Some Great News To Share

I am thrilled to share my good news with you all finally.  For several years now, I have had a deep desire to create an Opera Production which can be enjoyed across the full hearing spectrum. The idea for the Opera developed from my album “Down The Rabbit Hole”. I took the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 lockdown to rewrite the rhymes I had used on the album and enhance them with recitative and new lyrics allowing me to try out arias as well as songs. After speaking with a mentor that I connected with through the Royal College of Music Mentorship Program, I realised I needed to take on more skills to enable me to progress the project. Miguel’s belief in me gave me the confidence to persevere with my dream and keep pushing to see it through to the end.

I applied to the Arts Council England Develop Your Creative Practice for a small grant to develop my idea and take on some of the skills needed to make my dream a reality. Using this grant, I was able to complete a week of R&D on the project in February this year, following which I was even more determined to try and bring the project to fruition. I started planning and fundraising, and with fingers and toes crossed, I submitted an application to the Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants to see if they would consider my project. 

Two weeks ago, I got the news that they were willing to provide key funding for my project if I could raise the rest.  So before I could share the news with you, I had to hit the phones, write emails and send off applications to try and raise the shortfall. But today, I can announce that through pure will and determination, I can just about see the finish line.  I have raised enough money to take my production on a small tour of primary schools next Spring, which will include both D/Deaf specialist schools and primary schools from socially deprived areas.

I still can’t believe that this is actually going to happen. I now just have to finish writing the libretto, work with the composer to create the music, devise the staging, book the transport, arrange accommodation, draft out the contracts, book the schools in the diary, ohh and still keep up with my existing practice, concerts, and the annual audition season approaches !!

But I relish the challenge and will keep you posted on how everything is progressing.

To help me to raise the remainder of the funds that I need, I came across a fundraising website that offers donations when you shop online. It doesn’t cost the shopper any more money, and the donations are made by the online stores.  If you live in the UK and make any online purchases and would be willing to check this out, here is the link to my page on their website ( just click on the picture below ). If I can raise an extra £600.00 it will give me enough money to print a learning aid booklet for each of the 800 children we perform for. If I can raise an additional £3000.00 it will allow me to add the two schools that I have as reserves so that none of the children miss out.  In the meantime, I will still be approaching foundations and other grant sources, so I will keep my fingers crossed that I can hit my target. ( https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/down-the-rabbit-hole/ )

This project has been made possible through help and advice from many sources, which have all helped me to get this far: The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Sign Language Department, Jane Davidson (Director of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera), The Royal College of Music Mentorship Program and Educational Specialists, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, YCAT and The Manchester Collective, Miguel Mateus, Emma Belli, Alesia Parshutsina, Zoe McWhinney, Nino Russell, Dee Simpson, Siobhann Dodd, Kyle Cluett, Ruth Montgomery, Kathryn Bilyard, David Ward, The Arts Council England, Sameday PLC, Morrisons Winsford, Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Winsford Town Council, Hilary and Edwin Custance Green, Annette Rochelle Aben, Clare Pooley, and Cheshire West councillor Michael Baynham. And a big thank you to my wonderful husband, George and my parents, who have helped immensely and guided me through the whole process.

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129 thoughts on “Some Great News To Share

    1. Thank you Martin, it kept my optimism going through lockdown, I can now bring opera to my hometown. Every evening and weekend on tour in Scotland I was working away on the application, I got the news on a lunch break in a cafe in Nottingham and just sat crying, the lovely woman who owned the cafe came straight over to check I was ok.

      The photo was taken by my brother Matt in Canary Wharf I think.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte 😃

    1. Thank you Jovina, I’ve been recording a video with the creative team this afternoon so I’m still hyper.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  1. Yes !!!! I was sure that you will do something great when we have wotk on “Down to the rabbit hole” !!!! Congratulation dear !!! I’m very proud of you !!!! Te best, always !!!

    1. Can you believe that an initial idea five years ago has progressed this far! I loved your work on my album cover, Mum has it framed hanging proudly on her office wall.
      Best wishes always,
      Charlotte 😊

      1. Of course, bien sur. That’s why I love your art, it is always visionary.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

    1. Thank you Annette. Every £1 will be spent wisely I have been given a crash course in accounting with my parents and know my way around a double-entry spreadsheet 🤯. I must also thank you for your donation and belief in me that you made a while ago, seriously I have used every 1p to start to create this, I raised enough to perform just one school now we have 12 and 2 reserve.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you John, I have appreciated your regular blog visits throughout this busy time for me.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Timothy, it is the reason I’ve been such a poor blog chum recently, its taken every minute of my spare time, luckily George has a six day per week contract right now so is out most evenings 😂.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I’m impressed with your efforts to make your dream happen. I used to promote bicycle races. That took all my spare time getting sponsors, insurance, permits, designing and printing flyers, promotion, hiring law enforcement, recruiting volunteers. All the tasks of trying to keep everything together and tieing up loose ends never ended.

