In October at Little Gaddesden Church the lights dimmed and the bell in the Church tower started tolling sonorously. It was not for the commencement of a service but was the start of the third annual Fund raising Opera Concert to be held there. The bell ringing was a dramatic introduction to the 'Te Deum' from the opera 'Tosca' by Puccini in which the evil Scarpio sings of his lusty love for Tosca.
The Church was full, as in previous years, both of long lovers of Opera and many first timers. The latter were converted to a love of this genre by the evenings performances. We have been lucky to have always had superb singers from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London and a brilliant pianist Viv McLean who has performed with many of the major orchestras and at major concert Halls in UK and elsewhere. The programme was rich and varied and ranged from arias from the classic such as 'Carmen' and 'Lakme' (The British Airways theme song) to the more recent 'Porgy and Bess' by Gerschwin, excerpts from Jerome Kern's 'Showboat'. It was rounded of by the celebrated and popular party chorus from Verdi's 'La Traviata'. The audience, fortified by a glass of wine, seemed very appreciative and the singers, two locally from Berkhamsted, Jeanette Agar (Mezzo) and Marianne Cotterill (Soprano) together with Geoge Freeburn (Tenor) and Jonathan Fisher (Baritone) left on a high note. So much so that they are all hoping to return for another Concert on October 19th 2019.
Of course the Concerts were not just for enjoyment but were also planned to raise funds for both the Church and the Hospice and, thanks to generosity of all those attending over £7,000 has been achieved from the three concerts to date which has been equally split between the the Church and the Hospice, and put to good use by them both.
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