Q&A with operatic group activity specialists Office Opera

Caryl Hughes is an international opera singer, currently working with our country’s leading opera companies.

Is opera entering the zeitgeist? It’s even on adverts for insurance.

Opera is definitely shedding its prim, elitist image and entering the zeitgeist thanks to being streamed into cinemas and lowering ticket prices. ‘Go Compare’ helped show that it’s an accessible form of entertainment. After all, everyone could sing that jingle. 

Do different office characters/archetypes tend to have specific voice types (ie alpha males/tenors etc)

No, the beauty of what we do is that it shakes off office archetypes – when you walk into our workshop, it becomes a level-playing field. The quiet intern may turn out to be the swash-buckling hero whilst the CEO might be happy hiding in the chorus.

Is singing therapeutic for groups of people?

Absolutely. Singing is healthy, empowering and forces you to be mindful of the task in hand. It’s also the most natural way of expressing yourself. As part of a group, it’s a fun, uniting and liberating experience.

How do you approach false modesty/over enthusiasm? 

Both qualities are positives and can push people past their limits. We love working with all personality types: we ensure everyone has a role with which they feel comfortable.

Pavarotti or Freddie Mercury? Who’s your preference? And which singers are your favourites?

Opera is our passion so Pavarotti. Our favourite is Bryn Terfel – Caryl toured the UK with him.

He has a unique talent to sing to 30,000 people but make you feel like he’s only singing to you.

Tell us more about what you are offering?

In an hour, we teach a group of non-singers to sing an operatic aria. This foray into the exhilarating world of opera is team-building in its purest form, and above all, great fun.