Friends of Edinburgh orchestra in St Marys Cathedral preparing for opera gala in aid of Target Ovarian Cancer's TAKE OVAR campaign

Friends of Edinburgh gather together for Opera Gala

This September we’re going to TAKE OVAR and come together as friends and musicians to raise awareness and funds for Target Ovarian Cancer, in memory of my friend Katie.

After my childhood friend Katie passed away on the day of her graduation, I wanted to do something to make a difference to the lives of others living with ovarian cancer. Our first charity gala last June was met with great success. The musicians performed to such a high standard, and the audience had a blast! We raised £3,000 which we were delighted with, and for weeks after the event we received lots of positive feedback and lots of interest in whether we would be holding another. 

This year we are aiming bigger and better with bigger music, double the amount of musicians and singers, and a huge venue! With excerpts from Carmen, Turdanot, Lucia di Lammermoor, Macbeth and more, this is a concert not to be missed! Some of my fellow musicians and organisers have shared their motivations for getting involved, both in memory of Katie and through their own connections to ovarian cancer:

Sarah said: "If you had asked me anything about ovarian cancer six years ago, I would have known nothing about its poor survival rate or symptoms. Seeing anything about ovarian cancer, or any cancer, makes me think of how it took the life of one of my best friends. Not enough was known about the disease and she was not suspected to have it at such a young age. Her life and hopes almost feel like a distant memory. Perhaps if her symptoms were taken more seriously she may have been cured or lived longer, but that is something which now cannot be answered. She was wonderful and added a sparkle to all our lives."

Gillian said: "I lost my mother Isabel to ovarian cancer. It was not diagnosed until it was at stage 4, after her symptoms had been put down to gallstones. Her rapid decline after that was shocking and distressing. She died on 29 September 2001 – by a poignant coincidence, 17 years to the day before the date of the Opera Gala. Isabel was a classical music lover, an opera and concert-goer and a keen singer herself, so I am particularly glad to have the opportunity to raise both awareness of the disease and funds for Target Ovarian Cancer, by participating in this life-affirming concert of wonderful music in a splendid setting."

Everyone involved in the upcoming gala is proud to TAKE OVAR for Target Ovarian Cancer – every minute of the event will help to raise awareness and fund more research so that more women survive for longer.

This year's concert will take place at St Marys Cathedral on Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, on 29th September at 7.30pm.