Held on 13 June 2018, the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the event brought together many of OHP’s principal artists and chorus members with the City of London Sinfonia and members of the local community.

The Hope for Grenfell Gala raised more than £125,000 for Rugby Portobello Trust’s work with young people in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Amateur choirs and more than 200 local children joined OHP’s artists in the world-premiere of Will Todd and Gareth Malone’s ‘Help Me Believe’, a work created with members of the community who had been affected by the fire. Speeches and poems were written and performed by children and young people from the area, introduced by Sir Trevor McDonald and the actors Dame Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter.

Soloists included Susan Bullock, Elizabeth Llewellyn, David Butt Philip, Anne Sophie Duprels, Sarah Tynan and Nicky Spence. The evening featured music by Beethoven, Puccini, Dvorák, Tchaikovsky, Noël Coward, Mozart, fully staged excerpts from La traviata, and the premiere of Will Todd’s arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ for choir and orchestra. The arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace’ was dedicated to Debbie Lamprell, who was a member of OHP’s Front of House team and who lost her life in the Grenfell disaster. The score was presented to Debbie’s mother at the end of the gala.

Cameron Bray, editor of Music Teacher magazine, wrote that the event ‘exemplified the very best characteristics of music and music education, using music to bring together a community in the face of tragedy.’

The Hope for Grenfell Gala was also named Theatrical Event of 2018 in the Broadway World Awards. Opera Holland Park was recognised for its work with the local community in the Education and Outreach category of the 2018 International Opera Awards, and has been shortlisted in the Festivals category of the upcoming 2019 International Opera Awards.

If you would like to donate to the Rugby Portobello Trust, please visit their website at www.rpt.org.uk