New Chamber Opera was founded in 1990 by Michael Burden and Gary Cooper to work in the fields of chamber opera and music theatre. The Company has staged over thirty productions including Handel’s Orlando, Xerxes and Amadigi, Cimarosa’s The Secret Marriage and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. With its own Baroque orchestra, The Band of Instruments, New Chamber Opera has produced recordings of Charpentier’s stage music and a collected edition of Rameau’s cantatas for ASV; other discs include Purcell’s Gresham Autograph and Music for Ceremonial Oxford. Appearances outside Oxford have included concerts and productions at the Tudeley and Southwark Festivals, and several performances at London’s South Bank, and at the National Gallery.With its contemporary music ensemble Phoenix, it has performed major pieces of twentieth-century music theatre including Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King, Vessalii Icones, Notre Dames des Fleurs, and Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, and Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side.
The Company has a particular commitment to young singers through the New Chamber Opera Studio, which stages two student productions and a recital series of twenty-four concerts in which they take part. Recent NCO Studio productions have included Walton’s The Bear, Stravinsky’s Renard, and Handel’s Solomon.
New Chamber Opera has been funded by the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Company’s Singing Patron is James Bowman.