Cutty Sark celebrates birthday with Mozart opera on board

This year, to mark its 146th birthday, Cutty Sark will be inviting opera-lovers underneath the ship’s magnificent copper hull for a special rendition of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro by Olivier Award-winning opera company, OperaUpClose.

The Marriage of Figaro

Taking place in this dramatic and unique location on Saturday 21 November, the company will deliver moving arias, laugh-out-loud comedy and powerful insights into what it means to be human, as they perform one of the world’s best-loved operas in a new English version by OperaUpClose Artistic Director, Robin Norton-Hale.

Performed by seven singers and accompanied by viola, clarinet and piano, The Marriage of Figaro tells the story of love-struck servants, Susanna and Figaro, on the day of their wedding. Horrified by the revelation that Susanna is experiencing the unwanted, and increasingly insistent, attentions of his boss – the womanizing Count – Figaro vows to thwart his master’s amorous intentions.

However, further complications are caused by highly-sexed teenager Cherubino's infatuation with the Countess, who loves her unfaithful husband but is flattered to be noticed by a much younger man. Through quick thinking and subterfuge, the servants outwit the master and the women get the better of the men in a satirical romp that is joyful and subversive in equal measure.

Directed by Sarah Tipple, who has previously revived Anthony Minghella's Madam Butterfly for the English National Opera, this highly inventive and theatrical new production is the perfect way to experience the brilliance of Mozart’s masterpiece in the intimate and breathtaking space underneath the ship. Raised over three metres, the jaw-dropping experience of being underneath the last surviving tea clipper is only enhanced by the remarkable and moving performances of these talented players.

What the critics think:

★★★★                                    ★★★★                                                                                    ★★★★

‘Inspirational’                   ‘For once laughter that doesn't rely on subtitles’              ‘Terrific fun’

The Independent            Evening Standard                                                                           Time Out


‘Sublime music which will really knock you back’

Fringe Opera

General Information

Cutty Sark reopened to the public in April 2012, marking a new chapter in the extraordinary life of the last surviving tea clipper and one of the world’s most famous ships. Visitors to Cutty Sark can venture aboard and beneath the beautiful three-masted clipper: walk along the decks in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed her over a century ago; explore the hold where precious cargo was stored on epic voyages; and even walk underneath the 963-tonne ship in the dry berth below to view the elegant lines of her hull.

Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Queen’s House operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich. Cutty Sark is open 10.00–17.00, Monday–Sunday (subject to change please see website for details).

Admission to Cutty Sark is £12.15 for adults (£10.35 concessions) and £6.30 for children aged 5-15. Family tickets are priced at £21.60 (1 adult and 2 children) or £31.50 (2 adults and up to 2 children). Bundled tickets are available with other Royal Museums Greenwich attractions.

Royal Museums Greenwich members receive free entry to Cutty Sark among their membership benefits. Admission to Cutty Sark is by ticket, available online, by telephone or in person on the day. Due to high demand tickets may be unavailable on the day to those who have not purchased their ticket in advance. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the bookings line on 020 8312 6608.

Cutty Sark is located a short walk from the Cutty Sark DLR, and Maze Hill and Greenwich train stations. The closest tube stations are North Greenwich (to change to local buses) and Canary Wharf (to change to DLR), both on the Jubilee line.

For details on National Maritime Museum, and Royal Observatory Greenwich opening hours and admission visit the website.

About OperaUpClose

OperaUpClose's mission is to make opera more democratic, and to show just what an exciting, theatrical, accessible art form it can be.

The company was founded in 2009 and has since developed a reputation for intimate, surprising staging that demand detailed, and truthful acting from the singers without compromising on musical standards, with razor-sharp new English translations and inventive orchestrations.


For further information or images please contact:

Emma Gough, Assistant Press Officer, Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office | Tel: 020 8312 6789 | Email: