Kent Opera. Eng. opera company founded 1969 by Norman Platt and Roger Norrington. Regularly played in Canterbury and Tunbridge Wells, toured widely in the southern counties and visited Manchester and various fests. Casts were mixture of experienced and new singers, and repertory extended from well-known Verdi, Mozart, and Britten to rare works by Handel (f.p. of Atalanta since 1736 in 1970), Telemann, and others. Staged Tippett's King Priam in 1984–5 season. Gave world première of Judith Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera (Cheltenham, 1987). Norrington's edns. of 3 Monteverdi operas (The Coronation of Poppea, Orfeo, and The Return of Ulysses) were given in 1974, 1976, and 1978. Ivan Fischer succeeded Norrington as mus. dir. in 1984 and remained with the company until it went into liquidation in 1990 after Arts Council withdrew funding. Revived 1994.
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