Northern Ireland Opera are delighted to announce that they will be holding a charity gala performance in aid of the Welcome Organisation on 15thSeptember 2019.

Sandra Moore, Chief Executive of The Welcome Organisation said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to be the chosen charity for NI Opera’s gala opening of Die Fledermaus. Having the support of such a prestigious organisation is a great boost for The Welcome Organisation in helping us to provide support for some of the most vulnerable people in Belfast. 

“We couldn’t deliver the level of support we do for people affected by homelessness without the support of groups like NI Opera. The partnership is not only important in terms of fundraising but also for raising awareness about homelessness in Northern Ireland and about the potentially life-saving work of The Welcome Organisation.  

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone from NI Opera for supporting The Welcome Organisation and we look forward to a fabulous evening on September 15 at the charity gala.”

Founded in 1997, the Welcome Organisation has been developed significantly in the last 20 years and now offers five distinct services, all aimed at providing on the ground support for some of the most vulnerable people in the city: a Drop-in Centre, Street Outreach service, Crisis Accommodation for Women, Floating Support service and the Welcome Home furniture project.

Over 18,000 people present as homeless every year in Northern Ireland and their life expectancy of the average homeless person is 47 – compared to 77 for the rest of the population.  Currently more people are sleeping rough and there are more young people and women who are homeless. With that comes a need for providing improved healthcare and easier access to healthcare for the hardest to reach homeless people. But also the need to introduce innovate approaches tackle homelessness. 

Proceeds from the NI Opera Gala event will support their priorities for 2019, namely:

The Welcome Organisation is working towards the introduction of a Mobile Health Unit that can bring health care to rough sleepers and other homeless people who are harder to reach. The mobile health unit will aim to bring health care to homeless people “where they are”. The mobile clinic will target rough sleepers who are not linked in with any hostel or health service. 

Crisis Accommodation for Women – Welcome’s Crisis Accommodation for Women provides ten crisis beds for some of the most vulnerable women in Belfast. However it currently faces a period of uncertainty as it located on property that is to be vested. This requires an urgent need to identify a suitable property for the Crisis Accommodation.

Artistic Director of Northern Ireland Opera, Walter Sutcliffe commented:

Northern Ireland Opera is humbled by the life-saving and life changing work done by the Welcome Organisation, and we are very proud that the opera can contribute to and support their services. £10 on all premium tickets for our opening night gala on 15 September of Die Fledermaus is being donated as part of a partnership that will see the opera give a range of opportunities to those affected by homeless.

Founded in only 2010, Northern Ireland Opera has won international acclaim and awards for the quality of its work and been seen in the UK, Ireland and internationally.  A key priority of Northern Ireland Opera is to broaden the company’s work in outreach and education through extending the company’s engagements and its reach, lifting the curtain on opera by demystifying it through increased community participation and making the art form more accessible. They’ve provided an unprecedented level of access to stage and orchestral rehearsals to primary schools, post primary schools, young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, young people in care, diversity charities, LGBT charities, health charities, carers, choirs, cross-community groups and homeless shelter user groups. Their most recent dynamic outreach week involving over 40 organisations and 2000 attendees, proved NI Opera are out to show that opera is for everybody. 

Die Fledermaus or The Bat, is the jewel in the crown of the real King of the Waltz, Johann Strauss. The tunes stay with you forever. The humour is wicked. The atmosphere indulgent. It is a farce about men taking liberties and women taking control.  

Walter Sutcliffe commented:

 “The Bat, in German Die Fledermaus, is the world’s best and most popular operetta. It may be 145 years old, but its relevance today is probably even clearer than when it was written. Or perhaps it just shows us how little has changed.”

Die Fledermaus charity gala performance in aid of the Welcome Organisation

Grand Opera House, Belfast

Sunday 15 September. Dress: Black Tie.


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