Monday, October 23, 2006

World Nuclear Association Gala Dinner

OK, this is pretty old news now, for me at least! But since I haven't posted it here, it's possible no ones heard anything about it!

Magnus and I left the next day (Sept. 9) on our honeymoon and continued to travel nearly non-stop for the next few weeks, so no time to blog, even though I made a resolution to blog on a weekly basis!

Anyway, on September 8, 2006 I performed a program of English songs about London (in the greater sense) for the World Nuclear Association. It was at the Grosvenor Hotel where the WNA held their Gala Dinner at the end of their yearly symposium. It was the weirdest thing, the idea of singing for a bunch of "nuclear nerds" as the General Director John Ritch put it, was strangely daunting. I wanted to impress John, since he had hired me to entertain them without ever hearing me sing!

I found an excellent accompanist, Nigel Foster, who was recommended to me by Paul Martyn-West. We worked very well together. We performed:

If Music Be the Food of Love, Henry Purcell arr. Benjamin Britten
On the Brow of Richmond Hill, Henry Purcell
Bedlam, Traditional arr. Cecil P. Sharp
Sweet Polly Oliver, Traditional arr. Benjamin Britten
The Bells of the Cheap, Charles Ancliffe
No. 6 Rhyme, from "A Song for my Lord Mayor's Table", William Walton

The program was 15 minutes long and I spoke a few words about each piece to give a bit of context. Since the theme of the evening was London (according to the administrator the people who come to this symposium don't have much time to explore London, so he wanted to give them a bit at the Dinner), I chose songs which each mention London or a part of London. Except for the first one, of course, which I thought was a good opener the audience having just finished dinner!

It was a great success! Just the right length and I didn't make a fool out of myself speaking between songs! In fact, people said they really appreciated the guidance. Also, the person I wanted to impress, John Ritch, was duly pleased! I'm very happy with the way the performance went, and would welcome such performing opportunities in the future!

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