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Opera company auctions off 600 costumes and props as it closes after 38 years

Costumes from one of the productions staged by Pavilion Opera, formed by Freddie Stockdale in 1980 but set to close
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An auction of 600 items from opera productions including The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni is being held after the company that owns them closed its doors for good after 38 years.

Pavilion Opera was formed in 1980 by Freddie Stockdale, and its work has been performed in country houses, schools and abroad since then.

However, Stockdale told The Stage that the business had “reached a natural conclusion” and that he had decided now was the time to close the company. It played its last production on July 14.

“It’s been the most enormous fun, and I shall miss it but there is no point in pursuing something that has reached a natural conclusion just for the sake of it,” he said.

Stockdale said his company had never received public subsidy, and had instead made all its own money from its clients, including the country houses that have hosted the operas from his company.

He added that, in the past 10 years, the education side of the business had been a “major component” of the company’s work.

All of the costumes used by the company were made bespoke for the productions, and they will all be auctioned off – alongside wigs and props – on October 24 this year.

The auction of costumes from 23 shows will take place at Gorringe’s in Lewes, with Stockdale telling The Stage he hoped the money raised would go towards his retirement.

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