Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


The Multi-Story Orchestra, an orchestra based in a car park in Peckham, and Blackheath Opera, a community opera company based at Blackheath Halls in Lewisham, are coming together to put on a large-scale opera to be performed with the local community.

We believe music has the power to change lives by bringing people together, inspiring them and improving their self-confidence and wellbeing. We have a strong track record in creating inspirational and engaging classical music performances that are open to anyone.

“It was amazing! I’ve never seen an orchestra before.”

This will the first time we have ever worked together on a co-production and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the communities we work with in Peckham and Lewisham. We want to stage Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde (Noah’s Flood), the most famous opera written for community performance. It tells the story of Noah's family who build an ark big enough to rescue themselves and one pair of every animal on Earth, to escape an apocalyptic flood. This work has changed the lives of thousands of people since it was written in 1958.

"A life-affirming and life-changing experience. Everyone should take part!"

The project will bring together people from all walks of life, the majority of whom will have never taken part in anything like this before. The production will feature more than 200 performers including soloists, a chorus of children and adults, young musicians performing side-by-side with a professional orchestra, and a professional artistic team. An unforgettable experience!

Classical music is often seen as something inaccessible and only for a particular group of people, but we are challenging these perceptions with our unique approach. This will be an inclusive experience that is open to everyone. We will spend several months working together and rehearsing for the final performances, learning the music, creating props and costumes, and making sure we have a lot of fun in the process!

“it’s about being part of something that’s bigger than yourself … you feel a sense of people coming together, a sense of community”

The project will take place in Easter 2018 and will be a co-production between Blackheath Halls and The Multi-Story Orchestra. Rehearsals will start in February and will culminate in four public performances in April 2018.


The annual Blackheath Halls Opera has been running since 2007: a large cross generational company learn about opera by being immersed in a fully staged, professionally led production. The combination of professional artists and performers and local community members makes this project unique:
"Blackheath Halls Opera is the best thing about the summer in South East London."

The Multi-Story Orchestra has been based in Peckham since 2011 - performing every summer at Bold Tendencies car park, touring local school halls and playgrounds to play to more than 1,000 children in a day, and bringing together hundreds of young people to perform with the Orchestra as singers and instrumentalists. Its approach to widening access to classical music has been widely acclaimed: “anyone who doubts the value of music education should get themselves down to this concrete jungle and watch its effects in action” (The Telegraph).

Multi-Story Orchestra

Moment of Pride

We thrive on exceptional community music-making that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds. Our tiny team and incredible players and volunteers work with people from all walks of life to make music together, building pride, confidence, team-spirit and a sense of achievement.

Location: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom