Ramtin Ghazavi at Opus Theatre

The outstanding tenor straight from La Scala, Milan – Accompanied by extraordinary pianist and Opus Artist In Residence, Oliver Poole.
Opus Theatre are delighted to present an internationally known tenor, Ramtin Ghazavi, together with our Artist in Residence, concert pianist Oliver Poole, on 17th November 2018. Oliver, who has brought Ramtin to Opus, wants the Hastings audience to experience Ramtin’s wonderful performance. He describes him as “strong, charismatic and virtuoso, yet able to convey a depth of emotion and sincerity that is raw, captivating and at times mystical. 

Ramtin Ghazavi is particularly associated with La Scala opera house in Milan, where he has sung in a wide range of major productions including “La Traviata”, “La Boheme”, “Wozzek” “Die Fledermaus” and Leonard Berstein’s “Chichester Psalms”. He has also sung in the major opera and concert halls of France, the US and other countries, as well as music festivals across Italy. He has now sung many of the leading roles in the classical operatic repertoire at the highest level.

Born in Iran as a member of the Baha’i community, Ramtin was barred from higher education, and there were no schools in the country teaching western classical music– indeed, it is still almost unobtainable there. As a child he studied Persian classical music and then in his mid-teens a guitar-playing friend introduced him to western traditions, which led to him studying the piano and trying to find a vocal teacher – without success.

“The Internet wasn’t like it is today, so I had no access to YouTube or other ways to find and listen to the music easily,” Ghazavi wrote. “But I had some audio and videotapes of Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.”

Ghazavi’s life took a sudden turn when an Italian tourist happened to hear him singing Scarlatti’s “Pieta, Signore,” and helped him apply successfully to study opera in Italy in 2003. After two years at the Conservatory of Como, he successfully applied to the elite Milan Conservatory. Immersing himself in music by day and working in an Ikea warehouse by night to pay the bills, he was an outstanding student who also auditioned successfully for the chorus at La Scala.

In 2012 he released his first album, “Les Roses d’Ispahan,” featuring the ethereal composition by Gabriel Faure named after Isfahan, the ancient Iranian city where Ghazavi was born. It is a song he has never had the opportunity to perform publicly in his homeland. “I can’t perform and work in Iran because of my religion”, Ghazavi wrote. However he did manage to arrange a recital in the home of the Italian ambassador in Tehran in 2013, and launched the first Opera Masterclass in the city’s Italian school.

In the middle of the last century, Iranian composers steeped in Western forms such as Rubik GregorianHossein Nassehi, and many others created new works which drew on Persian folklore and the epic verse of Persian poet Ferdowsi“Unfortunately this repertory has been forgotten” , Ghazavi wrote. He is making it his mission to “renew the culture of opera singing in the Persian language that also has some ancient roots in the Persian culture.”

His concert at Opus will feature a selection of well-known arias from the Italian operatic repertoire, together with some Persian music including operatic arias, combining the familiar with the new. This promises to be a memorable evening.

Saturday 17th November at 7.30pm

Opus Theatre, 24 Cambridge Road (opposite ESK), Hastings TN343 1DJ

Tickets £15 from www.opustheatre.co.uk or the Hastings Information Centre



On 24th November 2018, Tonbridge Philharmonic Society will perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in the beautiful Chapel of St. Augustine at Tonbridge School. Tonbridge Philharmonic’s Choir and Orchestra will be joined by the award-winning Tonbridge Grammar School Motet Choir, alongside soloists Sofia Troncoso, Bradley Smith and Tristan Hambleton. Conducting the combined forces of over 200 musicians for this memorable occasion will be Matthew Willis, in his final concert as Music Director of Tonbridge Philharmonic Society after four inspirational years at the helm.

War Requiem was commissioned for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in 1962, and alongside the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead, Britten chose to set nine poems by Wilfred Owen, who died on 4th November 1918, just one week before the Armistice. The concert on 24th November will begin at 7.30pm with a pre-concert talk by the co-producer of the Britten Centenary Edition on Decca Classics, Barry Holden, followed by readings of selected Wilfred Owen poems by members of the choir.

Tonbridge Philharmonic Society’s performance of Britten’s War Requiem will be a special occasion for the local community, as well as for the musicians and the audience. We will be involving young people not only as part of the choir, but also from the cadet groups in the area representing the Army, Royal Navy and British Air Force. There will also be an installation of white poppies called ‘Requiem for Peace’ made by local children at workshops hosted during November by Tonbridge Creates. The concert will end with a retiring collection for the Royal British Legion.


Opus Theatre are delighted to welcome Hastings’ own outstanding flAutist, Daisy Noton, to her first appearance at the theatre as a solo artist on 10thNovember.

She will be accompanied by the well-known pianist Anne Marshall, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music. They will be playing a varied programme of works for the flute and piano, from the 18th century to the present day.

Daisy is just 15 but has already had extensive orchestral experience. She was a member of the National Children’s Orchestra for six years, travelling all around the country to play in prestigious concert halls. She has played under the baton of Ed Gardner with the Barbican Young Orchestra, and. is currently a member of the National Youth Orchestra, with whom she played at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall earlier this year under Sir George Benjamin. Other concerts with the NYO this year included “Unleashed” at the Royal Festival Hall, and performing Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Barbican with Sir Mark Elder conducting.
Her forthcoming concert at Opus promises to showcase her outstanding technique, musicality and feeling for the beauties of the classical flute repertoire.
Saturday 10th November 7.30pm at Opus Theatre, 24 Cambridge Road Hastings TN34 1DJ.
Tickets only £10 from www.opustheatre.co.uk, Hastings Information Centre, or on the door.