suited to the venue. This is an important quest and one which both enriches England's musical theatre heritage and receives an enthusiastic response from audiences.

The following operas have been performed at The Old School:-

Arne Thomas and Sally
Bizet Le Docteur Miracle
Dodgson World Première Margaret Catchpole
Handel Acis and Galatea
Hopkins Three’s Company
Kalmanoff UK première Photograph 1920
Lecocq Le Docteur Miracle
Menotti The Telephone
Milhaud La Pauvre Matelot
Mozart Lucio Silla
Mozart The Impresario
Pergolesi La Serva Padrona
Purcell Dido and Æneas
Purcell King Arthur
Rousseau Le Devin du Village
Rush The Capricious Lovers
Rush The Royal Shepherd
Salieri Kleine Harlekinade
Storace The Cherokee
Storace No Song No Supper
Sullivan The Chieftain
Verdi La Forza del Destino,
Verdi Macbeth
Wolf-Ferrari Il segreto di Susanna
Yellin UK Première Abaylar