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Madam Butterfly at Middle Temple

In celebration of the Trust's 10th Anniversary 180 loyal supporters of the Muir Maxwell Trust attended an evening of opera and art at Middle Temple, London on Thursday 21st March. This elegant evening of classical music and exquisite art for auction by internationally acclaimed artists raised almost £300,000, with a sculpture by Dutch artist Hanneka Beaumont raising £25,000 and unknown but classically trained young sculptor, Hector Guest, secured £7000 for a private commission of a bust. Linda Bellingham was our host for the evening, a wonderfully funny and articulate lady who captivated the whole room with her shining personality. The setting was breath-taking. Steeped in history and reminiscent of Hogwarts, this sensational venue is a well-kept secret regularly attended by dignitaries and even royalty.

In the course of the last 10 years a number of Muir Maxwell Trust fundraising events have featured classical music as part of their theme for the evening but Opera Bohemia's highlights from Madame Butterfly took the evening to a new level. Soprano, Catriona Clark's exquisite performance as Madame Butterfly was indeed a pleasure and a privilege to witness, as was the beautiful opening performance of Chopin on the piano by Karolina Czech, a music scholar from Fettes College. In terms of iconic moments, once again Tenor's Incognito rallied a classical 'sing a long' that had guests out of their chairs and waving their napkins in the air whilst singing their hearts out - not a bad result for a Thursday evening in the city!

But this unique event broke new ground for the Trust in other ways, with the introduction of a live on line auction that prevailed in the weeks running up to the evening at Middle Temple and a private view and an exhibition of the exquisite art for auction very kindly hosted by Heartbreak Gallery, London in the week preceding the event. Participation in the event was enabled for supporters who could not be in attendance and this added a new and unique dimension to the excitement of our auction and to our fundraising.

Funds raised on the night will enable the Trust to continue supporting children and young adults with epilepsy and their families for yet another year and as we enter the Trust's second decade, it is our hope that we will continue to successfully raise funds that will enable us to focus on the very urgent needs of young adults profoundly damaged by epilepsy and their families who are struggling to cope as they approach the grey area of the transition years from childhood to adulthood and where their future is much more uncertain.

In memory of Lynda Bellingham - 19 October 2014

A beautiful lady dies. Rest in peace Lynda. You will be sorely missed. Such grace, poise and kindness. 

We are grateful to have know this wonderful and selfless lady who gave the Trust unending support. She was an inspiration to us all in her cancer battle and will be fondly remembered, always.

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