Fundraising for the City Music Foundation

Monday 29th April 2013

Sue and I were guests of British American Tobacco for a wonderful evening of opera at Stationers Hall, organised by Sheriff Nigel Pullman in aid of the Lord Mayor's Appeal and its main beneficiary, the new City Music Foundation. British American Tobacco were the principal sponsor of the evening, which succeeded in raising some £25,000 towards the Appeal.

The singers came from Opera Holland Park and the National Opera Studio, itself supported for many years by British American Tobacco. For me the highlight was understandably a fine performance of the hit single from Carmen but there was also the pleasure of hearing Barnaby Rea again. He's a most talented young bass who sang after our Installation Court last year, when he was still at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. But in terms of a tenor with a back story, how many people know that the huge voice that brought the audience to its feet with the football aria from Turandot belongs to Henry Cooper's nephew? Neal Cooper has already been offered a role covering Parsifal in the Royal Opera House's 2013 production and he will be singing Melot in Tristan there in 2014. Both of them told me afterwards how much they owe to the National Opera Studio.