Thursday, July 06, 2017
In case you haven't yet seen it, this is the beautiful tribute from Opera Holland Park in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which one of their staff members, Debbie Lamprell, was among those who lost their lives. It's an encore from Puccini's La Rondine, 'Bevo al tuo fresco sorriso' and the singers are Elizabeth Llewellyn, Matteo Lippi, Tereza Gevorgyan and Stephen Aviss, with the company.
Opera Holland Park has announced that it will give a memorial performance of Verdi's Requiem on 1 August in aid of the Rugby Portobello Trust to help the community in the aftermath of the fire, which took place less than a mile from OHP's base. Please book tickets (hurry - they're going fast) or make a donation here: http://www.operahollandpark.com/memorial-concert-verdi-requiem/
The best way we know to commemorate and help the victims of this disaster is to make music and so that is what we will do. There has been a lot of emotion in the company since the events of that day, and our friend and colleague is mourned deeply. RPT deserve respect and admiration for everything they have been doing in the aftermath and we hope this event will provide the funds to help them continue their work in supporting the community.’ – Director of Opera, James Clutton and General Director, Michael Volpe
Addendum: I'm told that the Verdi Requiem is now sold out, but you can a) still donate - please! - and b) sit in Holland Park with a picnic and still hear the performance because, as one of the singers promises us, "We'll be loud!"
Thursday, March 24, 2016
The irrepressible Michael Volpe, head of Opera Holland Park, has made a little film, available on BBC Arts, about what happened when he took some fellow Chelsea fans for their first-ever experience of opera, specifically La traviata.
Some remarkable things began to happen quite early in the journey, not only to them...
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Before all that rain started, we spent a gorgeous afternoon at Opera Holland Park, under the leaves in the Yucca Lawn groves, watching Will Todd's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's on until 1 August, so assuming we're clear of the rain, do try and catch a show.
It's one of those rare delights that holds little kids riveted, yet their parents equally so: a sassy adaptation of the characters and elements of the story, plus an eclectic take on the music with everything from gospel through a hint of zany modernism to something edging towards Somewhere Over the Rainbow (and try the Wonderland Blues above, starring the larger-than-life Keel Watson as the Caterpillar and super Fflur Wyn as Alice).
|Wonders in Aliceland. Photo by Alex Brenner|
The sets are dotted around in different spots beneath the trees; your ticket is a cushion and you take it with you to sit on on the ground, moving around between scenes. Full marks to the orchestra - known as the Alice Band - for shifting too, and to the cast for marshalling us all into the right places at the right time.
And in this environment, after a while even the most hardened critic/opera fan begins to shake off the old encrustations of cynicism and overwork grumpiness and...well, if you're surrounded by entranced four-year-olds, eventually you begin to feel like one yourself. And you discover anew that 'opera' scrubs up as enormous fun: a good story well told, through top-notch music and singing and movement and drama and costumes, all live in front of you. What a refreshing and welcome joy with which to see in the rest of the summer.
This show, incidentally, has legs. Though OHP commissioned it two years ago, it's travelling excellently and will be at the Linbury in November. A CD (as above) is now available too. More info about cast, performance dates, etc, here.