Residents at Great Alne Park, Inspired’s retirement community located just outside Alcester, enjoyed an evening of music and operatic performances in the village’s very own on-site grassy amphitheatre.
Great Alne Park is thought to be the only to be the only retirement village in the UK to have such a space.
To celebrate the completion of the amphitheatre and to support the charitable work carried out by the OperaAwards Foundation, residents enjoyed an evening of sunset operatic performances. Thanks to its vast outdoor setting, the venue was able to provide safe physical distancing for audiences to enjoy the magical performances.
Accompanied by pianist Louisa Lam, tenor Alex Haigh and mezzo-soprano Rosie Clifford performed a selection of popular songs from the some of the best known operas, as well a selection of more contemporary pieces.
The diverse set included:
- ‘Ombra mai fu’ (Handel, Xerxes)
- ‘Minute Waltz’ (Chopin)
- ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ (Donizetti, L’elisir d’amore)
- ‘I got rhythm’ (Gershwin)
- ‘Silent noon’ (Vaughan Williams)
Ben Ling, Great Alne Park Village Manager, comments: “It has been amazing to see work on the amphitheatre progress and both residents and the village team have been extremely excited to see it in action.
“The opera performances were an incredible way to showcase the space in all its glory and we are very much looking forward to hosting a summer of events next year for residents and the local community.
“Spending time with friends and family, as well as enjoying ‘cultural experiences’ such as music, film and theatre all help to improve wellbeing in later life so we are very proud to have something so unique and versatile here at the village.”
You can hear Ben and resident Stephen Walsh tell BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire their thoughts on the opera and what living at Great Alne Park is like here:
Alex Haigh is a recipient of the Opera Awards Foundation bursary, which is awarded to up and coming young opera singers by the charitable arm of the International Opera Awards. He trained with Trinity Laban conservatoire, Associated Studios in Hammersmith, ENO’s ‘Opera Works’ and the Berlin Opera Academy. On stage he has worked with Grange Park Opera, Kentish Opera, Guildford Opera, Loughborough Festival Opera and Hampstead Garden Opera, to name but a few.
Fellow performer, Rosie Clifford, has had a distinguished career that has seen her perform with the likes of the National Theatre, the Royal Albert Hall, Hampstead Garden Opera, Grange Park Opera and Opera Anywhere. She is a regular member of the critically acclaimed Royal Hospital Chelsea Chapel Choir and was a Monteverdi Choir Apprentice in 2014-15.
Pianist Louisa Lam studied at King’s College London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed in many venues across London including the Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as further afield, including the Auditori Winterthur in Barcelona.
The grass amphitheatre has capacity for 400 plus people and will house a series of professional events from May to September 2021, including; literary events in association with the Stratford Literary Festival, professional outdoor theatre performances and a variety of musical concerts for residents, the local community and visitors alike.
Watch this space for a full video of the performance…
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