Sunday, 31 July 2016

Concert tour to Normandy

The ironies of spending four days in France at this pivotal moment in our island’s history were not
lost on us: the Remainers among us were Leaving, but the Leavers were also Leaving; however, the Remainers were relishing the prospect of encountering their continental cousins [most of us being half-Norman anyway]. After all-English concerts in Rouen and Chartres Cathedrals and a trip to Monet’s garden at Giverny, our final concert was in the lovely sun-drenched port of Honfleur. Our audience, seduced away from the blandishments of the market outside by the angelic sounds issuing from the open church door, came inside to see what was going on. We felt we did ourselves – and English music – proud. The applause was hearteningly warm. Our professionals Jonathan Rennert and Ian le Grice coaxed more musicality out of us than we’d have thought possible; tour organisers Jenny Miller-Slights and Judith McEwan played to perfection their roles, the complexities of which can never be dreamt of by most of us - and they did so with smiling good humour. To them and to our loyal camp followers – thanks. It was a rewarding four days.  
words: Stephen Oliver, photos: Patrick Radford

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