Appeal to save grand piano

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A CULTURAL event raising money for endangered species has itself had to act swiftly this week to ward off the threat of extinction.

Anne Binney, organiser of the Domaine des Vaux opera festival in St Lawrence – which has supported Durrell for 35 years – has appealed to its patrons for help to buy the concert grand piano on which the summer event in St Lawrence depends.

The piano, which has been hired by the festival each July, has now been offered for sale, leaving the festival with the dilemma of what to do given the lack of suitable alternative concert grand pianos. Mrs Binney’s solution is to try to buy the instrument.

‘We need up to £22,000 to buy the Yamaha that we have used for the opera performances for the last few years before it is sent to London in mid-October to go to auction. It is the only concert grand available to hire in Jersey and is used by other charities and arts organisations,’ she explained.

Each summer, the instrument has been used in a marquee at Domaine des Vaux to accompany Britain’s leading chamber opera company Diva Opera in performances which have supported the work of Durrell.

Mrs Binney has written to patrons, appealing for donations that will help keep the instrument in the Island.

‘I know this is a big ask, but it would be wonderful if we could secure it for use in the Island in the future. I have been very generously offered space in a climate-controlled storage where it would be completely safe and easily accessible when needed,’ she said, adding that it would be made available to other groups.

Appealing for donations from £500 up to £5,000 for the piano, which will become the property of the festival, Mrs Binney said they were more than a quarter of the way towards their target.

Donors will be invited to a special event with Bryan Evans, music director of Diva Opera, and will also receive complimentary or discounted tickets to next year’s festival. Anyone wishing to contribute or obtain more information can contact Mrs Binney at:

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