Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's getting serious!

OK, so we have almost everything organized - EXCEPT the program booklet! And now, even I am starting to get nervous about it!!

My mother is arriving this afternoon. Poor thing her flight is delayed 3 1/2 hours! I'll go there to pick her up. She called very early this morning to tell us that she'd be later than expected. She said it was something with the plane, nothing to do with the recent terrorist scare, so that's a good thing!

Magnus' mother and Manon are busy stressing out about how to organize the wedding day with all the appointments for doing hair and make-up and what-not. It seems to be especially difficult because Magnus and I shouldn't see eachother at any point after we've started getting ready! At any rate, it seems like my mom, Barb and I will go to the hairdresser and make-up lady as a group and Manon, Franca and Magnus as another group.

So, here we go! 9 days and counting!

Rehearsal for the Gala Dinner

I finally had a rehearsal with the accompanist for the WNA Gala Dinner I'll be performing at on Sept. 8. His name is Nigel Foster and he seems to be a pretty well-known accompanist. Paul Martyn-West recommended him and since then I've seen his advertisment in a few places. It was very synchronistic because on the day I asked Paul if he could recommend anyone, I was at his house and he'd given me Nigel's phone numbers and we'd moved on to other things and the phone rang - it was Nigel Foster! So I spoke with him right then and there and he agreed to do it!

I went to his house in Wimbledon and we went through all the songs. They all went well except the Warlock song "The Cricketers of Hambledon" so we tossed it. It didn't go so well in the program and the key doesn't suit my voice very well. Oh well! We decided to do another Purcell song - If Music be the Food of Love, First Version in the arrangement by Benjamin Britten. It goes well with the rest of the program and is a link to the other Britten song we're doing. This is the program:

1. If Music be the Food of Love, H. Purcell, arr. Britten
2. On the Brow of Richmond Hill, H. Purcell
3. Sweet Polly Oliver, arr. Britten
4. Bedlam, arr. Cecil Sharp
5. The Bells of the Chepe (from Old Ludgate), Charles Ancliff
6. Rhyme (from A Song for the Lord Mayor's Table), William Walton

My mother is going to help me memorize the text to these songs. If we can just repeat them over and over, I think that will help a lot! Memorizing strophs is not my forte. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Final Countdown

I suppose you could say we're on the home stretch to our wedding day - September 1st, 2006. We made our final trip to Italy this last weekend in order to make "final" pre-preparations. On Wednesday I traveled to Frankfurt mostly for play and Prosperity. I taught about 8 lessons as well. Thursday evening, with a mysterious air, Pamela took me out. She said I should dress as though I were going out for a night on the town in London. So, basically I dressed up. She took me to my favorite restaurant that serves Frankfurter Kueche (Frankfurt Cuisine) and we were joined by Caroline, Kelly, Sue, Sabine, Andrea and Alison. It was a Bachelorette Party!!!! Thank you, Pamela, for organizing thatgirliey night out! It was fabulous! And girls, thank you all for coming to celebrate with me! I felt very loved and honored! And I had tons of fun! I just love the "outfit" you got me for my wedding night! I got some lovely items to go with it while I was in Italy. :-)

Friday evening Pamela, Caroline and I had a Prosperity session. It was really good, way too long since the last time. I don't want to even think about the time I might have to stop coming. :-( Pamela and Caroline brought jewelry and stoles for me to try with my dress as things old/new/borrowed/blue.

Saturday, in the middle of the night, I flew to Italy. Magnus' father came to pick me up in Bergamo because Magnus was still sleeping off his Stag night! I went to the Bridal shop with Manon and Magnus' mother for the "final" fitting. There are still adjustments which have to be made. Unfortunately none of the jewelry Pam and Caroline gave me goes with the dress. But I do now have something borrowed, blue and old to carry with me (Pamela's handkerchief). And I think I will keep Caroline's pink stole in case it is cold!

Later we went to the Castello di Bevilacqua ( to meet with the florist and work out what and where and how we want the flowers arranged. I don't even want to think about how much it's going to cost! But the florist seemed very competent and down to earth and willing to do whatever we (Franca!) wanted.

That evening we went to dinner in La Bortegha (I think) at the restaurant San Marco. There we had the most spectacular pasta I've ever had!!!! Tortellini, which were so delicate and Tortelli alla Zucca (with Pumpkin filling) which was sweet and flavorful. Mmmmmmmh. Magnus' mother presented me with a gift to go with my wedding dress - a pearl and silver choker and small pearl earrings to go with it! I was speechless. I didn't know what to say to thank them for such a precious gift.

Sunday we went for a bike ride and visited Aunt Rita. She lives in the old family farm complex. All the farmland was sold off long ago, though. I must take my mom there to see what a typical Italian farm house looks like. Later, Magnus and I took the MG convertible out with Simone and Claudia for an aperitive and dinner. Anna L. joined us for dinner and we went to a restaurant she had tried to take us to another time but it had been closed. The food was good, but pretty expensive. And compared to San Marco the cost/value ratio wasn't nearly as good! We made it home just before the heavens opened up and a deluge came.

Monday, Manon and I went to a lingerie store to exchange something for her and to find some nice undies for me. We found something just perfect!

Later we flew back to London. With all the turmoil around flying to/from London it wasn't too bad. They were letting people take small bags onto the airplane (I was allowed to take my purse, but had to pack my keys and my London Oyster card!). Our flight was delayed slightly, and we arrived in London just fine. We waited forever for our bags though, which is abnormal. It was around 8pm when we arrived home.

17 days and counting!