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about us

Longhope Opera is an annual Bel Canto opera festival showcasing emerging artists, hosted at the Longhope Estate in Newton Valence, Hampshire. Every Summer since 2015, Longhope has welcomed several hundred guests to it's charming grounds. Guests take walks around the grounds and peruse the various events on offer before they are entertained with a comic opera from Scherzo Ensemble and enjoy dinner overlooking the South Downs. 














Guests at Longhope have previously enjoyed several gala concerts, The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Il turco in Italia, L'elisir d'amore and La Cenerentola. This summer, having wowed thousands of guests since 2018, Scherzo Ensemble will return with their fifth production - Donizetti's Don Pasquale. To deliver Longhope Opera, Scherzo assembles an entire company (performers, creatives, technical staff and management) of emerging professionals. The central aim is to help young practitioners gain professional experience and build confidence, with the associated aims of fostering deeper respect and understanding between theatrical departments.  

Aside from their work with Longhope Opera, Scherzo Ensemble have several projects and performances throughout the year.


the team

Matthew O’Keeffe

Artistic Director  

Matthew is the Director of Longhope Opera and Scherzo Ensemble,

which he founded in 2015 whilst studying music at King’s College

London. He is based in South London and works as a singer,

conductor, producer, arranger and composer. During his degree, he

was a countertenor Choral Scholar and studied singing with

Michael Chance at RAM whilst at the same time seizing every

opportunity to conduct and manage music projects within the university.

Soon after graduating with a 1st in 2017, he founded Lunchbreak Opera

which stages accessible and digestible shows in the City of London which fit

within the working day, offered for free. Shows have included Suor Angelica,

Prima la Musica, Gianni Schicchi and A Dinner Engagement. Matthew works

very hard to share his love of classical artforms with new audiences –clearly

visible in his work with the Brixton Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in

2018. BCO is an innovative ensemble of young professional instrumentalists based in Lambeth. The Orchestra champions informal classical performance in community spaces, and also engages fully with the diverse musical cultures of Brixton. On the side, Matthew also directs the Trouvere Collective (Medieval troup) and is choirmaster at St Thomas’

Church, Fulham, and The Centre for Young Musicians. Matthew arranges music for all his ensembles and his compositions have been premiered on BBC Television and in Westminster Cathedral. 


Grace Tarr

General Manager & Producer


Peter Nutting (Chair) 
Hamish Janson (Host of Longhope Opera) 

Fergus Slinger (Host of Longhope Opera)
Nicholas Thomas (Treasurer) 
Tim Jones (Artistic advisor) 

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