Making Music

Making Music

Norman Platt


Pembles Publications



The story of singer Norman Platt's life in music and the rise and fall of the renowned Kent Opera Company.
Norman Platt was seized by music at the age of five as a boy in industrial Lancashire, played professionally at the age of nine and made music in one form or another until his death in 2004. He sang in the choirs of King's College Cambridge and St Paul's Cathedral, was a founder member of the legendary Deller Consort and toured with Britten's English Opera Group. He was a principal at Sadler's Wells and broadcast regularly with the BBC.

Yet, as the Times obituarist wrote, "Norman Platt was probably as famous for his battles to save Kent Opera in the 1980's as he was founding the company in the first place in 1969. His was a long and thankless battle against the Arts Council, which had decided by the end of the 1980's that the country had one opera company too many. Unfortunately his outspoken attacks on funding policies made him enemies in high places, which left the company vulnerable when the axe fell."

Making Music, warmly received on publication in 2001, is the story of Norman Platt's life in music. At its heart is the story of the Kent Opera, which featured conductor Roger Norrington, directors like Jonathan Miller and Nicholas Hytner, and singers of the calibre of Jill Gomez and Felicity Palmer. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the realities of the arts in the modern world.


January 2001
34 black and white illustrations
128 pages
22.5x14 cm
ISBN: 9780954128708
Format: Hardback
Pembles Publications
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We now have from the Kent Opera's guiding light this well-written and evocative chronicle of its all-too-brief existence. GRAMOPHONE [Alan Blyth]
This is the story of a small, seditious miracle...His story is deeply troubling but strangely inspiring. It is not a denunciation but a profession of faith. INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW [Michael Oliver]
To read [this book] is to be reminded of Platt's uncanny ability, genius even, for spotting and enabling talent. THE TIMES [Rodney Milnes]