Founder of Grange Park Opera
Wasfi Kani OBE founded Grange Park Opera in 1998 which is one of the leading opera companies in the UK. Born in 1956 to Muslim Indian parents who had fled India at Partition, she went on to study at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, reading Music. After a decade in the City Wasfi trained as a conductor. Her company, Pimlico Opera began to collaborate with prisoners in 1991, staging musicals, such as Chicago, West Side Story, Les Miserables, and Guys and Dolls, alongside professional musicians. More than 50,000 members of the public have visited prisons to see the shows. The 1992 production of Guys and Dolls was the subject of a BBC documentary nominated for a BAFTA award.
Wasfi was a founding Trustee of the Mayor’s Fund for London and is a trustee of the Royal Court Theatre. She was awarded an OBE in the 2001 New Year Honours for her work in prisons.