Saturday, 25 February 2012

A musical weekend


We went to "An audience with John Jonathan Veira" last night. Equal parts operatic superstar and clown. Gave us some material that would have graced Covent Garden, but mixed it up with a lot of fun stuff, accompanying himself on piano and, at one point, country guitar. Told stories from his life and had the audience in stitches. At one point he got a lady off the front row to turn the pages while he sang something fast from The Marriage of Figaro – which of course he had to interrupt to tell her to turn (or not to turn). Hilarious and wonderful. And meanwhile he had seized on the presence of a lady who – get this – does deaf-signing at some really prestigious opera-houses. He got her up to sign during this particular item, which she did brilliantly, joining in the fun. He's on tour round the UK with this show. Before it started, during the interval and afterwards he just mingled and joked with the audience. We loved it.

Then tonight, after our evening meal, we've been listening to Scriabin's Piano Concerto. Whenever I hear this, I'm amazed at how exquisitely beautiful parts of it are – the first part of the second movement is one of my all-time favourite passages. Now I've an hour to recover before the music of Lineker, Hanson and Shearer on Match of the Day.

But up there, competing with all the emotion, was the rendering of the Welsh National Anthem at Twickenham. Tears in the eyes, even for this Englishman.

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