Shropshire Star

Opera star set for first appearance at Ludlow Assembly Rooms in tribute to Flanders & Swann

An opera star who has sung in all the world’s great opera houses will be making an appearance somewhere he has never appeared before ... Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

Kim Begley

In a 40 year career the tenor, Kim Begley, has sung in all the world’s great opera houses: Covent Garden, New York Metropolitan Opera House, La Scala Milan, Sydney Opera House, Glyndebourne, the list goes on.

"But he has never appeared at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms," said local pianist and composer, David Gaukroger, who will be appearing alongside Kim in a concert about 1950s and 60s entertainers Flanders and Swann concert.

Kim will be appearing as Michael Flanders alongside David’s Donald Swann as they recreate stories and songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

The show will end with perhaps their most famous song, Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud, but the germ of the idea for the show came when Kim organised an evening of music to support Ukraine, held in St Laurence’s Church in July.

“The evening had a lot of operatic arias from British and Ukrainian stars, so David and I proposed singing “The Gnu” – by Flanders and Swann - as light relief. The reception was so warm that we thought, let’s do a whole evening.”

David, as well as being a busy musician, is chairman of Ludlow Liberal Democrats, and the event is a fundraiser for them.

“As a party we rely on the efforts of ordinary people to raise the bulk of our funds,” said David.

“Unlike the others parties we cannot rely on six figure donations from bankers, hedge fund managers, property developers and the like on the one hand, or unions on the other.

"But we recognise that many Flanders and Swann fans will not wish to support us, so we are offering to audience members the chance to donate £5 of their ticket money to the Ludlow Food Bank, with a guarantee of at least £200.”

As well as a dozen or so Flanders and Swann songs, David has composed three songs in the same style, one of which takes a less than sympathetic look at our last four prime ministers.

The event takes place on Thursday, November 10 at 7.30 pm. Tickets, £15 each, are available from the Assembly Room Box Office.

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