      2. Ah, then you have a very good idea how many plates are spinning right now 😊. I don’t sing at home at night so that I don’t disturb the neighbours its all about timing.

      3. I try to be, not easy when you sing opera. It’s a good time for memorising.

  2. This is exciting! I’m already seeing it go further, in the future.
    Charlotte, you are a talented act of kindness and generosity.
    I am impressed!
    Also, what a great learning experience for producing an Opera, hand picked for your Soprano voice. I know it’s a down the road possibility, but just look at what you’ve done here!

    I don’t live in the UK, so can’t help with the shopping. However, may I reblog this on Art Gowns in a few days? I do have some followers in the UK that I don’t see here. It could help a bit!

    You go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ❦❦❦❦❦

    1. Oh please do reblog Resa, everything helps to spread the message. I took specialist vocal lessons with opera singers on-line during lockdown, you wouldn’t normally get that opportunity. I stretched my range then consolidated with a professor once we were out of lockdown so I can now work with Nino my composer to really open this up. I’d tried everywhere to try to get some funding for composition and thought I’d have to write the music changes myself, which if you read my reports from my composition teacher at the Junior Royal Northern college of music made clear ‘Charlotte has brilliant ideas it is a shame her application doesn’t keep up with her imagination’. Hehe.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Will reblog as soon as I finish up comments and visits from the latest post.
        I seem to remember you singing online with others.
        You stretched your range…WOW! I was already impressed.
        Imagination is the beginning. Application follows. Nothing follows without imagination.
        I’m thrilled you have a composer. Nino must be exhilarated to work with you.

        This is just the beginning. Enjoy all of it…the ups and downs. It’s the story of your life being written.
        OH, I was also thinking that you and George must do an evening with George and Charlotte. How fab would that be?
        LOL, now that you are learning to produce, the sky is the limit!
        I get ahead of things, but I am truly excited for you.
        You are inspired. You will always be inspired, and much hard work will always follow.’Tis the way!
        Best wishes back to you!
        Resa
        ❦❦❦

      2. Nino is doing his PhD at the Royal College of Music, we met when we did our Masters there, he’s working with some of the best people in the world and has been working with Kaija Saariaho, a Finnish female composer who I did my women in music master’s project on. George and I do recitals together, I’m planning one right now. Producing is hard, fortunately I’ve worked for some great producers at least that side of it is something I can do in the evenings.

        I’ve certainly had a roller coaster this year. 🙃
        Best wishes always,
        Charlotte 🥰

      3. You are amazing! I’m trying to clean up comments and visits, and thinking what I will say when I present the reblog.
        Also, I usually don’t do comments on reblogs, but I am considering allowing them on this reblog.
        It will be so people who don’t know you can ask questions.. fans to make comments that might be of value to you.
        I was thinking of adding your YouTube channel, so those who don’t know you can have a hear!
        If this is all okay, you don’t have to answer. I know you are busy. However, if there is something here you want to say no to, PLEASE DO!!!
        🙃🙃 It’s a good roller coaster!
        Resa 🥰

      4. Just finished my German group lesson 🙂. Share away, I must put some more recent videos on YouTube I’ve not updated it for a while. Any help is welcome. Thank you
        Best wishes Charlotte 🥰

    1. Thank you GP, I’ve not heard that expression before ‘you get the brass ring’ ☺️. I’m guessing it’s something good 😜.
      Best wishes always,
      Charlotte

      1. Yes, it is.
        “Grabbing the brass ring” or getting a “shot at the brass ring” also means striving for the highest prize, or living life to the fullest. It is not clear when the phrase came into wide use but has been found in dictionaries as far back as the late 19th century.

      2. That’s cool! 👍🏻 That’s me, go for the A* when a B would be a cruise.

  3. Charlotte, you have such a beautiful, generous heart! God bless you and your work! I love the first photo, such a wonderful smile. ❤️🇬🇧☺️

    1. Thank you John, when I received the offer I was overjoyed. I have met the most amazing people throughout this experience, my British Sign Language teacher used to play violin before she lost her hearing, she is inspirational to me, my actress Zoe goes all over the world and takes on challenges with a gusto, the BSL interpreters we’ve been working with have assisted me so much they are tireless. George has gone above and beyond to encourage me to see it though covid lockdown and I could go on and on. Can’t forget my parents who came to London on their weeks holiday and helped us to video and curate the show and promotional material, so it didn’t end up a relaxing week off work for them!
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Marina 🥰. I’ve not stopped all day. I’m literally waiting for my Salmon to cook for dinner and thought I’d catch up with my lovely blog comments.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Shehanne 🥰. I would like people to give me work to sing for them on stages all around the world like magic 🪄. Life has little side plans for me that I’m overjoyed to create and run along with. Any grand plan I had at University continues to evolve 😃. I hope I’ll find a way through and that you’re right.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Charlotte,, what I feel is that you get work in your business. I know a few people who have trained who don’t. In this instance you have created your work through sheer determination and talent. Things always lead to other things that way. So keep focussed, I am sure you will find a way and look how you’re learning not just to be part of a touring but to be running that. SO much is finding out you can do something. xxxxxxxxx

