Manchester, UK

Yesterday was at once delightful, and a nightmare! It was the first time in my tenure that we’ve had a morning concert – 9.50am rehearsal and 11.00am show. For a high countertenor, this falls more into the nightmare category than the delight one! Thankfully, it was at the amazing KKL concert hall in Lucerne (first time for me there, and I hope not the last, as it is so beautiful), whose acoustics were very helpful considering the early start. The concert was lovely though, and it was great to meet some of our Swiss supporters afterwards including several from our UK Summer School.

We then hot-footed it [maybe ‘hot-wheeled’ is more appropriate] from Lucerne to Zurich Airport, ready to catch our flight to Manchester. Alas, UK infrastructure doesn’t deal well with snow, and all flights to Manchester and London were cancelled, so we spent 2.5 hours queuing to get our flight rebooked to this morning, then headed to an airport hotel to get some sleep. We were up around 5am this morning (4am British time, of course!) to get our new flight, and thankfully this went without hitch and now here we are in Manchester for tonight’s concert.

Tonight we are re-doing the Christmas Celebration concert that we did at the Royal Albert Hall last week, again with John Rutter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. But tonight it will be at the Bridgewater Hall, which is a new venue for me, but apparently an amazing space to sing. It’ll be one more chance to put on our funky 6-Magi costumes to help John with the quiz. Joy. Performing in Manchester, though, one can’t help but be reminded of the awful terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert just a few streets away in which over 23 people lost their lives and 500 were injured: it’s a sobering thought.

Tomorrow we fly back over the pond to Italy, where we have the final 7 concerts of this term. We’re covering a good few towns and cities on this Italian trip, including some of my favourites like Rome, Florence and Turin. Italian audiences are some of the most fun to perform for, so it should be a joy-filled tour!


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