top of page

Peter Kestner

Artistic Director



Peter Kestner was born in London and trained at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. He has had a busy singing career, mainly as a chorister with English National Opera, where he has sung a huge repertoire of Operas including covers and lots of small roles.

Now retired after nearly 40 years with ENO. He is Chairman of SACO, for whom he has sung many roles and directed lots of opera large and small. Peter is also a governor of a local school here in St Albans and has a busy singing teaching practice.

Having retired from the Chorus of the Royal Opera House in 2013, John has turned his love of music theatre, from performing, to directing. After a career in classical musical theatre, he relishes the opportunity to work in all music theatre genres.

A highlight with SACO was the chance to explore how Puccini's Tosca could be brought to the Abbey Theatre stage without all the grandiose sets and costumes associated with lavish professional productions. In 2018 John also wrote the narrative script for SACO’s highly successful concert evening, ‘An Evening with Mr. W S Gilbert & Mr. Arthur Sullivan'.

John Heath

Artistic Director

David Ireson

Music Director


Founding Member

David Ireson's musical life started as a cathedral chorister at Newcastle and progressed through singing and conducting choirs until he reached the dizzy heights of opera.


The performance in 1985 of Amahl and the Night Visitors in the Cathedral, with Phyl Swindlehurst (Aver)  singing the mother, was the start of St Albans Chamber Opera and it has given David the amazing privilege of conducting Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, Tchaikovsky and Britten among others.David is grateful to and has learned a great deal from
working with our various stage directors.

bottom of page