      2. Yes I agree with you. I know people that have left the industry for a regular income and more security. I’m enjoying the challenge of producing and creating my own opportunities 🥰 I will keep focused, thank you again xxx

    1. I have to be bold to make my dreams come true. Covid threw us all a curve ball we weren’t expecting, there are still problems in the arts in the UK but I have worked really hard to put this together, keep your fingers crossed for me.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. Wow, very cool! Great news! Congratulations! When you said, “I now just have to…,” I had to laugh – is that all? On the other hand, seeing what you have already accomplished, well, yeah, a huge amount of work, but you are not afraid of that. I think I’ve said before that I am really impressed with your drive and determination. Keep on going and thanks for bringing us all along for the ride 🙂

    1. Thank you Trent, a couple of weekends ago I came up with the idea to have a printed learning aid for the children, so I called my Mum and said ‘can you help me with the illustrations’ and she said ‘don’t you think you have enough on!’ Lol. Needless to say we spent a weekend together drawing and designing whilst listening to new songs I’m learning. 3 pages down 18 to go.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I had to go to bed the other night at 9:30pm to catch up on some sleep 💤 😂

    1. I like the sound of Estée Lauder. Wouldn’t it be great if I could bring my show to Australia 😊! Hehe, why not who says I mayn’t go where I please (in my best Alice voice).
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I’ve drawn on Alice a bit in my latest ms which has just been mailed off to my agent. Why not indeed come to the antipathies, as she referred to us? But if you come, it would be nice if you take all the rabbits back with you. It was the English who brought them here in the first place 🙂
        I don’t wear much perfume these days, but when I do, Estée Lauder is my preference!

      2. As long as I don’t have to walk on my hands 😆. Good luck with your new book 📖

  5. Congratulations! This is wonderful news, Charlotte. Take a minute to enjoy your accomplishment—and then I suspect you will be back to work with so much to do. Keep us posted on the terrific project.

    1. Thank you Peter. My head is buzzing. I’ve got a group German class tonight so I’m going to have to go and get my mind into German mode in a moment and out of Wonderland.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. A wonderful idea brilliantly executed. The fundraising administration has not been the least of it. The whole project looks delightful and is sure to benefit the children. Are those your drawings, too?

    1. No they’re not my illustrations Derrick, but it’s funny you mention it because I am drawing illustrations for the handbook for the children with my Mum, we were going to just photocopy them but if I can raise the extra funding I’ve found somewhere to print them into booklets. Thank you for your best wishes
      Charlotte 😊

  7. You have a massively caring heart Charlotte, and I know this is something you feel passionate about so I am soooo pleased all your hard work has paid off. Now, phase two…. More hard work but you thrive on it🤗🥰 watch this space everyone, this is a young lady who will go far. 💐🥰❤️

    1. Thank you Gill xxx Did Mum tell you I’ve got plans for you in the project? 😉 Hehe. You’ve always had upmost faith in me. Thanks again.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Don, now I’ve got to figure out the foldable sets. Be glad you’re miles away because I’m drawing on all my friendships to help me. People will start to avoid my calls soon 😂.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. I was dreaming about using my living room green rug as the grass the other night until someone in my dream tripped on it and woke me up, lol.

  8. This is so amazing and exciting. You will be spinning for the next six months or more, but you will be bringing such pleasure and opening new doors to many people on the way! We are lost in admiration.

    1. Hilary your comment is lovely I am really excited to share the journey with you as I continue. Thank you so much for the support during the Covid pandemic. Yours and Edwin’s belief in me kept me going and encouraged me to be determined to grow the idea. I am hoping to blog about the process and share what I’m learning during the process and the collaborations that I’m making. I must remember to take photos.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you 😊 Have I gone mad? Hehe. It’s a good thing I really do believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Cindy 😊 Some people thought it was ‘bonkers’ but its going to happen, exciting, and I’ve got to figure out how to weave it all together.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Mart. I’ve not stopped this week. Still e-mailing thank you’s tonight. I’m getting close to some more targets to be able to add another deaf specialist school which I’d love to achieve. I have a meeting with my friend and composer tomorrow after work. A design and drawing day booked with my Mum and an accounts meeting with my Dad lol.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. My dear Charlotte,
    As there is no reblog button on your blog, I did a semi repost. I hope/believe you will like it!
    It is up now.
    This is so thrilling!
    Resa xo

    1. Oh I didn’t know there wasn’t a reblog button. I used to have one I think 💭 I’ve received a few more donations (thank you for your gift) so I’m pretty sure I can add another deaf specialist school in London now. I’ll pop along now.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. You are a beautiful person. I can’t thank you enough for all the trouble you went to creating a whole new post.

