Opera for all at Clonter prize concert

Join the celebrations as Clonter begins its half centenary with the return of its opera prize concert.

The popular event, taking place on Saturday, February 4 at Clonter Opera Theatre at Swettenham, near Congleton, involves contestants, nominated by the UK’s leading conservatoires, competing for a prize of £3,000, donated by The Ann Driver Trust. Singers perform before a panel of judges.

The audience also get to vote, collectively acting as one member of the panel, and each year the winner of the public vote also receives a magnum of champagne, with which to toast their success.

Past winners include Alfie Boe, who won this prize at Clonter in 1998, and the 2022 winner – representing the Royal Academy of Music – Liam Bonthrone, who is now singing under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Isabella Lockett, Clonter's general manager, says: 'This event is perfect for anyone who is either interested in spotting emerging talent, and enjoys following singers’ careers, or for an opera novice, who would like to dip their toe in the operatic water, getting a taster from a wide range of operas, before committing to a whole one.

'Each item is introduced and set in context by a concise and witty, compére, so no prior knowledge is needed.'

Clonter is offering the first 50 people who are 26 or under, two free tickets. There will also be no booking charges, and this offer includes a free (indoor) picnic table, and free parking.

During the 70-minute supper interval, guests can bring a picnic, or pre-order supper in the Carmen dining room.

Clonter has a fully licensed bar. If you would like to order wine with your supper, this can be arranged in advance, or on the night. A full wine list is available on request.

For more information, or to book online, visit clonter.org or contact the box office on 01260 224 514.