Most of our concerts are performed by two singers, usually Maria Arakie (soprano) and Glenn Wilson (baritone), although other singers are occasionally added to order. They are accompanied by a top rate pianist, such as Carol Wells, Nicholas Bosworth, Gavin Mole, Julian Jacobson, Antony Gray and Sheila Thomas, according to availability. All are fully trained and experienced performers. We seek to provide a high quality entertainment for older people in Greater London, many of whom are frail and vulnerable or socially isolated due to circumstance or illness. The venues we visit include homes, hospitals, hospices, day care centres, sheltered housing and community-based clubs for elders.
Connaught Opera was formed in 2003. We are a Registered Charity No. 1131004. Our management committee comprises Maria Arakie Chair, Glenn Wilson Treasurer, Alan Steinfeld QC Secretary, Shabir Dawood Trustee and Dr. William Acker Trustee.
Apart from our standard repertoire of Anglo-American musicals and operetta, in order to best serve the cultural diversity present in the older population of Greater London, we include medleys catering specifically to French, Italian, Spanish, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Hebrew, West Indian and, recently, Hindi groups. We seek to include everyone in our concerts by presenting a glamorous and lively performance - this can mean wearing bright reds for a partially sighted audience to enjoy (the last colour in the spectrum to be lost in the visually impaired), changing repertoire and costumes for repeat visits, and so on.
ABOVE: A bit of Bollywood in Ilford.
Celebrating Black History Month in Camden at the Afro-Caribbean Elders Day Centre.
During the recent year of Heritage and Culture, we arranged concerts at Heritage sites in the London Boroughs to which older people were transported so they could enjoy a concert in a fabulous setting, giving them a magical outing. The Heritage sites in which we performed were: Valance House Museum, Barking & Dagenham; Eastbury Manor House, Barking; Avenue House, Barnet; Hall Place, Bexley; Brent Town Hall, Brent; Pitshanger Manor, Ealing; Forty Hall, Enfield; St. Ann’s Library, Haringey; Headstone Manor, Harrow; Langtons Hall, Havering; Winston Churchill Hall, Hillingdon; Osterley Park, Hounslow; Hampton Court Palace, Kingston; The Canon’s House, Merton; Ilford Chapel, Redbridge; The Octagon, Orleans Gallery, Richmond; Carew Manor, Sutton and Wigmore Hall, Westminster.
Our grateful thanks to the Charitable Trusts, Community Funds, Lottery Funders, Arts Trusts and London Borough Councils who have contributed so generously to Connaught Opera in order that we might continue our work, promoting community cohesion within the network of care for older people in Greater London Boroughs and the South East of England. These benefactors are listed below. We also wish to thank the day centres, nursing homes, hospice and hospitals who paid fees directly to Connaught Opera for additional bookings. Yamaha and Markson Pianos have been brilliant in their support by loaning us grand pianos for our Knebworth House and Hampton Court Palace concerts.
Principal Benefactors, listed alphabetically:
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