What a super concert my ladies gave today. We were entertaining the elderly at a magnificent Day and Residential 'Hotel' in Lochcarron ! We have done this a number of times and each time it seems to get better ! The superb lounge which is airy and spacious provides a great space for an afternoon, post lunch hour of entertainment.
They give us a delicious lunch, a glass of wine, ( which the singers to not imbibe before singing!), and endless teas and coffees. It is as pleasurable for us as we hope it is for the listeners.
There were some beautiful solos and each of the 7 singers sang very well, and we covered all styles from Schubert to Sullivan, via Rogers and Hammerstein. Some of the ladies are taking recital certificate exams on December 1st so it was a perfect opportunity to 'out' a couple of those pieces in a proper adrenalin soaked way, whilst I knew that the 'old hands' would deliver the goods in a witty and slick way.
K excelled herself with a full bodied ( much like the wine !) 'Lass from the Low Countree' by Betty Roe and a bossy and totally in command Fairy Queen's aria from Iolanthe ! J sang a warm and affectionate 'Berkley Square' which allowed the audience to sing along in the chorus, something which I always find most moving, which she followed with a solid performance of 'Virgin's Slumber Song' by Max Reger.
J and J !
E delighted us with her evergreen 'An die Musik' by Schubert which she sings with such wonderful heart, and then really enjoyed her 'We'll Meet Again' the Vera Lynn classic, which of course went down like a musical bomb ! Our young J performed out of her socks singing that happy song from My Fair Lady, 'All I Want is a Room Somewhere'. She threw herself into the acting and singing, and should feel so proud of her achievement !
A winning N at Saltburn Festival
N, our past Gianetta, left no dry eyes in the house with her Novello 'Fly Home Little Heart', soaring around and up within the glorious melody. She was the opening soloist with her Sullivan 'I Built upon a Rock' from Princess Ida and set the tone for the rest of the concert.
My old hands M and P entertained with real professionalism singing respectively 'Hello Young Lovers' from The King and I, which M sings with a swing only natural and talented dancers can muster, and 'Many a New Day' from Oklahoma. P constantly astonishes me with her total confidence and her sophisticated delivery - P was always a quiet and retiring personality, and has grown into a mini diva over the years ! (In the nicest possible way you understand !)
P and E as elegant ladies in Pirates - on the stage - end of row left
There were some new outings of ensembles and a trio that M,K and P sang had its first airing in public. It was very good, and all correct and in place, we will now polish it a little more for the November concert, but 'Wings of Sleep' by Novello did credit to their fast learning ability and diligence ! Well done ! K and P sang a funny and slightly off the wall version of The Owl and the Pussycat, complete with props too numerous to mention, and which entertained all the audience with its joy and humour !
K, blond lady far right....
The most moving ensemble was E and M singing their 'Homeward Bound' by Marta Keen. It is simple yet breathtakingly lovely, and they do it such justice - they have been singing it together for some time now, and this type of piece 'beds in' like soft leather shoes and becomes such an integrated duet it could almost be one person singing it.
We opened with the lively and robust 'Gypsy Dance' - it is always a good programme plan to wake one's audience up at the top of the concert with such life and decibels, and they did love it, then we finished with our old favourite of the moment Mozart's Dona Nobis Pacem, always a lovely finish, especially as we sing it whilst walking quietly off stage, winding the moment down with dignity and a peaceful feel.
M as Ruth in Pirates
7 singers, an hour of fantastic singing, we should do this more !