After any long trip it’s great to arrive back home, unpack and relax with a spot of cooking – and a visit to the cellar to pick out a suitable bottle, of course! This week has been no different, except we’ve been celebrating the start of our third daughter Ariana’s first week at school, involving a huge amount of preparation followed by an extremely quiet house!!! It’s the first time Stephanie has been able to enjoy a child-free house since 2009, which I won’t deny is an exciting moment. And, it means that when they get home at the end of the day we’ve really missed them :)

America was fun – Carnegie Hall especially so – and we were once again reminded of the wonderful power of music to bring people together and create something unique and special. The 300+ singers with whom we shared the stage in New York were as motivated and talented as we’d hoped, and the performance was really very enjoyable. To be on-stage with Bob Chilcott and Simon Carrington (with my predecessor Gabriel Crouch watching from the audience) was a moment I won’t forget in a hurry.

We’re foregoing our usual “7 clear days” rule and starting work early, on Monday next week, in order to prepare for Tuesday’s 50th Birthday recital in London. I don’t want to spoil things, so for now it’s enough to say that it should be an exciting and ground-breaking experience…


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