Gareth Malone and Opera Holland Park Community Chorus reunite for International Opera Awards 2019

Gareth Malone and Opera Holland Park Community Chorus reunite for International Opera Awards 2019

Gareth Malone and the Opera Holland Park Community Chorus reunite for a special performance at International Opera Awards 2019 - the annual red-carpet gala event on 29 April celebrating achievements in opera - performing at the event for the first time. Performing 'Help Me Believe' - a piece commissioned by Opera Holland Park for its Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala last year - the Chorus will join a starry line-up of some of the biggest names in opera, including Joyce El-Khoury and Charles Castronovo. Highlights from the ceremony, presented by Petroc Trelawny, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 6 May.

'Help Me Believe' was originally performed at Opera Holland Park's Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala in June 2018, in memory of OHP staff member Debbie Lamprell and all the victims of the tragedy - and featured a choir of over 200 children and adults from the Grenfell community as well as the OHP Chorus, the London Sinfonia, principal singers and conductors. The gala raised over £125,000 for the Rugby Portobello Trust's work with young people and won Theatrical Event of 2018 in the Broadway World awards and the Music Teacher Magazine Editor's Award.

Created as part of OHP's Inspire Project, 'Help Me Believe' was written in collaboration with members of the community. The lyrics express their hope for the future and desire to be remembered. Celebrated choral composer Will Todd and choral conductor Gareth Malone, who wrote the lyrics alongside community members as well as the music for the piece, will also be present at the ceremony, with Malone conducting and Todd performing from the piano.

Opera Holland Park are previous winners at the International Opera Awards, having won the 2018 Award for Education and Outreach, and are this year nominated in two categories: Festival and Rediscovered Work.

James Clutton, Director of Opera at Opera Holland Park, said: "OHP's commitment to the local community did not end with the Hope for Grenfell Gala. The company's award-winning Inspire outreach and education work continues, and it is an honour to reunite the performers and creators of 'Help Me Believe' at the 2019 International Opera Awards."

Other performances confirmed for the red-carpet event are star soprano and previous Young Singer Award finalist Joyce El-Khoury, who joins in between performances as Elisabetta in Welsh National Opera's touring production of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux; American tenor Charles Castronovo, a finalist in this year's Male Singer category; mezzo Vivica Genaux, who performed in Pinchgut Opera's production of Artaserse which is shortlisted for Rediscovered Work; and tenor David Butt Philip, a former Young Singer finalist.

Furthering the Awards' commitment to championing young artists, there will also be performances from a chorus of Opera Award Foundation bursary recipients, bolstered by members of the London Philharmonic Choir, making its debut at this prestigious event. Once again soloists will be accompanied by the Orpheus Sinfonia, led by their Principal Guest Conductor Oliver Gooch.

The Awards, founded by philanthropist Harry Hyman in 2012, aim to raise the profile of opera as an art form, to recognise and reward success in opera and to generate funds to provide bursaries for aspiring operatic talent from around the world. Since 2012 over £330,000 has been raised by the Opera Awards Foundation.

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