Community heroes are special guests at opening Musicals at the Manor concert in Harpenden

Artists, organisers and Harpenden mayor Councillor Paul Cousin at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor

Artists, organisers and Harpenden mayor Councillor Paul Cousin at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Research

NHS workers, charity volunteers and Harpenden's town mayor attended the opening concert of the 'Musicals at the Manor' series.

The first summer concert featuring West End performers took place at Rothamsted Manor last Friday.

The audience for Aaron Lee Lambert and Charlotte Kennedy's performance was mostly made up of volunteers following an appeal for nominations of people in the community who had "gone above and beyond the call of duty" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives from charity Azalea at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden.

Representatives from charity Azalea at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Enterprises

Rothamsted asked the public to nominate those they felt were deserving of free tickets and a special afternoon out.

Over 70 people were nominated, and following a selection at random, 20 free tickets were given away.

Guests included representatives from charities and organisations including St Albans Old People’s Trust, Azalea, Harpenden Health PCN, The Harpenden Trust, St Albans and District Foodbank, as well as NHS nurses who work in local hospitals.

Representatives from St Albans Old People's Trust at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor

Representatives from St Albans Old People's Trust at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Enterprises

Nicole Sadd, chief executive officer of Rothamsted Enterprises, said: "We wanted to say thank you to those in our community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the coronavirus pandemic.

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"It’s been a difficult time for everyone, but there are people who deserve a very special thank you.

"I hope everyone here knows how grateful we are as a community for what they have done since the pandemic began.”

Guests were joined by Harpenden mayor, Councillor Paul Cousin, and enjoyed a special intimate concert from West End musical theatre stars Aaron Lee Lambert (Hamilton / Miss Saigon) and Charlotte Kennedy (Les Misérables / Cinderella / South Pacific).

Singers Charlotte Kennedy and Aaron Lee Lambert at the opening 'Musicals at the Manor' in Harpenden.

Singers Charlotte Kennedy and Aaron Lee Lambert at the opening 'Musicals at the Manor' in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Enterprises

Songs included blockbuster hits such as I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables and If I Can’t Love Her from Beauty and the Beast.

Rothamsted Manor, a Grade I listed Jacobean manor house on the Rothamsted Estate, has worked in collaboration with Steve Moss, musical director of London’s Mary Poppins, to produce the Harpenden concerts this summer which feature, in total, 15 West End stars.

NHS nurse Liz Sumner and guest at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden.

NHS nurse Liz Sumner and guest at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Enterprises

The collaboration came about when Steve visited a Heritage Open Day at Rothamsted Manor last September and met Abi Stanton, who works in the events team.

Representatives from Harpenden Trust at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden.

Representatives from Harpenden Trust at Musicals at the Manor's opening concert at Rothamsted Manor in Harpenden. - Credit: Rothamsted Enterprises

Tickets are still available for the following shows:

  • July 2: Laura Pick and Danny Whitehead
  • July 3: Emma Hatton and Matthew Croke
  • July 9: Emma Williams and Scott Davies
  • July 10: Daniel Boys and Sophie Evans
  • July 16: Katie Hall and Oliver Tompsett
  • July 17: Katie Hall and Scott Davies
  • July 23 and July 31: Emma Kingston and Oliver Savile
  • July 24 and July 30: Kerry Ellis.


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