Down The Rabbit Hole – Tour 2023

Down the Rabbit Hole – Tour 2023

A storybook opera for children across the hearing spectrum.

Down the Rabbit Hole is an immersive opera for families. The first tour will visit children aged 8-10 in primary schools. The story takes inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and will be brought to life through classical music, physical theatre, British Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English and Visual Vernacular.

The project is produced by Charlotte Hoather, who wanted to create an opera that would be accessible to children from all walks of life, including those that are deaf or hard of hearing.  Charlotte’s drive to encourage and inspire the deaf and hard of hearing stems from her own personal experience of being diagnosed at birth as profoundly deaf in one ear.

From the 9th March, Down the Rabbit Hole will be performed to over 1,000 school children at a collection of 13 schools across Winsford, Cheshire and London.

As part of the experience, each child will receive an Illustrated Synopsis. The teachers will receive access to pre-show activities to improve their student’s appreciation of music, team-working and literacy skills. One of the activities will teach the children a BSL poem, which they will perform during the opera accompanied by live music.

The opera has been made possible with generous support from Arts Council England and grants from Ovingdean Hall Foundation, Darnhall Exhibition Foundation, Birkdale Trust for the Hearing Impaired, Sameday PLC, Winsford Town Council and Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and donations from blog supporters and friends and family.

Rachael Mery, Ruth Montgomery, George Todica, Charlotte Hoather, Zoe McWhinney, Naomi Gray, Chloe Dodd, Dee Simpson

Cast and Creatives

  1. Soprano Charlotte Hoather
  2. Actor Zoë McWhinney
  3. Pianist George Todica
  4. Integrated Interpreter Naomi Gray
  5. Composer Zollino (Nino Russell)
  6. Costume Designer                           Emma Belli
  7. Stage Manager                  Chloe Dodd
  8. Deaf Consultant                Ruth Montgomery

Performances 2023

  • Thursday 9th March       Over Hall Community School               Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Friday 10th March          Over St Johns C of E Primary School   Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Monday 13th March      St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School   Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Tuesday 14th March      Winsford High Street Community Primary School         Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Wednesday 15th March St Chad’s C of E Primary School   Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Monday 20th March      Wharton C of E Primary School   Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Tuesday 21st March       Darnhall Primary School              Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Wednesday 22nd March       Hebden Green Community School Winsford (Cheshire)
    • Wednesday 22nd March. Oaklands School unique SM School Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Thursday 23rd March     Grange Primary School              Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Friday 24th March Willow Wood Community Primary Winsford (Cheshire)
  • Monday 27th March      James Wolfe Primary School              Greenwich (London)
  • Tuesday 28th March      Knollmead Primary School              Knollmead (Kingston upon Thames)
  • Wednesday 29th March Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children
  • Including: King’s Cross Academy School King’s Cross (London)

Previous Blog Posts


In this blog post, I share the final preparations before starting rehearsals.


In this blog post, I share an update to cast changes, and the development of the Illustrated synopsis.


In this blog post, I announce my award from Arts Council England, which helped me to write, engage a composer for the new songs and produce the 2023 Tour.


In this blog post, I announce that I was awarded a Develop your Creative Practice (DYCP) award from Arts Council England, which allowed me to research and develop the concept of “Down the Rabbit Hole.”


In this blog post, I discuss the original songs which I included in the first ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ album.


In this blog post, I discuss the original “Down the Rabbit Hole” CD Album of English verse and English Song published by George and I.

I passed on your comments and suggestion to Cheshire Cat Marketing, the PR company that I am working with to increase awareness of the project. Here is the Press Release they produced.

Opera Singer Performs For Local Children To Inspire A Love Of Classical Music

From the 9th of March, Charlotte Hoather will be performing at a collection of 13 schools across Winsford and London.

To encourage creative and intuitive thinking, Charlotte Hoather has been sponsored to share her love for opera with children across the hearing spectrum. The award-winning soprano has dreamt of making her music accessible to children from all walks of life, including those that are deaf or hard of hearing.

Singing to over 1,000 school children, she will be showcasing her rendition of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. After creating the opera, writing the libretto and working closely with her husband, virtuoso concert pianist George Todica, deaf actress and BSL poet Zoë McWhinney, and the renowned music composer Nino Russell known as Zollino, she has cleverly reimagined this storybook opera as ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’.

Charlotte, born in Winsford, Cheshire, established her passion for performing arts from the tender age of three. What initially began as a hobby in dance, she grew her skillset when she began singing and acting at age six in Northwich. She then went on to graduate with a First Class Music Degree from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and The Royal College of Music Master of Music.

