Cool iPhone Panorama photo app

I've used this panorama app from the table of my latest hotel room many a time so I can beam photos of where I am home to the family for about a year. Very funny to see the American equivalent of Dragons Den fighting over how good it is right now. The pano in the photo below was taken using it balanced on a lunch table;-)

Aida Siztprobe with Opéra de Baugé

Great bunch of people but extreme geographical dislocation today as we usually all meet up in the sunny Loire. Wonderful to see everyone again though.



1930, Sat 25 Jan

Noelle Barker's Memorial Concert

Yesterday at the RAM Duke's Hall there was a celebration of the contribution Noelle Barker made to music and of her many accomplishements. I had singing lessons with her for 6 years and can testify she was the most marvellous person and excellent teacher... she was one classy lady. It was appropriately an afternoon of eulogy and I couldn't help but think the collection of very nice and talented (self excepted!) people there were in the best possible way a reflection of the great lady herself. The most moving part of the concert for me was when a couple of Noelle's grandchildren played. It was fortunate for me that a guy came up afterwards and made quite an amusing speech otherwise my own small musical contribution which was to follow may have been a complete shambles. Thank you to Noelle's daughter Belinda and all the other fine people who organised everything, a meeting of old friends to celebrate the life of a very special lady.

NYIOP Audition Day

R&P and I at the BAA/RAS Dec 2013...

Fairly cool day on Saturday, sunny weather not withstanding. Up early warming up and then in to London on the train to do an NYIOP audition at Rudolf Steiner House with the amazing Paul Plummer accompanying. I have been getting over a cold and but these NYIOP things don't come cheap so I didn't cancel and think I escaped with my honour intact. I actually felt the audition went rather well. For the second outing in a row (previously the ROH) the panel went for my two big bad boy arias (Telramund & Michele from Tabarro) which plays to my strength. Thought I'd be nervous as I haven't been working much recently but in fact the break has been good. I feel like I've let go of a fair bit of peripheral angst and remembered a bit more what I have to offer the singing world. Nice to see James Black at the audition, that man puts in the hours that's for sure!

Afterwards I met my Dad recently arrived from Australia and my Uncle and Aunt up from Devon, grabbed some lunch and then went to the British Astronomical Association's Christmas Lecture about the PANSTARR survey telescope in Hawaii. Met Will O'Brein from Baugé there, a pretty large representation of the total number of London baritones into astronomy I reckon.

Legged it back to Faversham in the evening to the Faversham Choral Society concert in which no less than 8 of my close family members were performing. Adelaide's little group sang HOT CHOCOLATE!

Elijah with the Broom Leys C.S. & the Shepshed Singers

Had a very successful weekend singing Elijah with my dear friend Joan Tomlinson and her choral society. She is a very keen choral singer so it was rather special to finally be able to perform together. Also, no mean feat of string pulling and cajoling to get me employed so thank you Joan!! The cottage pie afterwards was very nice too.

Rossini Stabat Mater with the Isle of Wight Cantata Choir

A truly lovely welcome from the Cantata Choir of the IoW and a great first half of concert. Most excitingly we had bomb it after we had finished at the interval to get the last ferry bak to the mainland. The orchestra was amazing as many of the guys looked like (in the rehearsal) they had just finished sanding their boats before coming along. Also there were what looked like some identical triplets playing although we were assured they were just sisters. Great sound from choir and orchestra alike though.

Saw this in Newport. Bobbin is the special name I use fro my wife.

Saw this in Newport. Bobbin is the special name I use fro my wife.

Verdi 200 with Lyric Opera Productions

In lovely Dublin again with my big mate Vivian Coates for a Lyric Opera fund raiser. Great news for me is I get to sing Eri tu with the wonderful RTE orchestra tonight!! Conductor, David Heusel is lovely and excellent. It should be a good night!

Ein selfie. Very good to be back in Dublin;-)

Ein selfie. Very good to be back in Dublin;-)

Petite Messe Solinelle - Faversham C.S.

So nice to do a gig close to home and there is no closer than the iconic St Mary's Church in Faversham. Many thanks to the FCS and my brother-in-law, Ben Saul, for having me back. Very atmospheric performance tonight and everyone punched above their weight. Bravo!

Beethoven 9 with the Kent Youth Orchestra @ 50!

Bit of a special one this. It's the Kent Youth Orchestra's 50th Anniversary Concert today. My son Max is singing and of course Sara was in the orchestra back in the day. We had many fine time running rings/trying to run rings around the poor supervisors in charge of us on the residential courses. So I have a great connection to this organisation and it is very special to be taking part and joining in with all these talented young people. All young apart from, of course, my mate James Edwards my mate who is singing up a storm as the tenor soloist! Also good to be working with Alan (Vincent) after all this time.