Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Opera Holland Park at Stationers' Hall Monday 29th April

What a triumph of an evening!  After a champagne reception, courtesy of Pol Roger, the producer of Opera Holland Park, James Clutton, gave us an insight in his introduction to the programme of glorious singing that awaited us. It proved no less than outstanding.

The evening, in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, was the brainchild of Sheriff Nigel Pullman who had sought sponsorship for the concert, managing to get British American Tobacco plc (BAT) on board as well as the Cook and Butler, and Partridges to provide the wine.  The Worshipful Companies of  Leathersellers, Broderers and World Traders also contributed. As the Lord Mayor was abroad rightly banging the drum vigorously for UK plc, the Lady Mayoress was our gracious host.  A Bluthner Grand piano had been loaned, a brilliant accompanist found, and the scene was set. 

Court Assistant Peter Rees was mentioned twice in the course of the evening, having designed the web site for promoting the event and it never ceases to amaze me how often Peter’s name is mentioned (last time it was the fundraising concert at St Vedast).  Peter seems to do the charitable work that others cannot do – programme design and production, website, on line booking systems. You name it and ask for Peter!

With Opera Holland Park’s booking opening and the start of their open air season not far away, we heard a feast of talent from the National Opera Studio trainees.  These were young and extremely talented singers, many with contracts lined up with the Royal Opera House and other Opera Houses, post the summer season.  They were joined by well known seasoned professionals and together the programme was uniquely special. Hearing such singing in Stationers’ Hall was also a unique experience.

Me with the very talented National Opera Students
With nearly every Master seemingly in attendance the reception afterwards was lively and informal, reflecting the fellowship that is generated when the Livery get together.  For a Monday evening, particularly with our Rededication Service and Spring Dinner the following day, it was uniquely entertaining.

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