The Wigmore Hall remains one of the most delightful recital rooms in the world. So it is a regular pleasure to be there - no more so than yesterday evening when there was fine music making as well as some wonderful opportunities to see colleagues that I had not been with for many years.
Samling is a remarkable charitable institution based in the north east of England. Its patron is the great baritone Thomas Allen, and he clearly commits to the purposes of this foundation in a tangible way, as we saw yesterday evening. Tom provided huge inspiration I have no doubt to the four young singers who took part in this Wigmore Hall event. We had a talk afterwards - he had a good time directing Don Pasquale in Chicago last month.......I was sorry to miss that.
They program included two young singers from the Royal Academy, Jennifer France and Stuart Jackson, both of whom appeared in the RAM's recent production of Haydn's La vera costanza. Additionally there was a soprano graduate from the Guildhall School who is fast making a name for herself, the delightful Anna Patalong, and a Royal College of Music graduate, the mezzo soprano Martha Jones, a fine young voice well on the way to great things.
They all had some wonderful moments - Jennifer France dispatching a fiendish aria from Mitridate with fearless nonchalance, Martha Jones three Schumann songs, including Meine Rose, accompanied by the peerless Malcolm Martineau in dazzling form as always in Lieder; then Stuart Jackson with exuberance and abandon dispatching Frank Bridge's splendid Love went a-riding; and finally Anna Patalong being joined by Tom Allen for the Marcello-Mimi scene from Bohėme Act 3. And of course there much more pleasure to be had, including Tom Allen's benign presence and magical effect on everyone involved. And that also included the gifted young accompanist Timothy End who shared duties with Malcolm Martineau.
I have a quiet weekend head with an opportunity to take stock of Christmas needs........a lot of work and a lot of cost!