Michael Volpe
Michael Volpe loves more than just opera. He is a Chelsea fan, enjoys jazz, soul, funk and thinks John Martyn was a demi-God and XTC the greatest British band ever to pick up guitars.

He has been at Holland Park for over 23 years and persuaded RBKC to start the company in 1996.

He has three ridiculously talented children and lives in London.

You can check out the Opera Holland Park website here.

Entries by Michael Volpe

Mind Your Grammar

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 8:45 AM

Between Lefkas Island and the Greek mainland is a lagoon that embraces an archipelago of small green jewels, including, among others, Skorpios, the legendary idyll of Aristotle Onassis. Cruising those waters two summers ago, my geology student son and I were less concerned with the yachts of the super-rich than...

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Customer Service and the Holiday Rep Mafia

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 8:26 AM

The world is obsessed with customer service.

From small companies to multi-nationals, local to national government, there are policies, promises and guarantees aplenty. You can't move for the customer service. It has become another sales tool, and end in itself as opposed to a means to an end. And...

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The Cost of Grief?

(4) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 7:00 PM

As the stream of policy discussions and floated ideas for the NHS continue to emerge, I and my family have had unfortunate cause to realise just how much of what the health service does is impossible to "value". It is even more prescient given that the hospital in question, Charing...

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Sick Singers

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2013 | 6:10 AM

Antonio Papanno unleashed a tsunami of frowning and growling when he bemoaned the "weakness" of modern singers recently. Many observers cheered him too; if you pay a couple of hundred quid and the star doesn't turn up it is no surprise that you would give Tony a clap. Oddly, on...

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Gok's Opera Makeover

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 2:38 AM

Best known for his various television series, How to Look Good Naked, Gok's Fashion Fix, and more recently, Gok Cooks Chinese, fashion consultant Gok Wan hardly fits the cliché of the standard opera-lover. Born in 1974 in Leicestershire, where he worked in his family's Chinese takeaway, Gok studied at London's...

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To Boo or Not to Boo

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 2:27 AM

Earlier this week, after the curtain had come down on the Royal Opera's new staging of Eugene Onegin, Twitter was alight with stories of booing from the first night crowd. Then one starts to hear that actually, it wasn't a wholesale house boo but more like a little cabal of...

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Collective Efforts

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 5:14 PM

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the success of a company is founded on everybody who is engaged with delivering its product, the rewards and praise cascading to its roots. ENO has found itself at the heart of a storm recently, posting annual losses that started the gun...

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Cultural Variety Is the Spice of Life

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 6:00 PM

There is a worryingly persistent theory that people who work in, or are audiences of, a particular field of the arts have a very narrow cultural spectrum. We know, for example, that some people feel that areas of culture are out of bounds to them and continue to see their...

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In Search of Jewels

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2012 | 3:16 AM

Of the regular questions we are asked about our repertoire of late Italian operas, the most common is  "where on earth do you find them?" Having been presenting these works for so long we often find ourselves unable to answer since it is hard to remember where a piece first...

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To Them All We Must Give Applause

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2012 | 3:38 AM

We are all, in some way, self-regarding in the arts world. Those who tread a stage (particularly, in my opinion, an opera stage) have to be self-absorbed in many respects for theirs is a job of monumental difficulty; it is to their inner core that they must turn in order...

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Under the Influence

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 3:10 AM

The resurgent Evening Standard newspaper in London, which still manages to look and read like a real newspaper whilst being a "free-sheet" held its annual bash for "The 1000 Most Influential" at Burberry's flagship London store in Regent's Street on Wednesday.
I have fallen off the list after...

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Dishonesty Trumps Hypocrisy

(1) Comments | Posted November 3, 2012 | 5:32 AM

When I wrote my last piece, I talked about media hypocrisy and the torrent of it we were about to endure. I also mentioned hysteria. Even I wondered whether I might be over egging the pudding because, well, when you are angry about something you tend to do that. I...

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You Couldn't Make It Up

(9) Comments | Posted October 30, 2012 | 12:03 PM

Billy Connolly once said that hypocrisy is the Vaseline of political intercourse. Well, the politicians of football and their media agitators are about to launch themselves into an orgy.

If many of us found the taste of hypocrisy and the destruction of natural justice in the John

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T-shirts and Tantrums

(3) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 3:53 AM

The John Terry saga has taken yet another absurdist turn - this latest has fed the insidiously growing monster of racism's revival.

Protest and activism in a democracy depends on the golden rule that those protesting do not behave against the principles their protest seeks to uphold. Hypocrisy, abuse of...

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Perhaps We Should Sometimes Release Our Inner Child

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2012 | 6:00 PM

I set myself a challenge; find a correlation between paintball and Opera. If I am perfectly honest I only came up with the idea after I had spent the day running through the woods with a gun, shooting brightly coloured, hard, plastic paint-filled balls at people I didn't know. It...

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Beyond Reason

(0) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 3:26 PM

There will be a million words and countless opinions on the written reasons for the John Terry verdict published by the FA. It is possibly one of the most contrived and brazenly arrogant documents you are likely to read; what shocks is how there seems to be little attempt to...

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The FA: Above the Law and Beneath Contempt

(25) Comments | Posted October 3, 2012 | 7:00 PM

When the FA assembled its learned John Terry star chamber, chaired by an as yet anonymous QC, we can be in no doubt that justice was going to "seen to be done".

The utterly mendacious and despicably worded charge that they lay at his feet had nothing to do...

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Why the Hate for John Terry?

(32) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 3:59 AM

Is John Terry a racist? Was his contretemps with Anton Ferdinand just an explosion of frustration at a remark about his alleged affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend? A moment when restraint was cast aside and his anger burst forth on a football pitch, surrounded by black footballers with millions watching...

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Conditional Love for the Olympics

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2012 | 4:45 AM

A billion words have been written about the opening ceremony so I won't add to them, save to say that it has given a little boost to the nation's feelings for the Games which nevertheless still teeter on the line between a full embrace and complete intolerance.

The breaking...

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Olympic Heaven or Hell?

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 4:00 AM

So it is nearly upon us, this festival of sport like no other. I love the Olympics and spending hours watching various obscure sports and I always thought that winning a gold medal must be the greatest sporting achievement there is. Opera Holland Park has its own tiny role in...

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