Allen & Overy employees and alumni last night staged their first musical, a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, to a 600 strong audience at Opera Holland Park which raised over GBP20,000 for charity.
Nearly 30 alumni joined Allen & Overy employees and partners alongside pupils from Stepney Greencoat Primary School in the production involving over 130 people and was staged at Opera Holland Park, the opera venue, in the west London park in collaboration with City Music Services.
Oklahoma! is the latest production by the firm which staged Bizet’s Carmen at Sadler’s Wells in November 2012 and became the first ever corporate to stage an opera at Glyndebourne, producing The Magic Flute in February 2011. The production generated GBP20,000 for Allen & Overy’s charity partner AfriKids, which works to alleviate child suffering and poverty, and USD1,500 for the United Way of Central Oklahoma, for tornado victims. The firm has previously staged productions of The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Mikado.
Don McGown, partner and head of Allen & Overy’s music programme, commented: “This is our first musical and has been a fantastic team effort. The challenges this year included a much greater focus on dialogue and dance which was a new experience for many of us. These productions are an important way for us to indulge our creative side away from our desks while raising money for a good cause. Our alumni also take part in the productions – more than ever before this year - and it’s a good way for them to stay in touch with their colleagues at the firm. Everyone should be immensely proud of their achievements.”
The production is part of Allen & Overy’s music programme which allows employees to have outlets within the workplace to maintain and develop personal interests, such as music and stage productions. The programme also helps to promote creativity aside from employees’ day-to-day roles and encourages people to take up new musical and dance skills or deploy skills which may have otherwise fallen away.