Recently wheelchair bound after breaking a leg in an accident, operatic tenor Nicky Spence - who was awarded the OBE in the King's first birthday honours - has joined forces with Buxton Opera House and soprano Mary Bevan for a concert to raise money to improve the 120-year-old Frank Matcham theatre's accessibility provisions.
Wheelchair bound for six months, Nicky experienced what it was like to perform at the opera house with accessibility needs – and since then has made it his mission to support the venue.
He said “Although sustaining potentially life-affecting injuries was no doubt the lowest ebb of my career, I did get a first-hand view at how poorly equipped some of our best-loved venues are in terms of accessibility. Buxton Opera House is very special to me and I'm happy to help lead the way in improving the experience of future performers and audiences."
Built in 1903 by renowned theatre architect Frank Matcham, Buxton Opera House is a Grade II listed building and some areas require updating to ensure the venue can be accessible for all.
Fundraiser One Night Only... Again, on September 9 will also feature soprano Mary Bevan, in a programme of well-loved classics, opera and musical theatre, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Andrews, and the Kinder Chorus.
Spence was awarded Personality of the Year by BBC Music Magazine in 2022, and his skills as a singing actor and the honesty in his musicianship have earned him a place at the top of his profession.
Recent highlights include Jenufa for the Royal Opera, The Valkyrie for English National Opera and Katya Kabanova at Glyndebourne.
Mary Bevan is internationally renowned in baroque, classical and contemporary repertoire and appears regularly with leading conductors, orchestras and ensembles around the world. She recently appeared in Alcina at the Royal Opera House.
More info and tickets here