        I really don’t know what’s going on with WP just lately, I thought I had a reblog button? Then I tried to leave another comment on your arts gown site, it lets me leave a message on the graffix one but not arts gown? Are my comments arriving in your spam? Some red writing pops up and flashes off before I can read it. Xxxxx🥰

      2. Creating this post for you and your endeavours is my pleasure!

        You are not in my Spam. I’ve always checked regularly, not just in case you are in there, but if any of my pals are.

        Hmmm, red flashing? Have you sent this to the “Happiness Engineers” at WP?
        I did google that, and it seems fixable.
        They get back quickly, and have fixed many issues for me. That may be all you need to do.

        It is annoying, but at least we can still communicate.
        The RED writing is definitely a clue/situation.
        You know, I think I will try and send a message to them from here. They might reject me and say you need to write them, but I can try!

        I just know you will reach your goal of 3,000!
        All the children should be in your tour!

        Adore you!!!!
        Resa xxxx🥰

      3. Yes I will contact the WP engineer because I’m finding it difficult to click through the gravatars to go to friends pages too. So I have to go into the Reader and click on the search 🔍. I had a super article in the local newspaper too, the reporter wrote a lovely piece, he said it was a shame they didn’t do podcasts because I made him want to see it with my enthusiasm😊. I usually just have to put in my passport, e-mail on other blogs too sometimes but on yours it won’t accept it when I click on the WP button? 🥴

      4. Okay,I sent the Happiness Engineers a message. I included you comment “Some red writing pops up and flashes off before I can read it”
        So, they will gat back in a day or 2. They may try to contact you. Let’s see what happens!
        xoxo

  10. wow Charlotte… Congratulations!
    So nice to meet you through Resa! What exciting news. You have done an amazing job and love your tenacity, bright smile and gifts. Thanks too Resa!! 💞

    1. Thank you for visiting Cindy, lovely to meet you too. Resa is very generous sharing my good news. There should be a follow button on my site. Please let me know if that is missing too. I’m going to be writing to WP to ask why I can’t always leave messages but I can leave likes on some blogs and where my re-blog button has gone.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. You’re so welcome Charolette. It’s a pleasure. It shows how much she thinks of you. She is a gem. Gosh I kept looking for it. I will look again. I do hope you get it resolved. One of the WP annoyances for sure.
        See you around I hope
        💗

    1. Thank you for telling me of this missing follow button Cindy. I’ve messaged WP Cindy to try to discover where my ‘follow me’ button has gone.

      1. My Dads put the follow button on now near the like button with a widget, thank goodness for Dad! I can’t test it so I’d appreciate if you would test it please. Thank you for bringing this to my attention again Cindy. Happy Sunday to you.

  11. Congratulations Charlotte. You have a stunning voice. I’m so happy for your new path to success. I can imagine a production with your beautiful voice and Resa’s stunning gowns. The piano intro reminded me of a minuet type song in the 19th century, and Resa’s blue gown looked just like same period. Fabulous! <3

    1. Thank you so much. Resa is working on dress, I can’t wait to see what she creates, I wear gowns in concerts and recitals and love it, although storing them is a problem. It is a good thing Resa isn’t local to me or she might wish she wasn’t my friend 😂.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. Splendid! Wishing you all the very best with this project ✨

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    1. Thank you Graham, I enjoyed looking at your Mandala site. Have a lovely day.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Holly, I thought of you at the weekend when I was trying to create a new line in a song to be more current and pc, still fitting the rhythm 🎶 and it took me ages 😂.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I’m very hopeful Lancelot (love your name by the way), I’ve received some donations from my lovely blog friends, and I’ve been talking to Easyfundraising and they are going to help me to promote my fundraising page and have said they may help me to make up any short-fall in the cost of printing the booklets for the children. I need to get some more businesses involved that buy things like stationery from suppliers from the 7000 online brands that support Easyfundraising.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. I’m so excited for you, Charlotte, for producing your own opera and sharing it with so many, a worthy project indeed! All my best wishes to your success! I’ve been busy in the past months as I’m now playing in a community orchestra and will be joining a quartet come December. BTW, I play the violin and I’m still a novice in all these. Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects and I look forward to your upcoming postings regarding your super interesting project! 🙂 Best, Arti.

    1. I’m pleased to hear you have a seat in a community orchestra, exciting to be in a quartet too, will you do weddings and other events? I wish I could afford to put a violin or cello in the show, as watching someone playing those instruments is beautiful to see and the strings vibrate esp the cello through the floor.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

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