Charlotte’s drive to encourage and inspire the deaf and hard of hearing stems from her own personal experience of being diagnosed at birth as profoundly deaf in one ear. She has documented her extensive career and hearing impairment through a personal blog that has inspirited readers worldwide.

Closely working with other like-minded talents, she has produced a heart-warming and captivating opera which she is showcasing to local schools with the desire to encourage, inspire and educate children through the beauty and universal power of music. Claire Mera-Nelson, the Director of Music and London at the Arts Council of England, said:

“Every child deserves the opportunity to enjoy high-quality musical experiences, and we know this can boost their confidence, support their learning, and encourage self-expression.

Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players, we’re excited to be supporting the award-winning soprano Charlotte Hoather and her immersive opera project for children. Charlotte will bring a narrative inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to life through music, physical theatre, British Sign Language and more – all to make sure that more children, including those who are Deaf or across the hearing spectrum, can experience the joys of opera and let their creativity roam without limits.”

The tour will open on the 9th of March in Winsford, with the finale being on the 29th of March in London. The schools that Charlotte will be attending are Over Hall Community School, Over St Johns, St Josephs, Winsford High Street, St Chads CofE, Wharton CofE, Darnhall, Hebden Green, Grange Primary School and Willow Wood in Winsford.

From there, she will move on to several London schools, including James Wolfe Primary School, Knollmead Primary School and Frank Barnes School for Deaf/King’s Cross Academy.

41 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole – Tour 2023

      1. Happy Friday to you 😊 have a lovely weekend.
        Best wishes

    1. Thank you Don, I’ve had a lovely e-mail from the head of the Winsford Educational Partnership with feedback about the BSL poem video we created, it’s great to know their children enjoyed participating in it and have all made their hedgehogs.

      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Annette, I love that you believe I have tenacity. I’ve learnt so much from this project. The amount of administration has been massive.

      Best wishes

  1. You are talented, hardworking, beautiful and a wonderful human being all wrapped up in one person, Charlotte. You continue to inspire the rest of us. I admire you, and I am proud of you!

    1. Thank you Cate, lovely to hear from you, I hope that the family are all well. We’re very excited for the tour to get underway on Wednesday.

      Best wishes

  2. Really good publicity leading up to the show. You are a great marketer, Charlotte, in addition to all your other talents! All the best for success!

    1. It’s been so difficult Noelle trying to get interest especially from the media because we’re unknown and don’t have relationships with their people. Cheshire Cat Marketing have with very short notice started helping me out and managed to get a post in Cheshire Business News and in the early days I was interviewed by the local newspaper. Newspapers must get hundreds of articles each day so catching their eye with our story is difficult.

      Social media isn’t what it used to be like, sharing your posts with most of your followers free and encouraging you to grow followings but I won’t give up getting the message out there. Thank you for your positive encouragement as always.

      Best wishes

  3. That is wonderful. You are brilliant. And driven. 👏🏻
    I’m sure the children will be delighted. The experience of their -short- lifetime…
    Bravo Charlotte. 👍🏻

    1. Thank you Brian, I hope to leave them with a lovely memory that they can talk about.

      Best wishes

  4. Fabulous, Charlotte!
    You have a busy month ahead.
    This is all most exciting, and you are bringing that excitement and joy to many.
    You are a gem!

    Resa ❦❦❦

  5. Dear Charlotte,
    We read about “Down the Rabbit Hole” in last Sunday’s Observer, and we immediately thought how much our daughter, Juliet, would have loved this. She had learning disabilities as well as being hearing-impaired (bi-lateral hearing aids), but she enjoyed all kinds of music, especially live performances. An accordeon player in France once said “elle a de la musique dans l’âme” – “she has music in her soul”. Have you considered performing in Special Schools? The audiences might not be quiet, but certainly appreciative. Juliet died three years ago after mistakes at a local hospital, and we would like to make a small donation in her memory. We should prefer to do this by cheque if you would let us have details.
    Wishing you every success, Christine and Francis Saunders.

    1. Dear Christine and Francis, thank you for reaching out to me through my blog, I’m sorry to hear about Juliet but it sounds like she had an enriched life. I ensured that I included the special needs school and the SEN pupils in my home town and we performed for a wide range of ages at Hebden Green and the Oaklands from very young children around age 4 right through to age 14 in the afternoon (a large group of 30). Both groups were absolutely delightful and really enjoyed the performances, joined in with all of the activities and were so attentive and the feedback was lovely. The High School was an addition when one of the primary schools had to pull out and I’m so pleased they got to see it.

      One of the children was blind and loves Chopin, she stayed behind after the show to hear George play a nocturne for her and she placed her hands on his and played with him, it was heartwarming. Would it be possible to e-mail me at
      Best wishes

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