Britain honours Dr Geraldine Connor
Two gala events were recently held at the Theatre Royal in Stratford and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, to honour the late Dr Geraldine Connor, director, a celebrated Trinidad-born musicologist, singer and producer for her contribution to the arts and education in Britain. Dancer/choreographer Carol La Chapelle, who worked closely with Connor for 12 years in the UK, Trinidad and Haiti, attended both events.
Nigel Wong and the J’Ouvert Toute Monde Committee, produced the UK galas and announced the formation of the Geraldine Connor Foundation, which will support young performers in the arts and in their educational endeavours.
The programmes included some of the best of Trinidad’s performers based in Europe, including Brian Green, Ronald Sam, Simone Sophimore, Sheldon Blackman, Renee Castle and Clary Salandy of Mahogany Arts. Also taking part were Pepi Francis and Ebony Steelband, the cast of The Harder They Come, Carlene Fray from Lion King, Stella Litras, Kestie Almira, David Hamilton, Manny Egypto and the live band of stellar musicians including James Lescelles.
Tributes were made by luminaries such as Prof Gus John, Jan Ryan of UK Arts, Davis Lescelles, Earl of Harewood and Southbank Director, Jude Kelly. Carnival Messiah featured as the highlight of Connor’s theatre contribution and Redeemer, featuring singer Ronald Sam, Seiko Susso on cora, and dancers Ayodele Jones and Carol La Chapelle, was chosen to end both galas.
This article was published by the Trinidad Guardian on April 15th, 2012.