Retrospect Opera

Great British Operas On Record

What's New?
We’re proceeding very well with our release of Ethel Smyth’s Fête Galante. The complementary item (as well as the Boult recording of excerpts from Smyth’s Entente Cordiale) is Liza Lehmann’s The Happy Prince. This is a recitation, a setting of the short story of by Oscar Wilde, for reciter and piano.  We’re particularly happy to announce that the reciter is Dame Felicity Lott. Dame Felicity is a wonderful supporter of Retrospect Opera’s work, and she jumped at the chance to record the piece. Her speaking voice is so mellifluous! and we know that this CD is going to be very special.

If anyone is in the north London area, or can get to it, you might like to know of a production of Ethel Smyth’s Boatswain’s Mate by St Alban’s Chamber Opera. It’s on
Thursday 24th and Friday 25th October at 8.00pm
Abbey Theatre Studio Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans AL1 2DL
Tickets - Tel 01727 857861 
It’s a fully staged production, with piano. We’re really pleased to hear about this - as with any other production of an opera we've recorded - as this means our recordings are achieving our aims, to increase awareness of the rich heritage of British opera. Do please go if you can, and support the company.

Our latest release, The Jubilee, is now on sale. You can order it by emailing us on, and we'll send you a Paypal invoice (or let us know how you'd prefer to pay).

Please be aware that we’ve recently changed our bank, so if you have stored our bank details, please update them. Click on the Donate tab above for the download link.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has published David Chandler’s blog on the Jubilee project: click here to see it. It’s a really good read!
Odaline de la Martinez, who has conducted the three Smyth operas that we have (or will have) in our catalogue, is a fine composer in her own right, and her opera Imoinda was performed in London in February and March. She said about it: ‘Briefly: Imoinda - A Story of Love and Slavery (with a libretto by Joan Anim Addo) is based on Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko the Slave Prince”, but seen from Imoinda’s, his lover, point of view. It traces their journey from Africa, crossing the Atlantic to Cuba. The opera deals with two issues prevalent today: Modern Slavery and Discrimination against Women.
Jeremy Huw Williams was in it (he sang in our recording of The Boatswain’s Mate), and so was Felix Kemp, who sang Pierrot in Fête Galante.

We recorded Ethel Smyth’s dance-dream Fête Galante in November. The cast - conducted by the wonderful Odaline, with members of the Lontano Ensemble - is Simon Wallfisch, Charmian Bedford, Carolyn Dobbin, Mark Milhofer, Alessandro Fisher and Felix Kemp. It went very well and the music is quite extraordinary - Smyth at her most imaginative - and very powerful. We’re still very happy to have more subscribers, to help with the next stages!

Our long-awaited recording of Loder’s glorious Gothic opera Raymond and Agnes was released last August and we've had some excellent reviews. 
Our soloists were amazing: Majella Cullagh (Agnes), Mark Milhofer (Raymond), Andrew Greenan (the Baron), Carolyn Dobbin (Madelina), Quentin Hayes (Antoni), Alessandro Fisher (Theodore), Alexander Robin Baker (Francesco), Timothy Langston (Landlord), Phil Wilcox (Roberto) and David Horton (Martini). The wonderful Richard Bonynge conducted the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.
Please click on the Listening Rooms link above to hear extracts from the 2015 concert in Bath, with the Bath Philharmonia. The 2-CD set includes all the dialogue, and the booklet includes the libretto and a synopsis. Do click on the link in the left hand panel for more details.

Do take a look at this interview, about Dame Ethel Smyth, broadcast through Pyrford TV ARTS, the Spring Edition. It’s between Tim Matthews and our own Chris Wiley. In the background, you’ll hear parts of the Overture to The Boatswain’s Mate, from Retrospect's recording. It’s really interesting, very well done, and lasts about eight and a quarter minutes. Thank you Chris, Tim, and Pyrford TV Arts! It’s also available through this Youtube link - our bit starts at about 9:04.

We re-released the 1994 recording of Smyth’s The Wreckers, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez. We retained the original artwork but re-packaged it, and also added an invaluable Foreword by Dr Christopher Wiley, which brings Smyth’s reception history up to date. Please click on the CD Sales tab, above.

Don’t forget - we sell worldwide and take a variety of payment methods!

We’re still fundraising for Fête Galante. The left hand panel is the place to click on to find out more!

Bookmark this page, and watch this space, for the latest Retrospect News.

Click here to find ‘old’ news.