Today , accompanying himself, Robbie Haylett sings Let Beauty Awake. It was in 1904 that Vaughan WIlliams' Songs of Travel were first performed in London. The cycle of nine songs for baritone draws on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson.


Let Beauty Awake is the second song of the cycle. Robbie writes, "The text of this song seems to tell us that beauty can be found in dusk or at dawn, in solitude or in company of a tender friend. However, a slight tinge of sadness comes from its context in a song cycle concerned with loneliness, and losing or gaining one’s sense of belonging. The music is urgent, and seems to start and end in a key in which it doesn’t really belong; perhaps it is suggesting that the need to find and create beauty is imperative, and ever-present."


Details of our 2021/2022  Season here


Welcome to St Albans Chamber Opera's 32nd season.

SACO was founded in 1987 by opera singer Phyl Swindlehurst and music director David Ireson to provide performing opportunities for the many talented singers living in and around St Albans, Hertfordshire, and to involve young people in performing and attending opera.

The company has a good reputation for providing first class music theatre on a small budget and is virtually self-supporting.

An annual production at the Abbey Theatre in the Spring is supplemented with studio performances, concerts and workshops in a variety of unusual and attractive venues.




SACO relies on the generosity of our supporters. There are two main ways in which you can show your support:

When you shop online, you can raise funds for SACO from your favourite online shops by shopping via The Giving Machine who will donate a small percentage of the amount you spend to SACO. It does not cost you anything, but every penny we raise helps us with our next production.

Click here to find out more about The Giving Machine.

SACO also has an active group of Friends and Patrons who, through a monthly donation, make a valuable contribution to the company. If you are a UK taxpayer, your donation may also be gift-aided, which helps even more. 

In return, you will be the first to hear about our events, and receive a discount voucher for our Spring production.