Vivienne Westwood gown worn by Norwich opera singer to be auctioned to raise funds for charity

12:56 09 September 2014

Elizabeth Watts in a Vivienne Westwood gown. Photo: Ãsa Westerlund

Elizabeth Watts in a Vivienne Westwood gown. Photo: Ãsa Westerlund

© Åsa Westerlund 2014

World-famous fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood has donated a beautiful gown for Norwich soprano Elizabeth Watts to wear during her performance at the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday.

The former Norwich Cathedral chorister who grew up in Hethersett has gone on to become an international opera singer and she will perform Strauss’ cantata Taillefer at the prestigious event at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Afterwards, the gown worn by Ms Watts will be auctioned on eBay to raise funds for Streetwise Opera, a charity that uses music to help homeless people make positive changes in their lives.

Ms Watts, who went Norwich High School for Girls, said: “I am thrilled to be patron of the dynamic, ingenious and truly valuable charity that is Streetwise Opera. So often the homeless are part of a grey backdrop to our day, ignored and made to feel as if their human worth has been stolen. The fact that such an eminent designer as Vivienne Westwood has donated this dress speaks of the value of Streetwise’s work.”

Brigitte Stepputtis, head of couture at Vivienne Westwood, said: “Streetwise Opera is a fantastic charity that engages homeless people with opera, allowing them to build confidence and reconnect with society. The theatrical costume of the opera has often been a core aesthetic of the Vivienne Westwood brand and so we were keen to support this worthwhile cause, by auctioning a gown to raise money for this charity. Elizabeth will be wearing a long draped ‘Cane’ Corset Gown with a smocked train detailing in a midnight blue striped silk organza for her performance at the Prom, giving some added theatrical quality whilst she sings Strauss.”

• The Last Night of the Proms will be broadcast live on BBC Two and BBC Radio Three on Saturday from 7.30pm.

• The dress auction runs until September 18. Visit


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