Hello, and Happy Christmas to all you avid blog-readers!
As 2019 comes hurtling to a close I’ve been reflecting on the whirlwind year.
By the end of this week we’ll have performed 100 concerts, which is frankly ridiculous. Some of them were so memorable; The stunning Shostakovich Academy in St Petersburg, our Edinburgh International Festival performance of Quickening by James MacMillan for his 60th birthday celebrations, singing for a Japanese Princess in Tokyo, performing alongside well over 1000 kids and young singers, hopefully providing a little inspiration for them to be creative.
These and many more have provided the thrill, drive, and measure of “success” that I’ve always wanted from my career. Being able to experience audiences across the world, from such varied cultures and backgrounds, engaging so fully with what we do, seeing them being moved to laughter or tears, or even to shout “bravo” before the applause has even started – it’s these reactions that make the often gruelling travel and schedules all totally worthwhile.
Talking of all that travel, I’ve dragged a suitcase-worth of guilt around with me for all the flying we have to do to get to our performances. I’m looking forward to sitting down over the holidays and working out how best to off-set those flights, perhaps with donating to tree-planting organisations. This is something that we’re going to do as a whole group next year too, to try and bring our carbon footprints down to carbon tip-toes.
Having said that, I’m (smugly) proud to say that this year I’ve used only 3 or 4 plastic bottles of water (when there was no other choice!), 2 or 3 take-away coffee cups, and 5 or 6 disposable plastic forks. Also I’ve largely stuck to only eating meat at the weekends. It was a lot easier to do than I thought it’d be, and It definitely makes my guilt-case feel a bit lighter…
I think I’ll give up using spray deodorant next year. Roll-on 2020!
Hope you all have a fantastic festive period, and see you in a concert hall near you at some point soon!
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