Pictured in action: From Asia and The Mikado to a bit of South America with a Carmen Miranda tribute. Two of the funders from Transformers, Alison White and Fahad Abdi, enjoying the concert.

The pinnacle of our project, in a joint initiative between The Transformers and the Tower Hill Trust, were the two concerts, hosted by the Tower of London in the Royal Armouries Banqueting Suite on Sunday 1st July .

Abdul Shakoor of Newham Stoke Club organised a wonderful day for
his members to celebrate the coming of the London 2012 Games



In the exciting build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, Connaught Opera have been awarded a Transformers Grant, funded by National Lottery Funding, through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and managed by ELBA. The grant to Connaught Opera is to perform 70 concerts in five of the Olympic Host Boroughs, (Hackney; Tower Hamlets; Newham; Greenwich and Waltham Forest) over the period of January 2011 to December 2012.

The Tower Hill Trust are additionally funding 9 concerts in Tower Hamlets during 2011 for this project.

The programme features two well-known songs with specially written words, glamorous costumes in the colours of the Olympic rings; and music from the five main Continents, that is familiar to our older audiences.

We have just had confirmation that Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts, have awarded us a grant for another 28 concerts in Greater London.

This enables us to take concerts to settings in all of the Greater London Boroughs.

ABOVE: “London Pride” - Glenn, Nick and Maria, pictured with a visiting group
from Woodberry Down, Hackney, in the stunning View Tube
with the Olympic Park in the background.

Harry who is 91 and lives in Hackney said “I enjoyed the day immensely, seeing the Olympic site made me feel very proud and excited. This will be the last Games and the best Games I will ever see. The entertainment was lovely, it added to the atmosphere, and I was very lucky to hold Maria’s hand in that wonderful red dress.”

ABOVE: Maria sings a selection of glamorous Hollywood Hits
for the audience at Newham Resource Centre, Plaistow.

Comments from City & Hackney Carers concert:

“An excellent performance/activity that fully engaged the group, whatever their (individual) levels of ability. Thoughtful, imaginative, responsive, engaging, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Attendees have been talking about it since, always in enthusing positive terms. I can’t imagine how this could have been done better.”

And from another staff member from Friday Coffee Club, a dementia cafe held in St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney:

“Very well thought out programme. Professional, engaging performers who were very perceptive as to the needs of the client group.”

The Manager at Janson and Guerney Road Estate, Stratford had this to say:

“Your brilliant, exuberance and glorious entertainment you have brought to this community has been a highlight of everyone here. You have contributed so much to the community.”

The Manager at Toynbee Hall said this about our Tower Hill Trust funded concert:

“Let me begin with a big thank you to all three of you for bringing your 'Chariots of Fire' opera performance to us. It was absolutely brilliant and was equally enjoyed by our service users and staff. The songs were accessible and diverse, yet had a strong theme which threaded the performance together nicely. Your costume changes were very much appreciated and we all thought you looked stunning.

I was initially a little concerned that opera might be a too exclusive genre for our service users but the selection of songs were familiar to us all and so this is clearly something that you considered when structuring Chariots of Fire. In creating an inclusive performance it becomes inevitable that often the audience will sing along and I think this welcoming attitude to participate is a very important and productive aspect of the event from the perspective of an audience member. The singing, music and performance were fantastic, uplifting and enjoyed by all, a real treat.”

London Borough of Enfield are funding Connaught Opera to perform 10 concerts in venues for older people, across the Borough, as part of the Enfield Festival and in the lead-up to the 2012 Games. The launch event took place at the Dugdale Centre with ‘The Big Lunch’ on Sunday 5th June 2011, as reported in the Enfield Independent (see below).

Hillingdon Council are putting on Chariots of Fire at The Compass Theatre.

Kensington and Chelsea's first Olympics concert, funded by RBKC Arts and Culture, was held at the Pepperpot Centre, and attended by the Mayor of RBKC.

The Elliott Hall at Harrow Arts Centre hosted this show on 3rd November 2011.

Cultural Services Manager, Enfield Council:

“You reached so many local people and made them happy - thank you!”

Merton's Leisure and Culture team have commissioned Connaught Opera to perform five concerts, across LB Merton in 2013 to reach approximately 200 of Merton's older, disabled and minority residents. Projected outcomes are to promote well-being and health, enhanced by engagement with the concerts.

Jump to top of page