Visitors to my web-site,
So sorry there has been no word from me for many a week. I have been
rushing about as usual. Japan in October was a real treat: two lovely
concerts with André Previn and the NHK Symphony. I hadn't been to Japan
since the 'Rosenkavalier' performances with the Vienna State Opera in
1994- I must have made a huge impression. Anyway, after saving up for 15
years they finally asked me back, and maybe in another 15 I shall go
Since I came home I have sung with the wonderful Nash Ensemble in an
arrangement by David Matthews of 'Les Nuits d'été' at Wigmore Hall. Then,
with Terence Allbright, I gave a recital at St. Mary's House in Bramber-
quite close to home-an extraordinary Elizabethan house with a beautiful
music room, wonderful gardens and an interesting concert series.
In Rochester cathedral on November 4th, I was persuaded to do a
mini-master-class with some students from local schools, before giving
half a recital, with Eugene Asti, in aid of the Endowment Fund for Music
in the Cathedral. As is so often the case, something I was rather
dreading (the masterclass) turned out to be really rewarding and the
four students who sang were very gifted young singers and gave
marvellous performances in that glorious building. I do hope the Appeal
will be successful. It was so inspiring to be in the cathedral and to
meet the people who do so much to maintain it and to secure its future.
I was very happy to receive an Honorary D. Mus from the University of
Gloucestershire last week. Like most other places, I think this
university has been going through some difficult financial times but the
atmosphere at the ceremony in another wonderful cathedral: Gloucester,
was full of joy and hope, and I don't think I have ever seen such a
smart set of graduates- they were mainly sportsmen and women and they
were a joy to behold! It is lovely for me to have another link with
Cheltenham, where I grew up and where I was given so many opportunities.
I took them all for granted at the time but I'm very grateful now.
Sir Thomas Allen and I were taking part in the Mozart Fest in
Bath, with Eugene Asti (who gave a great orchestral performance in
Mozart and Strauss), and I was at Wigmore Hall with
Angelika Kirchschlager and Graham Johnson for our Frauenliebe x 2
programme. I think I am extremely lucky to be singing with such
wonderful colleagues, in such great places.
Thanks to all of you who look at this web-site and write to me.