Autumn 2009


Dear 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 there again.
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.  FL