The most spectacular of all the Historic Royal Places in Whitehall, The Banqueting House, the first building in England to be designed in a Palladian style by Inigo Jones, was finished in 1622 for James 1st. Intended for the splendour and exuberance of Court Masques, the Banqueting Hall also boasts a magnificent ceiling, painted by Peter Paul Rubens in 1630.
Chairman's Blog, Three Rivers DC http://www.flickr.com/photos/chairmanlesmead/sets/ and http://threeriverschair.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/banqueting-house-whitehall-london-friday-morning-22nd-november-2013/
Pictured below, on the steps of the Royal Throne at the Banqueting House concert, Sponsored by The Merchant Taylors' Company Charities in November 2013. The Banqueting House hosted Connaught Opera and the Vocal Group from the Merchant Taylors' School, to a packed house of 400 older people from all the Greater London Boroughs. Pictured with Maria, Glenn, Nick, and the Boys, together with their conductor Duncan Saunderson and Director of Music , Huw Jones, are The Worshipful the Mayor of LB Harrow Cllr. Nana Asante, The Chairman of Three Rivers District Council, Cllr. Les Mead and The Worshipful the Mayor of LB Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr. Frances Stainton.
l to r: seated, Cllr Les Mead, Chairman Three Rivers DC and Mrs Carol Mead, The Worshipfull The Mayor of Harrow, Cllr. Nana Asante, The Mayoress of Harrow, Ms Awula Serwah, Ayesha Chauhan (Metropolitan Youth, shadowing the Mayor for the day).
THE ICONIC TOWER OF LONDON
Pictures by Eddie Olaleye
Around 100 older people, residents in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, attended a concert in the New Armouries Banqueting Suite on Sunday 8th August, 2013.
Connaught Opera singers Maria Arakie, Glenn Wilson and pianist Nicholas Bosworth performed "A Fifties Fantasia" to celebrate the Queen's Coronation Decade. Maria made many glamorous costume changes, much to the delight of the audience.
The medleys were drawn from American and British Musicals of the era, with familiar tunes from Guys and Dolls, The Boyfriend, The Pyjama Game, West Side Story, Carmen Jones and Showboat.
The audience were elders from across the Borough, with a large number from Link Age Plus venues, The Sundial Centre, and Sonali Gardens. Also attending were service users from Toynbee Hall, Bethnal Green Golden Time Ideas Store; Gateway Housings Sheltered Schemes, U3A, the Zaccheaus Project For Carers, and the Tower Hamlets Alzheimers' Society.
The concert was funded by The Tower Hill Trust who have supported Connaught Opera's work in centres in the Borough for older residents, for several years. This was the second year that The Tower and Historic Royal Places have generously hosted these free community concerts. They also gave the guests the Freedom of The Tower for the day.
Caterers to HRP, Ampersand, provided a treat for the guests with free refreshments and delicious homemade shortbread, served in the Banqueting Suite following the concert. This enabled the guests to mingle with the artists after the concert, and also be to take the refreshments to the less-able who could remain seated.
The day was an altogether happy and uplifting experience, with some guests saying how grateful they were to get out to such a fabulous setting and enjoy a show, all at no cost to themselves.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Celebrating the Queen's Coronation decade. Connaught Opera, in their 10th year at the Palace, performed three concerts for around 300 elders from Richmond and Kingston. This year, supported by The Civic Pride Fund (Richmond), Kingston Council and City & Metropolitan Welfare Charity.
The Palace, once again, was the gracious host to groups from Amy Woodgate House; The Phoenix Club; Raleigh House;Whitton Network; Hampton Friends; Deer Park View Care Home; Homelink; Age Concern, Richmond;Dalemead; Newent House; Hobkirk House; Kingston Pensioners Forum; FISH; Contact the Elderly, Twickenham; Abbeyfield House; MEEG; Murray House; The White House; Bradbury Active Ageing; Abbeyfield Kew. The Woodville Centre; AC Kingston , Orione House. ; Cecil Court, Marling Court and Age UK Richmond (whose 40 members travelled in style to the performance, aboard a barge cruising along the Thames).
Glenn, Nick and Maria are pictured with the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayoress of Kingston, Cllr. Alan Dean and Mrs Miriam Dean, and a group from the audience. NB The 'uninvited guest' on the right closely resembles Anne Boleyn!
We would like to convey our thanks to Ampersand, the caterers, who gave their support and provided a non-stop supply of home-made shortbread and beverages at HCP; Kew, Kensington Palace, and The Tower of London.
Home of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Kensington Palace once again hosted Connaught Opera for the launch of their concert series to celebrate Her Majesty's Coronation with 'A Fifties Fantasia - Showstoppers from the Coronation Decade' held in the Mrs Lyons' Room, Clore Learning Centre.
The Drapers' Company supported this concert. (The Drapers have also funded Connaught to perform 7 other concerts which include, The British Home and The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability).
Goodwill for over 65 invited guests was abundant. Ampersand, who are caterers to Historic Royal Palaces, tempted their palates with delicious treats. Many of the guests were from very deprived parts of the capital, and would not otherwise have access to these events.
The Deputy Mayor of RBKC, Cllr The Lady Victoria Borwick, who also holds the role of Statutory Deputy Mayor of London, kindly attended, with past Master Grocer, Mr Robert Ringrose, The Worshipful Company of Grocers, featured with Glenn, Maria and Nick after the concert.
A Royal 'favourite', Kew Palace is a gem, nestling in the heart of Kew Gardens. It was used by King George III and his family as a country retreat, and was the intimate setting chosen by Prince Charles to celebrate her Majesty the Queen's 80th birthday.
In October 2013,the Palace hosted a concert by Connaught Opera (funded by the Civic Pride Fund), welcomed guests from the Borough, including elders from The Woodville Centre, Dalemead Care Home ,Orione House and Nightingale House.
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