New Year Message 2015

Happy New Year!

I can't believe I have turned another page of my old-fashioned 10-year diary and that now it is 2015. Last year was full of lovely things and concerts with friends old and new in France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, India as well as quite a lot in England. Last night we had a fun concert at the Opéra de Lyon and I'm writing this in Paris, on my way home, on a beautiful, cold, crisp winter's day.

I have really enjoyed getting to know the City of London Sinfonia and I am proud to be their Patron. The concerts for children in which I took a small- (but very important! )- part  were a complete joy and I congratulate all the musicians and the wonderful Claire Bloor, now Claire Henry, on the important work they do in bringing music to children who might otherwise not encounter it. Amongst other highlights were the first Southwell Festival in August which I could just enjoy and admire as an audience member-stunning place and wonderful concerts. I've also enjoyed giving master-classes and would like to thank all the singers who put up with me. There are several more scheduled in 2015 in various countries- really exciting.

I am very proud to have been made a Fellow of the Guildhall School, and so much enjoyed the dinner and the presentation, and meeting so many new people. The students put on a terrific entertainment and I hope to be able to see a production there later in the year. The Royal Academy is putting on The Rake’s Progress in March, and I’m excited to be working on the rôle of Anne Trulove with the young singers who will play her. I have such happy memories of John Cox’s brilliant production in David Hockney’s Hogarth-inspired sets at Glyndebourne a long time ago!

As far as concerts go, there are quite a lot of those too, mainly in France (merci!) but also in Marrakech and in the UK, as well as two in New Zealand! My diary actually runs out of pages at the end of 2015, but I am not making any plans; I'm having too much fun.

On a very sad note, I was devastated yesterday to hear of the death of Michael Kennedy, a wonderful man and a friend for many years. I last saw him at the memorial concert for Sir George Christie, another great man who also died in 2014. They will both be sorely missed.

I send my very best wishes to all who read this, and I hope you have a very happy and healthy New Year.  FL