Founded in 1994 by its music director Christian Curnyn, the Early Opera Company is now firmly established as one of Britain's leading early music ensembles. The Early Opera Company's debut production Handel's Serse led to an invitation to perform at the BOC Covent Garden Festival followed by three performances of Handel's Ariodante. In 1998 the company made its debut at St John Smith's Square with concert performances of Charpentier's Acteon and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and was invited to stage Handel's Orlando at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the South Bank Centre Early Music Festival.
Since then, the company has performed at many leading venues and festivals. Highlights have included Dido and Aeneas at Vic Early Music Festival in Spain, Handel's Agrippina at St John's, Handel's Partenope at Buxton Festival and the Snape Proms at Aldeburgh, Thomas Arne's Alfred at the Royal Opera house Linbury Studio (with a BBCR3 broadcast), a Rameau double-bill at the Cheltenham Festival and ten seasons at Iford Festival. The company appears regularly at Wigmore Hall, and recently debuted at the Dubrovnik Early Music Festival, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music and Spitalfields Festival. 2009 also included Cavalli's Eliogabalo at Grange Park Opera and Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea at Iford Festival.
The company's recordings of Handel's Partenope, Semele and Eccle's Judgement of Paris won the 2009 Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize and the Diapason d'Or respectively with both recordings receiving outstanding reviews. 2010 saw the release of a recording of Handel's Flavio and in 2011 the company released a recording of Il Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno.