Classical Opera was founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page to explore the works of Mozart and his contemporaries, and has emerged as one of the leading exponents in its field.
In 2017 it launched a new brand, The Mozartists, enabling it to broaden its ever-expanding concert work while continuing to present recordings and performances of complete operas under the name of Classical Opera. With its own acclaimed period-instrument orchestra, the company has attracted widespread critical and public recognition, not only for the high quality of its performances but also for its imaginative programming and its ability to discover and nurture outstanding young singers.
In 2015 it launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project following the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences. Classical Opera has performed regularly at many of London and the UK’s leading venues, including Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, Sadler’s Wells, Birmingham Town Hall and Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and on tour in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, where it enjoyed a three-concert residency at the 2016 Eisenstadt Haydn Festival.
It has mounted staged productions of many of Mozart’s operas, and in 2009 presented The Royal Opera’s new production of Thomas Arne’s Artaxerxes. It has also given the world première of the ‘original’ version of Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto, and the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito, Telemann’s Orpheus and Jommelli’s Il Vologeso. Classical Opera’s first two recordings – ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Sony BMG, 2007, rereleased on Signum Classics, 2014) and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live, 2010) – were both selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice.
In May 2016 the company released ‘Where’er You Walk’, with tenor Allan Clayton, which was shortlisted for the 2017 International Opera Awards, and this was followed in May 2017 by The Mozartists’ début recording ‘Perfido!’, a programme of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven concert arias featuring soprano Sophie Bevan.