About Divas & Scholars

Our aim is to promote a greater understanding of opera. Since 2011 we have been running a variety of entertaining and informative events aimed at both opera lovers and connoisseurs as well as people new to the art form. Our attendees have the opportunity to meet our star speakers and performers over drinks or dinner. The social element of our sessions is an important part of what we offer.

We also enable young emerging singers to access a professional network of experts from the opera houses, broadcasting etc. as well as potential patrons. At some of our events young opera singers work with established stars, singers and conductors, and are given paid performance opportunities in prestigious London venues.

DIRECTORLucy Woodruff BA (Hons), MA

Lucy is the founder/director of Divas & Scholars.  Her fascination with opera was fuelled by a few years spent living in Vienna. On returning to London she began organising recitals for rising star opera singers and later developed a successful programme of lecture-recitals and master classes at the Cadogan Hall.  Lucy now curates glamorous opera evenings in London clubs, combining live performance, discussion and dinner.  She has collaborated with opera stars, conservatoires, opera companies and festivals and provides a platform for opera insiders to promote themselves, their productions and recordings, and the art form itself.

A choral singer, Lucy is deeply interested in the art of the opera singer and in beautiful voices.  After graduating from the University of London her early career was in public relations. After spending four years living in Thailand where she researched Buddhist Sculpture and gave guided tours at the National Museum in Bangkok she took an MA at SOAS and subsequently lectured on Southeast Asian sculpture.  The experience of working on courses in an academic environment inspired her to initiate the Opera Studies Series with the National Opera Studio and luminaries of the opera world.

Recently Lucy has begun arranging opera tours to UK and international festivals.

She has written and is currently producing a series of opera related documentaries – Temples of Opera – highlighting the architecture, history and life of the world’s opera houses.

This year Lucy was appointed PR and Events Director of the Vienna Opera Festival/Academy, Wiener Festspiele.

Opera Rara

Divas & Scholars has collaborated with Opera Rara with several promotional events.  For over 40 years Opera Rara has been bringing neglected masterpieces back to life through their acclaimed concerts and award winning recordings.  Under the expert guidance of their former Artistic Director Sir Mark Elder and current Artistic Director Carlo Rizzi, Opera Rara has won numerous awards for their recordings.  They work with some of the finest opera singers including Ermonela Jaho.  Renee Fleming made one of her first recordings with the company.

The Grange Festival

We hosted a series of pre-festival series of Divas & Scholars events for The Grange Festival at The Club at The Ivy in London.  Also Divas & Scholars arranged a successful opera tour to the festival.  The Grange is a fine neo-classical mansion in Hampshire with it’s own opera house in a magical bucolic setting. The festival led by Artistic Director Michael Chance CBE presents both established stars of the opera as well as nurturing some of the brightest young talents.

National Opera Studio

We have given performance opportunities to the exceptional young singers from the renowned National Opera Studio. Divas & Scholars curated an Opera Studies Series teaming up stars of the opera world with the NOS Young Artists. The studio provides intensive and bespoke professional training at the highest level for a small group of singers and répétiteurs each year, and prepares them for life on an international operatic stage as some of the leading artists of their generation. They work in partnership with all six of the leading opera companies in the UK: English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera North, the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera.  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa said of the NOS:  “From my regular visits to the National Opera Studio, is clear to me… the work achieved here is extremely valuable and gives a unique groundwork for the young singers of the future.”