Client News: Professor Tony Watts, Reviving Cambridge Handel Opera


professor-tony-wattsProfessor Tony Watts, a leading academic and international public-policy consultant in the field of career development, has been a client of websters for 15 years. Tony said “I have always been delighted with the personal service that websters have provided. Whether it has been tax advice, accountancy or legal advice from Liz Hooley the whole team is friendly and intelligent. I particular like the fact that all the services are under one roof – so I did not have to explain my circumstances to a new firm when I required a different service.”

Tony has recently retired from consultancy and has been instrumental in reviving Cambridge Handel Opera.

He would be delighted if any clients of websters would like to support it. He said

“From 1985 to 2013, Cambridge Handel Opera Group (CHOG) put on biennial staged productions of Handel’s operas. Handel, though born in Germany, lived in England for over 50 years, and was the most prolific and successful ‘English’ opera composer. The CHOG productions were distinctive in being historically informed, and their end was a sad loss to Handel devotees as well as to Cambridge’s cultural life.”

CHOG is now being revived as CHOC (Cambridge Handel Opera Company), with the well-known harpsichordist Julian Perkins as Artistic Director and with a strong Board which includes Websters client Tony Watts as its Vice-Chair.

CHOC’s first production is to be Handel’s Rodelinda at the Great Hall, The Leys School on 3-7 April 2018. The stage director will be Max Hoehn. Alongside the production, an exciting educational project with young people is to be carried out with the Parkside Federation.

The longer-term plan is to mount productions of Handel operas in Cambridge every two years, with productions of other English baroque operas in intervening years.

Opera is not cheap to stage, and CHOC is fundraising to support its work. Around 70 people have already enrolled on a Friends scheme, with subscriptions at different levels, and applications are being made to trusts and foundations.

CHOC is also keen to attract support from local companies. This might involve promotion (programmes, website) and/or hospitality (receptions; attendance at rehearsals; tickets for productions). Potential benefits include:

  • Association with prestige cultural event
  • Raising profile with local event
  • Enjoyment of high-quality Handel performance
  • Opportunity to network with people who have a strong interest in the arts
  • Educational value
  • Part of corporate social responsibility activities (e.g. linked to gold and platinum levels of Investors in People)”

If you would like to discuss CHOC with Tony either as an individual or a company and are interested in offering support. Please write to him at:

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