Dear friends, supporters and patrons of Opera Holland Park,
You will of course be aware of the terrible events in North Kensington on 14 June and the dreadful tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire. We have decided to mount a very special event to support The Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT) and their work in the aftermath of the tragedy and it is with this in mind that we write to you today.
On Tuesday 1 August at 8pm, we will give a performance of Verdi’s Requiem and details of this are given below. We are enormously grateful that so many members of our family of singers and musicians have agreed to donate their time and talent to help us achieve much needed funds for RPT who were, and continue to be, at the heart of efforts to assist the community affected by the fire. Among those who have donated their services and will perform in the concert are: Anne Sophie Duprels (soprano), Yvonne Howard (mezzo-soprano), Neal Cooper (tenor) and Barnaby Rea (bass), with the Opera Holland Park Chorus (including OHP principals and guest artists), the City of London Sinfonia and conductors Sian Edwards and Peter Robinson. The money from the concert will be used for a plethora of services being provided to victims and their families by RPT, including a summer programme of events for affected families and children.
Our company, as you know, has a multitude of reasons for being profoundly touched by the tragedy. Many of us either live in the area or have close links to it, but above all, one of our long-serving front of house team members, who lived in the tower, is missing, presumed dead.
We have heard first hand from people at RPT of the monumental task ahead of the community to try to put the lives of those affected back together, to help them recover from the traumas of the fire and to find practical relief from the loss of everything they owned. It is a healing process that will take possibly years to complete; it is difficult to describe the scale of this tragedy and the sheer number of people who have been touched by it.
This is why we wanted to create an event as soon as possible to provide a contribution to the immediate relief effort. In time, there will be other special events to commemorate the tragedy, as well as those lost as a consequence. But right now, we are making a very strong appeal to you, our patrons, friends and supporters, to support this performance by attending. If you cannot attend, please consider going to our website and making a donation. Details of how to book and/or donate can be found below.
In the past two weeks, we have been extremely proud of the way in which our staff have conducted themselves in very trying circumstances and they have shown unequivocally just how the OHP family can pull together. We have always invited our friends to also consider themselves as members of our family too. We ask you to now, more than ever, support that idea with your generosity and compassion.
James Clutton and Michael Volpe