Welsh National Opera & Rakie Ayola Team Up for Project to Support Ely and Caerau

By David Salazar

The Welsh National Opera has announced a new community project “Ely Bridge,” presented in collaboration with BAFTA award-winning actress Rakie Ayola.

The work is presented in commemoration of the anniversary of the unrest that occured in Ely and Caerau when riots broke out following the bike crash and death of two boys who had been pursued by a police car. The region is said to be within the top 10 percent most deprived areas in Wales and “Ely Bridge” is part of a bigger project to alter perceptions and enhance the lives of the people living there.

“I’m delighted to be teaming up with Welsh National Opera, on this project which will give me the opportunity to give something back to the community I grew up in. I’m thrilled at the prospect of working alongside people of Ely and Caerau whilst engaging in creative activities that can bring real joy and positivity to an area which is often unfairly represented,” Ayola, who won a BAFTA award for her role in “Anthony” and has worked on such shows as “Noughts and Crosses,” “Shetland,” “No Offence,” and “Doctor Who -Midnight,” said in an official press statement issued by the company.  “This is a chance to utilise the extraordinary talents of people of all ages, as we create a new body of work which will reflect the rich community spirit that is still alive and well in Ely and Caerau.”

Welsh National Opera will offer workshop at primary schools in Ely and Caerau with the hopes of inspiring children impacted by financial hardships. Future initiatives aim to support children and parents, teachers and pillars of the community in hopes of creating more intergenerational and societal integration.