New Year Message 2014


Happy New Year!

Wigmore Hall, November 2013This message was supposed to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, but now it must wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year! The last few months of 2013 were quite busy. My last solo recital at Wigmore Hall with Graham Johnson was a joyous occasion with a lovely, warm atmosphere in the hall and so many friends and family in the audience. John Gilhooly and his wonderful team gave us a great send-off and I shall always remember it. After it, Graham and I had to rehearse Poulenc's 'La Voix Humaine' pretty intensively for a performance in Vienna. We had recorded it but never performed it together and it was a very moving experience in the intimate Ehrbar Saal with its perfect acoustics.
On 30th November I sang 'Messiah' with my friends in Cheltenham Choral Society; it is always a treat to go back to Cheltenham and I hope we have a date in Christ Church towards the end of next year.
I was very privileged to be part of the St. John's Smith Square concert on December 12, in aid of Young Epilepsy. I sang a duet with my god-son and another with Jason Carr, and listened to all the  wonderful singers who were taking part in this heart-warming concert. Congratulations and love to all concerned, particularly to Jean Rigby and Jamie Hayes who organised the musical side of it.

Maciej Pikulski and I gave a recital in Paris on December 16 in the most beautiful theatre: Le Théâtre du Palais Royal. In the dressing room was a list of people who had used that room before, beginning with Sarah Bernhardt, Edwige Feuillère, Sacha Guitry, Suzy Delair, Louis de Funes.... I think the acoustics would be perfect for theatre but were a little difficult for Wolf and Strauss. We got used to it and the French second half was much more fun. I am looking forward to going back to Paris for a recital in Levallois in February, a short Victor Hugo programme in the Musée Jacquemart-André in March and a recital at the Musée d'Orsay in June with Mireille Delunsch, Eric Huchet and Damian Pass. Before that I shall have a concert of Strauss songs with orchestra in Porto on January 24 and a lunchtime recital in Birmingham in February. So you see, it is not exactly retirement.....

I wish everyone who reads this a very happy and successful 2014 and please contradict the retirement rumours that seem to have spread around the web. I will let you know when I am hanging up my harp..... FL