Top opera stars to raise money for Mencap

Besi Besemar June 4, 2015

Top British Opera singer will be appearing at the Brighton Centre on December 19 to raise money for Brighton Mencap.

Henry Waddington
Henry Waddington

THE Brighton Centre will play host to this spectacular one-off evening celebrating the grand tradition of opera as a universal language with the power to make us laugh, cry and better understand our world.

Expect to hear some of opera’s most loved arias, duets, and set pieces, including a few festive surprises along the way.

Every ticket sold for this special event will help Mencap continue supporting people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

The event, supported by Mencap, will be directed and programmed by acclaimed bass-baritone Henry Waddington and will be organised by an events committee that includes Opera lover, Neil Pollington.


Henry Waddington, will lead a cast of some of the top singers in British Opera in an evening of Grand Opera with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Stuart Stratford.

Henry Waddington, said: “I am so pleased to have been able to help organise and take part in this event for Mencap. I was quite overwhelmed at how many of my friends and colleagues were willing to give up their spare time to take part. It promises to be a wonderful evening of music making and a celebration of British Opera talent and all for such a worthy cause”.

The proceeds raised will go to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers and will include the development of a local Mencap service in Brighton and Hove.

Neil Pollington, who is a member of the event’s committee and who has a learning disability, said: ”I love opera and I have always wanted more concerts in Brighton. Neil Hart who supports me at Mencap came to see me at my house, he told me that he was hoping to organise a concert with Opera singers and it made me very excited. Neil helped me find some of the singers on my iPad.  Music is really important to me and I listen to it a lot. My friends and family are always surprised how I can name pieces of music after hearing only a few notes. Opera is one of my favourites and I am looking forward to the night in December”.

The stellar cast already includes stars of the British Opera including:

♦ Sopranos: Giselle Allen, Yvonne Howard, Jeni Bern, Jenni France, Natasha Marsh, Gillian Ramm and Kate Valentine.

♦ Mezzo Sopranos: Carolyn Dobbin, Vicky Simmonds, Sarah Pring, Gaynor Keeble and Leigh Woolf.

♦ Tenors: Chris Turner, Rob Murray, John Graham-Hall, Jeff Lloyd Roberts. David Butt Philip and Nicholas Sherratt.

♦ Baritone/Bass: Henry Waddington, David Kempster, Christopher Maltman, Bradley Travis, Grant Doyle, Brindley Sherratt and Richard Wiegold.

Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap, concluded: “We are delighted the support that Henry Waddington and other singers have shown. This was originally Neil’s dream but thanks to the help of Henry we have created a night that not only will make a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability but will also be hugely special for anyone who comes.   We hope you can join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening.” 

Event: Grand Opera fundraiser for Mencap Brighton

Where: Brighton Centre, King’s Rd, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 2GR

When: Saturday, December 19

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: From £35 to £160

To book tickets online, click here:

In person visit the Brighton Centre Box Office, Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm located at the front of the venue on Kings Road or telephone 0844 8471 1515.