Pimlico Opera aims to use music and drama to advance personal development, particularly with younger people. Artistic excellence is an essential part of achieving this aim.

Back in 1987, the company was started by Wasfi Kani OBE and was probably the first to specialise in performing in unusual places – hospitals, wonderful country houses, banks, prisons. In 1991 the company was awarded Arts Council project funding and core funding.

Pimlico Opera is the sister company of Grange Park Opera which was founded in 1998.


Les Misérables at HMP High Down 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 October
HMP High Down houses around 1,200 prisoners near Sutton in Surrey. After four weeks full time rehearsal, prisoners and professionals perform with orchestra to the public who may consider the purpose of imprisonment in this positive context.
It is an occasion not to be missed.


Please join us behind bars and support the project.
The project, costing £190k, receives no public subsidy. Since 1990, Pimlico Opera has worked with more than 1,000 prisoners, has employed ex-prisoners and taken 55,000 public into prison.


Members of the public taken into prison


Prisoners have taken part


years working in prisons



In 1989 Pimlico Opera performed two operas in Wormwood Scrubs: Le Nozze di Figaro and Walton’s The Bear. The first joint production with prisoners took place a year later with people serving life sentences.

  • 1991 HMP Wormwood Scrubs: Sweeney Todd
  • 1992 HMP Wandsworth: West Side Story
  • 1993 HMP Wandsworth: Guys & Dolls
  • 1995 HMP Wandsworth: West Side Story
  • 1996 Mountjoy Prison, Ireland: West Side Story
  • 1997 HMP Bullingdon, Oxfordshire: West Side Story
  • 1999 HMP Downview, Surrey: Threepenny Opera
  • 2001 HMP Winchester: Threepenny Opera
  • 2002 HMP Winchester: West Side Story
  • 2003 HMP Wormwood Scrubs: Guys & Dolls
  • 2004 HMP Ashwell, Leicestershire: Assassins
  • 2005 HMP Coldingley, Surrey: Assassins
  • 2006 HMP Bronzefield, Middlesex: Chicago
  • 2007 HMP Wandsworth: Les Misérables
  • 2008 HMP Kingston: Sweeney Todd (project cancelled)
  • 2009 HMP Wandsworth: West Side Story
  • 2010 HMP Wandsworth: Carmen – The Musical
  • 2011 HMP Send, Surrey: Sugar
  • 2012 HMP Erlestoke, Wiltshire: Les Misérables
  • 2013 HMP Erlestoke, Wiltshire: West Side Story
  • 2014 HMP Bronzefield: Sister Act
  • 2015 HMP/YOI Isis: Our House