Essex: Charles And Camilla Visit County

The Prince of Wales has suggested that his services as a singer are available to a community choir - but doubted his voice would be up to much when he toured a theatrical workshop in Essex.

Charles and Camilla in Essex

Charles met the chorus as he toured the Royal Opera House's state-of-the-art theatrical workshop with the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Prince is known to be passionate about opera but he played down his musical abilities, saying he had a "gravelly bass" singing voice.

The Royal Opera House's workshop is part of the High House Production Park in Purfleet, a £60 million centre of excellence for production, technical skills and crafts used in the performing arts and live music industries.

To mark its opening in December 2010, a community opera was staged featuring residents, and its legacy is the Royal Opera Thurrock Community Chorus, which is still going strong and working on staging Verdi's Requiem Mass.

Gabrielle Foster-Still, who manages the group, said after speaking to Charles: "He was saying he has a gravelly bass and was not sure if we would want him - but we could use him."

Charles and Camilla saw where students from South Essex College are taught a range of subjects.

They watched teenagers learning how to light a music performance - featuring a drummer, keyboard player and violinist - and make sure the sound levels were right.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall also visited The Bel™l in Purleigh, where they also viewed some of the local produce grown by residents, before learning more about the arts and craft activities which take place at the pub.

The Royal couple's visit to Essex continued in Southend when they met pupils taking part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival during a visit to the Palace Theatre in Westcliff-on-Sea.

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