Opera Shack


Accessible opera in unusual locations

Professional but warm, brimming with talent whilst down to earth and modest - the group possesses that rare combination of excellence in what they do and a real, proactive sense of inclusiveness.
— Dan Hall, Technola Education
Watching The Opera Shack’s wonderful production of Carmen, with spoken word poetry to entertain and explain, made me understand the power of opera for the first time. I’ve seen big productions in beautiful opera houses but this Carmen had intimacy, immediacy and impact.
— Audience member, Carmen
I fortuitously stumbled across Emma and the Opera Shack team performing in Sand Bar in Manchester. I was struck by the lively yet relaxed and open atmosphere they created and the mind-blowing talent of the performers
— Sam meech, 1big1
The Opera Shack are onto something special here and I would love to see more of this kind of thing in the future.
— Alex Pigott, the mancunion

the opera shack

Who are we?

The Opera Shack are a Manchester based arts collective who remove the stigma surrounding opera as elitist. We aim to:

  • Create story led performances that combine opera with spoken word narration.

  • Engage new audiences through our immersive productions.

  • Bring opera as a tool of empowerment to the community through workshops.


For Booking Enquiries or any other questions

Please contact us at and we’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.






Exciting announcements coming soon…






About Us

opera shack pic.jpg

artistic director

emma doherty

Emma is a director, singer and creative practitioner based in Manchester and the  artistic director of The Opera Shack. Following her directorial work with The Opera Shack, Emma has directed and devised for Manchester Collective (Pierrot Lunaire, Schoenberg) Olympias Music Foundation (Making Manchester, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Dove, and Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck), Manchester Contemporary Youth Opera and Opera Kensington (Die Fledermaus, Strauss). She has completed an observership on La Traviata at The Royal Opera House and is assisting Emma Jenkins as part of the National Opera Studio at Welsh National Opera this spring. Emma believes that accessibility of art is an invaluable tool for empowerment and emotional wellbeing. She has worked as a facilitator with young people and adults in various settings including Streetwise Opera, Brighter Sounds, The Irene Taylor Trust, TIPP, Manchester Rape Crisis, Manchester Action on Street Health, and Music Action International and is a co-founder of Musica Festival (Manchester University) designed to combat gender inequality in classical music.


Marketing and Development Manager


Max is a Manchester based creative and organiser. With The Opera Shack, he helps market and produce incredible events and experiential productions, as well as developing and identifying new areas for the company to grow. He graduated with a first class degree in Music with Spanish from the University of Manchester in 2018, and also works as the Events Intern at the University of Manchester Student's Union. Max has worked with a variety of organisations including Olympias Music Foundation, Migrant Support, Kantos Chamber Choir, The University of Manchester Chorus and Ad Solem Chamber Choir. Max is also a published poet, and has been a prizewinner with Foyle Young Poets and Tower Poetry competitions. He believes that accessibility to the arts is a necessity for the wellbeing of individuals and society, and hopes to realise this belief through The Opera Shack.



AbiGAIL kitching

Abi is a Manchester based conductor and music facilitator. Alongside her role as Musical Director of The Opera Shack, she is the Assistant Musical Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus, Musical Director of Blackburn Music Society, Preston Orpheus Society and Darwen Ladies Choir, as well as being a conductor for the Hallé corporate choir scheme. She is passionate about increasing accessibility to the arts, reflected in her work as a workshop leader for Streetwise Opera, The Irene Taylor Trust (Making Tracks and Music in Prisons), Olympias Music Foundation (Women’s Voices), Contact Theatre, The Academy Singers (Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra), Child’s Play India Foundation and her position as Artist in Residency at Risley Prison. She is co-founder of Musica Festival (Manchester University) which celebrates female music making, and is a regular singer; she has extensive choral experience and won the Rectial category in the David Clover Festival of Singing in 2017.




Pinocchio - Children’s Voices
Olympias Music Foundation

Hansel and Gretel - Women’s Voices
Olympias Music Foundation

A Concert of Hope
Streetwise Opera

For more information about our workshops and community work, please get in touch!


Proud to have worked with: