Opera Holland Park marked the one year anniversary of the Grenfell disaster with a special gala performance, raising money for the Rugby Portobello Trust. On Wednesday 13th June 2018 a choir of 200 children and adults from the community, alongside the opera chorus, performed. The gala was given in memory of Debbie Lamprell, who was a member of the OHP’s staff when she died in the Grenfell fire, and for all victims and their families and friends.

Will Todd led the massed choir and City of London Sinfonia in a new orchestral arrangement of his setting of ‘Amazing Grace’, which you can hear below:

Funds raised by this year’s memorial concert will enable more than 100 children and young people from North Kensington to attend ‘residential’ trips, week-long visits to the coast and countryside, which allow them to try new activities and escape the pressures of everyday life.  

The choir of 200 children and adults from the community, alongside the opera chorus, also performed ‘Help Me Believe’ – a new piece commissioned by OHP with words and music by Will Todd and Gareth Malone.

Created through a series of workshops over the last few months as part of OHP’s Inspire Project, the song is meaningful to the members of the community, who helped write the words, describing their hopes for the future and their desire for remembrance.

In the short clip, you can see the emotion in the faces of children who had lost friends, and who remembered their loved ones through the music and lyrics. Although tearful, the song gave the children and members of the community a chance to stand together, strong and supportive, and commemorate loved ones, hand in hand. Nobody who saw this performance will forget it.

The community members, children, their parents and their schools have all authorised the release of this footage and wish for people to see their performance and hear their song.


Full credits: ‘Help Me Believe’
Conducted by Gareth Malone and performed by the company and the community
Created from workshops with members of the Grenfell Community and Opera Holland Park’s Inspire Project
Soloists: Ivana Cabagan, Avondale Park Primary School and Alessandro MacKinnon, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School Words and music by Gareth Malone and Will Todd

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