Title from 1976 of former English Opera Group, founded by Benjamin Britten, Eric Crozier, and John Piper in 1946 to perf. chamber operas old and new. Closely connected with Britten's operas, but also gave f.ps. of Walton's The Bear and Birtwistle's Punch and Judy. Has toured abroad widely, incl. USSR (1964). From 1961 administered and financed by CG. Re‐formed 1976 under joint dir. of Colin Graham and Steuart Bedford with aim of longer season and to embrace opera, operetta, musicals, and less conventional works, all generalized as ‘music theatre’. Ceased to exist 1980.