On Tuesday 6 November 2018 ‘Night Under The Stars’ returns to the Royal Festival Hall. This year’s concert entitled ‘Northern Lights’ celebrates music from the Nordic countries performed by conductor Toby Purser and the Orion Orchestra. Joining them onstage is the Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, soprano Isa Katharina Gericke and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston. Regular collaborators with ‘Night Under The Stars’, Streetwise Opera, will also perform and the evening will be hosted by broadcaster Petroc Trelawny. The annual gala concert takes place at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in aid of The Passage – a charity based in Westminster providing services that aim to prevent and end homelessness.
The ‘Northern Lights’ programme showcases composers from across the Nordic countries including Grieg’s Piano Concerto and movements from Peer Gynt and Sibelius’s Finlandia and Andante festivo. Regular collaborator and supporter Raymond Yiu has arranged the traditional Swedish folk song Värmlandsvisan for Streetwise Opera and Jennifer Johnston to perform.
Mick Clarke, CEO of The Passage, commented; "It costs over £5 million a year to run The Passage, with government grants covering just 30% of this figure. The money raised through ‘Night Under The Stars’ allows us to provide a diverse programme of services and support which has helped thousands of homeless people off streets and back into employment and society, breaking the cycle of rough sleeping for good."
Since launching in 2001, ‘Night Under The Stars’ has raised over £1.6 million for The Passage. The past few years have seen Jo Brand, Lucy Crowe, Jon Culshaw, Stephen Fry, Edward Gardner, Boris Giltburg, Armando Iannucci, Miloš Karadaglić, Christopher Maltman, Duncan Rock, Ksenija Sidorova, Simon Trpčeski and Esther Yoo all participate in the event.
The Passage run the largest Resource Centre for homeless people in the UK used by up to 150 clients each day, offering hot food, showers and clothing, housing advice, heath care, training and employment services, as well as street outreach, homelessness prevention schemes and accommodation projects. Since The Passage was established over 120,000 people have been helped to end their homelessness. For every £1 donated in voluntary income (on which The Passage relies for over 70% of its income) 95 pence goes directly to frontline services.
‘Night Under The Stars’ is kindly supported by Intu Properties, alongside Gold Sponsors 3i, Associated British Foods, Grosvenor Estates, Land Securities, Maple Springfield and Savilles A/V.