The soprano Laura Monaghan was a core member of the Opera Holland Park chorus for several years, singing in the main productions of the summer seasons, as a cast member in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and working with the OHP Inspire team around the year. After a long battle with cancer, Laura died in the summer of 2018.
In July 2018, Opera Holland Park performed Fauré’s Requiem in Laura’s memory. Following the performance Linda Hirst, Laura’s teacher at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, the British bass Matthew Rose and James Clutton, OHP’s Director of Music, decided to set up a bursary in Laura’s name to be awarded each year to one member of the Opera Holland Park Chorus.
The Laura Monaghan Bursary will be used to fund coaching sessions, singing lessons and other expenses to assist career development. The recipient of the bursary will be chosen annually by James Clutton in consultation with the Opera Holland Park production team and chorus masters. This singer will be somebody who is consistently hard-working, always prepared for rehearsal, and has a positive attitude on and offstage. It will be someone who has finished full-time study, shares Laura’s keen interest in contemporary music, and is at a point in their career where they are progressing but would benefit from additional support and guidance.
The first winner of the Laura Monaghan Bursary is mezzo soprano Yolanda Grant-Thompson, who trained at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, was a member of the Opera Holland Park Chorus in the 2019 productions of L’arlesiana and Iolanta, and has been part of the Inspire team in our OperaUnity workshops.
Any patrons wishing to support the bursary can do so here, with our heartfelt thanks.