London Borough of Culture opening event: Oratorio of Hope

News 22 March 2023
London Borough of Culture: Oratorio of Hope

News Story

Highlighted as London’s Borough of Culture for 2023-24, we’re celebrating all things Croydon with two flagship performances of the Oratorio of Hope; a brand-new commission which puts the Croydon community at the heart of the music. This double-bill concert showcases the very best of Croydon’s young talent through music, spoken word, song, dance, film and visual art.

Saturday 1 April Oratorio of Hope 7pm

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Croydon’s poet laureate Shaniqua Benjamin will take a lead on the poetry and spoken word to share stories of hope for the future, while Grammy-nominated, Croydon-educated Tarik O’Regan will lead on the composition of the music alongside composers Sarah Freestone, Fiona Brice and Jeff Moore, working with local musicians and arts groups. The choreography will be led by Agudo Dance Company, alongside Subrang Arts and local young people. A host of schools in Croydon will be involved in the creation and performance of the piece, including hundreds of singers and instrumentalists from Croydon Music and Arts and a mass finale celebrating the very best talent Croydon has to offer.

Sunday 2 April – Free performances in Fairfield Halls from 2-6pm, Oratorio of Hope 7pm

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We’re hosting a FREE afternoon showcase in the public open spaces of Fairfield Halls featuring local talent from across Croydon, including choirs, sea shanties, solo performers, dance groups and bands.

Who’s Involved in Oratorio of Hope

Shaniqua Benjamin (Croydon’s Poet Laureate) Jonathan Bloxham (conductor) Crisis Skylight Croydon Singers

Agudo Dance Company

Agudo and composer Sarah Freestone have created a movement inspired by Shaniqua Benjamin’s specially commissioned poem, For Us and We. It explores the cycle of life, and ends full of hope for the future.

Subrang Arts

Subrang Arts are one of the borough’s leading cultural organisations, showcasing South Asian arts and heritage. Expect dancing, traditional Indian instruments including tabla, sitar and Indian flute, and lots of colour!

Croydon Music & Arts (CMA)

Over 250 students from schools across the borough will perform a spectacular finale by composer Jeff Moore, with players from CMA ensembles and a mass Children’s Chorus.


Silvastone is a Croydon-based Afrobeats artist/producer whose unique sound is a creative hybrid of influences from his West African heritage, UK upbringing and international travels. He has worked with composer Fiona Brice to write a song for the Oratorio celebrating all that Croydon has to offer.

Tarik O’Regan

Tarik is a Grammy-nominated, Croydon-born composer who has also been commissioned to write music for His Majesty the King’s coronation. He’s written the musical theme on which the whole Oratorio is based.


Fiona Brice, Sarah Freestone, Jeff Moore, Tarik O’Regan

Features on performers:


We are London Mozart Players (LMP) and we’re Croydon’s resident orchestra, based at Fairfield Halls. You’ll see us

on stage in every movement and we’re excited to be performing alongside talent from across the borough in this celebration of Croydon’s creativity.