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We're Hiring!

We're currently recruiting for committee members!

Being part of the Oxford Opera Society Committee is rewarding, a great experience and above all a lot of fun!

Interested? Have a look at our open positions below and apply today! 

Committee roles:​

  • MARKETING MANAGER

  • SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

  • FUNDING OFFICER

  • EVENTS MANAGER

Creative Production roles:​​

  • ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

  • ASSISTANT PRODUCER

Who Are We

WHO WE ARE

The Oxford Opera Society aims to bring opera-lovers together and make opera more accessible to students. We arrange affordable trips to world class productions, promote opera productions within Oxford, and put on social events to encourage like-minded people interested in opera to meet and share their interest. We also provide opportunities to both experienced and inexperienced performers through talks, masterclasses, and operatic productions.

 

Whilst the society is mainly run by and for the student community, many Oxford alumni and non-student residents in Oxford are involved in the society productions. The Society is run by student and resident volunteers, and its activities in any one year depends on the particular interests of its dedicated committee. Since 2018, we have put on a major production every year, alternating between full operas and concerts of fully-staged scenes, as well as gala concerts. Although there are several operatic groups in Oxford, the Oxford Opera Society covers a niche because of its particular ethos of inclusivity, bridging the student-resident barrier and enabling a sharing of knowledge between people of different ages and experiences.

We are a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, and any proceeds we receive from our projects go back into the Society to make future projects possible. The Oxford Opera Society receives no funding, and it takes donations to keep new and exciting events and opportunities running. Any donations you can give would be gladly received.

Upcoming Events

UPCOMING EVENTS

Michaelmas 2023


Events Calendar coming soon!

Subscribe to our mailing list so you won't miss a thing!

Committee

Executive Committee

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President

Antonida Kocharova

Tonya has been on the Oxford Opera Society committee since 2017, becoming Secretary in 2018, Treasurer in 2020, and finally being appointed President in 2021. She is an alumna of Oxford University, having studied law at St Hilda’s College between 2010 and 2013, but has continued living and working in Oxford, dividing her time between her work as a barrister and now studying Vocal and Operatic Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Since joining, Tonya has sung in a number of productions and was the co-creator of the now traditional biennial Opera Scenes concerts, and the new Pub Opera Nights. It is her ambition to regain the Society’s reputation as a high quality performing company, while seeking to make it more inclusive to singers and opera lovers of all backgrounds and abilities.

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Treasurer & Webmaster

Bernard de Graaf

Bernard works in cyber security as a program director, which makes him the ideal person to look after the society's financal and digital assets. With a background in software development he always finds himself somehow volunteering for building and maintaining websites, which he's now also doing for the society. Outside work, Bernard has used his project management skills to organise music events ranging from concerts to opera summer projects in France. As an amateur musician he has been playing the violin for years, sings as a bass in choirs on an ad-hoc basis and recently started playing the double bass.

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Secretary

Jacobine van Laar

Jacobine is based in Oxfordshire and is the secretary of the Oxford Opera Society. She was born in The Netherlands and started her musical career as a flautist. During her final year at the Sweelinck Conservatoire in Amsterdam she started her vocal studies with Wout Oosterkamp at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Jacobine continued her vocal studies at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as a postgraduate student with Laura Sarti. After this she continued to study privately with Angela Hickey. She took part in masterclasses with the Wagnerian Danish tenor Stig Andersen. Jacobine performed both solo and in opera productions in many venues throughout the UK, The Netherlands and France. Roles include Floria (La Traviata), Suor Angelica, Lady Billows (Albert Herring), Dido (Dido & Aeneas), First Lady (Magic Flute) and Second Lady (Elektra). Jacobine also works as a lawyer.

Committee

Committee

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Social Secretary

Rafal Faraj

Responsibilities:

  • organise several opera trips;

  • organise the ballots for this, communicate with attendants, chase up any late payments  and liaise with the treasurer to communicate numbers.

  • organise a social event such as a pub quiz night, an opera soiree or picnic in the park at least once a term;

  • organise the Society’s participation in the official SU Freshers’ Fair. 
     

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Marketing Manager

Vacant

​Responsibilities:

  • have the overall responsibility of all marketing activities:

  • send out a regular newsletter to the mailing list; 

  • prepare the term card; 

  • have responsibility for any necessary posters;

  • arrange reviews of any performances with newspapers.

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Funding Officer

Vacant

Responsibilities:

  • organise funding applications to funding bodies;

  • approach various organisations to seek sponsorship; 

  • develop the Society’s funding and subscription models;

  • maintain external contacts.

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Society Historian

Vahid Nick Pay

​Vahid is a full-time lecturer in International Politics at the University of Oxford. Among his diverse array of hobbies, he is also a historian of opera, particularly Italian opera, which has captivated his deep fascination. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, Vahid passionately embarks on unravelling the enthralling narratives of opera's evolution, finding joy in the shared moments with fellow aficionados. At Oxford Opera Society, Vahid serves as a Historian of Opera. In this role, he undertakes the task of curating, categorizing, interpreting, and annotating the rich legacy of the Society's engagement with grand operatic events throughout its storied history.

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Social Media Manager

Vacant

Responsibilities:

  • maintain the Society’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages;

  • devise and implement a social media schedule in collaboration with the Social Secretary and the production team;

  • publish ad hoc posts about external partner events when requests come into the email inbox;

  • take initiative and develop the creative output on social media posts, i.e. photos, reels, videos etc.

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Events Manager

Vacant

Responsibilities:

  • Develop performance opportunities;

  • Develop and maintain collaboration with existing and potential venues and organisations

  • Develop outreach possibilities.

Committee

Production Team

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Director

Emma Hunt

Emma is a 2nd year music student and choral scholar at Somerville college. In 2020 she played the role of Skylar in an opera called Song Of Our Heartland with Opera North. From that moment she fell in love with opera as an art form. Since coming to Oxford, she has performed in the chorus of Iolanthe, The Golden Cockerel, and most recently she performed as Princess Kalyba in Utopia Ltd at the International G&S Festival, where the Oxford University Gilbert and Sullivan Society were crowned champions of UniFest 2023! After winning the award for Best Director in the OUDS Cuppers Festival 2022, she went on to direct the Gilbert and Sullivan Society's production of Ruddigore in Hilary 2023, and is currently directing their Michaelmas term show The Pirates of Penzance. In her time as Resident Director of the Oxford Opera Society she's looking forward to broadening her directing skills into the wider world of opera.

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Assistant Musical Director

Toby Ward

Toby is a conductor, pianist and baritone originally from Edinburgh, and is a second-year Music student at University College. Aside from his role with the Opera Society, Toby is a choral scholar in the University College Chapel Choir, the Co-Conductor of the Fidelio Orchestra, and was the Assistant and Offstage Conductor for the Oxford University Philharmonia’s Trinity ’23 Performance of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets Suite’. Toby has also previously conducted Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, St Anne’s Camerata, OUWO, OUSinf, and the Summertown Choral Society; and played in the Opera Society’s production of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

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Assistant Musical Director

Edward Launders-Grieve

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Assistant Producer

Vacant

The producer role will be done by a member of the executive committee. The assistant producer will therefore be an important role. Responsibilities are:

  • Overall management responsibility for the production (making it happen)

  • Work with the Society Treasurer on budget and spending,

  • Organise and work with the MD and Director on recruitment of the production team.

  • Liaise with the MD and Director to ensure that rehearsals are progressing well

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Musical Director

Isobel Connolly

Isobel is a third year Music student at St Catherine’s College. Recent theatre credits include Assistant MD on Romeo & Juliet (British Youth Music Theatre), Musical Director & Co-Producer on The Addams Family (St Catz), Music Supervisor on The Great Gatsby (Scar Theatre, OP), and Composer & Cellist for The Seagull (Memento Mori, Pilch). Opera experience includes volunteering with the Turtle Opera Project and a week spent assisting the music team on The Grange Festival’s Dawn to Dusk: The Moon is Listening. She is delighted to be joining the Oxford Opera Society’s committee and excited for the year ahead.

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Assistant Musical Director

Madeleine Lay

Maddie is studying for her Master's degree in musicology at Linacre College. Her favourite opera is Don Giovanni , although her favourite opera composer in general is Richard Wagner, having written a dissertation comparing the Ring Cycle to Howard Shore's scores to the Lord of the Rings films. When not doing musical things, she enjoys quizzes, shooting, and staring at the wall when she should be writing a research proposal.

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Assistant Director

Vacant

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