Gateway Learning Community Summer Arts Festival
Thursday 13th July 2023, Gateway Academy, Grays
For our last concert of the year, we took part in the Gateway Academy's annual Summer Arts Festival concert. The Gateway Academy is a local education partnership and we performed a song which some of our members composed in a workshop with composer Aga Serugo-Lugo (pictured left) called Welcome to the Estuary, about the welcome which communities along the Thames Estuary give to refugees and migrants arriving in the area. We also sang our Summer Term repertoire and it sounded amazing - even though due to a lighting problem, our accompanist Will Gardner had to play completely in the dark without being able to see his music score! Thankfully, his amazing musical memory came to the rescue and nobody noticed a thing!
Afro Food Fest
Grays, 24th June 2023
It's always great to sing in our local area and this year we were invited to sing on the big stage at our local Afro Food Festival in Grays Town Park.
It's always a challenge to do a concert outdoors, but despite this, we had a great time singing four songs in our repertoire: Chorus of the Scottish Refugees by Verdi, Ubi Caritas by Gjello, the Rogers and Hammerstein classic If I Loved You and Lamma Bada, a piece which was composed for us and other choirs in 2018 for the Singing Our Lives project.
A great deal of fun was had by all, and the food we sampled was terrific!
Brandenburg Festival Concert
Saturday 18th March 2023, St Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road
Saturday 18th March 2023, St Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, performing with the London Phoenix Choir
For this concert, we sang a range of favourite Opera Choruses, along with another community Opera Chorus from West London, the London Phoenix Choir, and professional soloists Luis Gomes (tenor) and Anita Watson (soprano). Here's a review from an audience member:
"St. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road built in 1867, is such a beautiful place to listen to Favourite Opera Choruses. The Thames Opera Company and the London Phoenix Choirs, conducted by Jeremy Haneman were delightful. Ashley Beauchamp and Will Gardner, pianists were superb. The voices of Anita Watson, soprano and Luis Gomes, tenor were so heavenly when they performed together an excerpt from Act One of La Boheme with Ashley Beauchamp on piano."
Port of Tilbury Open Day 2022
Saturday 25th June 2022, Tilbury Cruise Terminal
The Thames Opera Company were proud to perform at the Port of Tilbury Open Day at the end of June. We consider the Tilbury Cruise Terminal as 'home ground'; we have performed there many times in the past and it's always an amazing day out. We performed two Stephen Sondheim pieces, The Ballad of Sweeney Todd and Sunday (from Sunday in the Park with George), as well as Victoria, the rousing finale from Der Freischütz, an opera by Carl Maria von Weber, in the original German language. We also joined the mass voices of the Singing Our Lives choirs to perform the premiere of Under the Same Sun – a performance featuring hundreds of performers onstage to celebrate the Refugee Week theme of ‘Healing’ through music and song.
You can see and hear us in the video below, from Thurrock Nub News (starting at 0:27).
Singing Our Lives Concert
On 26th June 2022, we took part in an evening filled with incredible song and music from around the globe. We peformed with Members of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, the Mind & Soul Chorus, the Mixed Up Chorus, Music Connects, the Sing For Freedom Choir, the United Strings of Europe,and Write to Life for an inspirational and emotional evening to celebrate Refugee Week.
The Singing Our Lives project, now in its 6th year, brings together people from local UK and refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to compose and perform new music together. We were inaugural members and are proud to have taken part each year the event has taken place. This year, we sang two Sondheim songs along with John Rutter's arrangement of Prayer for Ukraine, and it was our immense privilege to sing with a professional soloist, the Ukranian soprano Kateryna Bolkunevych.
Singing Our Lives is produced by Together Productions in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Union Chapel, with generous support from the Arts Council England.
Video Credit: Paul Murphy
Sunday 26th June 2022,
Union Chapel, Islington