Hurn Court Opera was founded by Lynton Atkinson and his wife Joy Robinson in 2017. As professional singers, both are acutely aware of the difficulties emerging performers experience in accumulating stage hours while paying the bills.
HCO aims to give this exciting talent a performance platform of high artistic quality, along with the opportunity to learn from leading professionals, and to generate sufficient funds to pay them a reasonable fee.
Two projects provided the catalysts for HCO:
Broadstone Music Series, a Dorset-based charity, founded by Alison Kay, whose aims include supporting the development of talented young musicians.
An ongoing series of Music Therapy fundraising concerts established by Andrew Foot and Michael Hart at Hurn Court, Bournemouth, which helps to fund the salary of the Music Therapist at Poole Hospital's Child Development Centre.
Over a number of years, Lynton and Joy have collaborated with these organisations, for instance in staged performances of Mozart's Die Zauberflőte, Bach's Kaffekantate and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, as well as numerous gala concerts at venues including Hurn Court. All have featured young singers and instrumentalists working alongside experienced professionals.
Many of the singers who committed to these projects had attended the flourishing Wessex Solo Singers Courses. Founded and directed by Lynton since 2011, these performance-based courses have attracted leading tutors and visiting star performers such as our President, Simon Keenlyside, and have been inspirational in the development of countless singers now pursuing successful careers.
During HCO’s early stages, a number of young singers were generous with their talents, making it possible to build a financial basis from which to launch the venture. In particular, James Atkinson and Isabelle Atkinson have performed for no fee to capacity audiences on repeated occasions. We are immensely grateful to them, and to their colleagues.