I spent a wonderful four days with J in Littlebeck, recovering fully from jet lag, and now I feel normal and ready for the next instalment of my itinerary ! I did give a lesson to J,J,M,B and C, all wonderful singers with whom I grew up. We were all Middy girls, and they have retained all the vocal beauty of their early years, well into later life ! Actually it was interesting as J,J and M were all so worried that their voices had finally 'gone'. They do not have weekly singing lessons anymore, and even with all those years of excellent voice training one can still fall into bad habits. All three were singing somewhat lazily with a closed or 'to the ears' mouth shape, and all that was needed was a gentle nudge to drop the jaw and pull the sound forward ! It is NOT rocket science, but hard to maintain without regular imput. B was different this time too, she seemed to have gained in confidence and was singing with a gorgeous light tone ! Her Colin Ross 'The Cherry hung with Snow', a criminally under sung Art Song, which in my humble opinion is, of all the settings of this Houseman poem, quite the most sublime.
Our long time colleague C had her very first sing after a year of cancer, pneumonia, and general ropiness. How amazing it was to hear her rich and ringing mezzo voice again, it brought tears to the eyes of all of us - the voice was exactly the same, only the support muscles will need to build up slowly. What a joy.
So after a lovely gammon lunch today with J I set off on my next, but quite short drive to Boarbank Hall in Cumbria to work once again with the Augustinian Cannonesses here. I love all the abbeys which I frequent and where I work, each having its own ambience and character, so I am looking forward to a happy week before I finally go home next weekend.
Back in my evening sun filled room at Boarbank Hall
A month is a long time to be away from my friends, my little dog Gretel and my own house. Having said that I am so very lucky that my work takes me to such interesting and lovely places and buildings, and with such delightful folk who seem to truly value what, if anything, I have to offer.
Gretel enjoying herself more that she ought !
Will she want to come home ? Hmmmmm ?