Friday, 15 June 2018

Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala

Opera Holland Park - Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala -  (Photo Ali Wright for Opera Holland Park)
Opera Holland Park - Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala -  (Photo Ali Wright for Opera Holland Park)
The anniversay of the tragic Grenfell fire has been marked in a number of ways, but for Opera Holland Park (OHP) the disaster was personal, not only were those lost neighbours but Debbie Lamprell, a much-loved member of OHP’s staff, was also one the victims. In Debbie's memory and in memory of all those lost in the fire, Opera Holland Park held the Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala on Wednesday, 13 June 2018.

Performers included a nearly 200-strong community choir, made up of local school children and residents, directed by Gareth Malone in a new work by Will Todd and Gareth Malone, Help Me Believe, created from workshops with members of the Grenfell community and OHP’s Inspire Project. A new arrangement of Will Todd's Amazing Grace was also performed, see video below.

Children affected by the Grenfell tragedy offered moving reflections, with introductions and support from the actors Jim Carter, Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton and Dame Penelope Wilton, with Sir Trevor McDonald introducing the evening and Penny Smith interviewing performers on stage. Tobi-King Bakare and Reda Elazouar, two teenagers from the Grenfell community, performed their own spoken word piece Someone Please Explain, written especially for the concert.

The concert also featured scenes from OHP’s current season productions of La traviata and Così fan tutte, performed by their full casts, as well as popular arias from a wide range of other operas. Guests from across the operatic world included Peter Auty, Stephen Aviss, Cheryl Barker, Nadine Benjamin, Lee Bisset, Michael Bradley, Susan Bullock, David Butt Philip, Peter Coleman-Wright, Eleanor Dennis, Anne Sophie Duprels, Lauren Fagan, Stephen Gadd, Ben Johnson, Henry Grant Kerswell, Nicholas Lester, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Anna Patalong, Hannah Pedley, Nick Pritchard, Gweneth-Ann Rand, Natalya Romaniw, Nicky Spence, David Stephenson, Sarah Tynan, Kitty Whately, Laura Woods and Fflur Wyn. Matthew Kofi Waldren, Dane Lam and Peter Robinson conducted OHP’s resident orchestra the City of London Sinfonia and the OHP chorus.



All proceeds will be donated to the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) and the final total is still being calculated, but it is hoped to exceed £100k.

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