With Jonathan Lyness’s imaginative re-orchestration and supple yet taut conducting, this is a ‘Tosca’ that has to be seen”
OperaOrchestrations.co.uk is a small music library, based in the UK, consisting of reduced orchestrations of a number of operas. The catalogue has built up over a number of years in tandem with the UK touring opera company, Opera Project and, more recently, Mid Wales Opera. All of the reduced opera orchestrations in the catalogue are by the conductor Jonathan Lyness who, as co-founder and Music Director of Opera Project and Music Director of Mid Wales Opera, has been creating reduced opera orchestrations for over twenty-five years.
As the catalogue has expanded, OperaOrchestrations.co.uk has been established to hire out reduced opera orchestrations of complete operas as well as extracts from across the repertoire. All of the reduced opera orchestrations have been performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad including the most recent 2022 arrangement of Hansel and Gretel which received its first performances in March 2023.
We supply professional opera companies, amateur companies, opera festivals, universities and music conservatoires worldwide. Recent performances have taken place throughout the UK and in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Philippines, Canada, the USA and across South America.
In addition to reduced orchestrations of full length operas, a number of small-scale chamber arrangements of one act operas have emerged in recent years, created for the UK touring company Mid Wales Opera. These include Walton’s The Bear (now published by OUP), Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, Puccini’s Il tabarro, Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas (now published by Peermusic Classical, New York) and Berlioz’s Beatrice and Benedict.
Jonathan Lyness, Director
Jonathan was born in London and read music at Bristol University where he won both university undergraduate and British Academy postgraduate arts scholarships. He studied conducting with George Hurst since when has worked extensively in opera, co-founding his own company Opera Project with the director Richard Studer in 1993. With OP he has conducted widely on tour throughout the UK at a number of festivals and theatres including the Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol (annually from 2003 – 2019). His repertoire with OP has ranged from the baroque (including Dido and Aeneas, La Serva Padrona and Pyramus and Thisbe) through many standard works of the c18th and c19th to such twentieth century works as Walton’s The Bear, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale and Britten’s chamber operas The Turn of the Screw, The Beggar’s Opera and Albert Herring. Also with OP he was instrumental in the founding of If Opera (formerly Iford Arts) where he conducted annually from 1996 – 2004).
He conducted regularly for Longborough Festival Opera from 2002 – 2016 including a critically acclaimed Janacek cycle: Jenufa, Katya Kabanová and The Cunning Little Vixen. Also for LFO: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tosca, The Barber of Seville, La bohème, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Albert Herring. He has conducted regularly at West Green House Opera since 2000 where recent productions include Madama Butterfly, La Rondine, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, Die Fledermaus, Un ballo in maschera, Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (in the Fritz Oeser re-construction of this opera), Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Bernstein’s Candide and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd. In 2016 he was appointed Music Director of Mid Wales Opera for whom he has conducted The Magic Flute, Eugene Onegin, The Marriage of Figaro, Semele (in collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music), Dido and Aeneas, La Bohème, Tosca and Hansel and Gretel.
As conductor and pianist Jonathan has performed at many of the UK’s foremost music festivals including Deal, Salisbury, Culross, Canterbury, Presteigne, Newbury, Chelmsford and Hay Winter Festival. In 2019 he became Music Director of the Ludlow Orchestra. In 2017 Jonathan created a new chamber arrangement of William Walton’s The Bear for five instrumentalists which was performed by Mid Wales Opera (MWO) on tour; it was subsequently produced and filmed by Opera Holland Park and is now published by Oxford University Press. Subsequent chamber arrangements for MWO have include Ravel’s L’heure espagnole; his new stage work Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love and Marriage (derived from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera in collaboration with MWO’s Artistic Director Richard Studer); Puccini’s Il tabarro; Montsalvatge’s El Gato con botas / Puss in Boots now published by Peermusic Classical, New York; and Berlioz’s Beatrice and Benedict. Jonathan has recently completed a new reduced orchestration of Verdi’s Macbeth.
Please contact us for further information.