Afternoon operetta in Canning Town

Canning Town was transformed into a hub of cultural elegance last week when residents gathered for a spot of opera.

The Hub, on Star Lane, made a rather refined start to the New Year with an afternoon performance by the Connaught Opera.

Organised as part of the Newham New Deal Partnership’s (NDP) Good Neighbours programme, the show starred soprano Maria Arakie, baritone Glen Wilson and pianist Nicholas Bosworth.

The trio performed popular songs from the musicals as well as some light operetta including a version of Chariots of Fire with lyrics especially written for the occasion.

Spencer Morley, chair of the Friends of The Hub, said: “Music is a great way to bring people together.

“It’s great that local people have the chance to experience something different.”

The event took on an Olympic flavour as the performers donned glamourous costumes in the colours of the Olympic rings and sang music from five participating Continents.

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The Connaught Opera, who mainly provide musical entertainment for the older generation, are holding concerts in the five Olympic boroughs this year thanks to a Transformers Grant, distributed by the Olympic Lottery Distributor.

The Newham NDP’s Good Neighbours programme aims to bring people together by providing opportunities for people in the borough to get involved in their community as well as operating as an advisory service.

For more information about the Newham NDP Good Neighbours, email or call 0207 474 6376.

The Connaught Opera will also be giving two free performances in the Tower of London on July 1. Ticket information is available by emailing