Kathryn Harries - Soprano

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Small, but enthusiastic

I woke up with the birds. Bugger. But that was fine because I had to go with Jane to Manchester airport at 8.30am as she was off to Helsinki for a week’s conference.
She drove the Golf there and I drove it back to Rainow; not exactly the same route but it got me home, via Tesco where I bought some thank you cards and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot for Jane as a birthday/thank you present. I wrote my thank you letters as soon as I got into the kitchen; I’ve been walking such long days that I’d been rather remiss in thanking all the lovely people who have put me up over the last fortnight.
Having learned just how long it took my printer to print yesterday, I then set to and typed up the new programme, spoke nicely to the printer, pressed the right buttons and said a quick prayer. I dropped it last night after the concert and it had every reason never to work again. By some miracle, it consented to work but, boy, it’s slow. I read a substantial number of chapters of the book I’m reading while it huffed and puffed its way through sheet after sheet of programmes.
Then, Jill and Pam arrived to spirit me away to Buxton. I treated them to lunch in a pub and then we went to the Pavilion Gardens, looked at the fantastic collection of vintage cars on display, had an ice cream before going back to Fawlty Towers.
I had a half hour snooze and then we went to St John the Baptist for the concert rehearsal. Except we couldn’t get in. It was locked. Shut fast and Tony Kraus, his fiancée Libby, Jill, Pam, Graeme, Val and I hung about for half an hour until a dear lady called Esther arrived to let us in.
It’s a gorgeous church with a lovely acoustic. We had a good rehearsal and the concert was a triumph artistically. Sadly, it wasn’t exactly a triumph as far as ticket sales were concerned. In spite of Esther’s and Lorna’s efforts the day before, we had an audience of forty or so people. They were, however, wonderfully enthusiastic and full of apologies that so few people had attended.
Not to worry. When I was still a student at the Royal Academy of Music, I did a recital in a church in North London which was attended by no fewer than 9 people. We took a vote, I sang a reduced programme and then we all went to the pub. With that as a benchmark, 40 plus people was absolutely fine!
As I left the church, I reminded Lorna that I needed to start walking no later than 8.30am the next day and should therefore need collecting by half past seven at the very latest.
A couple of friends very kindly took me back to Rainow where I packed all my bags for the early start next morning before going gratefully to bed.


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