Supporting Opera on the Park

Supporting Opera on the Park

Redcliffe Homes is supporting a fund raising gala opera concert in Upminster, Essex on Saturday June 1st that will raise money for a remarkable school project that helps children with complex learning needs.

Over 100 children attend Corbets Tey School and the plan is to run a six-week programme called Searching For Sunshine led by professional musicians, most of which are graduates of Britain’s top music conservatoires.

Joanna Marie Skillett, a Soprano Opera Singer, and recent Distinction Graduate of The Royal Academy of Music said: “The majority of the Corbets Tey government funding goes towards ensuring that an appropriate level of staffing is available to cater for the increasingly complex needs of pupils. This makes it impossible to stretch the budget to fund additional arts projects.

“I first enjoyed involvement with this remarkable school when I was working for English Touring Opera in 2009; all of the pupils performed in a fully-staged Opera “Speakout” at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch to great acclaim.

“The project was the start of a firm friendship and in 2010 I produced the event "A Night at the Opera"; a gala in support of Corbets Tey which was a runaway success selling out in only two weeks, raising £4,000 for their Music and Arts Fund.

“Searching for Sunshine is a new, collaborative project devised by myself and Sophie Biebuyck that addresses the specific artistic educational needs of the children of Corbets Tey. Previous projects have proven to be of huge benefit to the pupils’ skill development, self-confidence and enjoyment and motivation in learning.” 

Redcliffe Homes is urging everyone with an interest in opera to support this good cause by getting involved with the fund-raising concert ‘Opera on the Park’ in Upminster, Essex on Saturday 1st June 2013. Details can be obtained from and information on the school is available at