Requiem for the Requiem

By Dorothy Connell

The Faure Requiem Performance on 5th of September 2010 was effectively Canolfan Porthceri Centre’s opening night, so it was vitally important that it went well.

Thanks to a lot of hard work (and sheer bloody-mindedness) it was a huge success, and as a group we learned a lot from it.

It was an ambitious project right from the beginning, bringing a professional orchestra to Barry, and back in April I almost gave up. When I’m in that sort of mood I ‘phone one of my big sisters – sometimes both of them – and I always feel better after it.

On this occasion I moaned to big sis Freda (back in my home town) about not having much success recruiting viola players, and as the Faure Requiem needs at least five, this was ever so slightly problematic! There and then Freda gave me the number of Audrey Barr who had lived next door in Kilwinning before moving to Cardiff for a job in the Welsh National Opera orchestra – playing viola.

Audrey was a godsend, and recruited seven string players, all either in the WNO or National Orchestra of Wales, all of them gracious and generous. After that we got ourselves on track, and the whole thing came together at the end of what seemed a long journey.

The pressure to have a reasonable performance, to make the first event in the centre something we could be proud of, and to raise money for Save the Children meant a few sleepless nights, but at the end of the day I don’t think we let anyone down.

Highlights of the night for me were seeing the guys (of both sexes!) in Vale Voices singing what I know some of them thought they couldn’t. The Faure is not easy, and some of the singers were very inexperienced, had never sung this sort of music, or sung in Latin.

Soprano Soloist Darcie HamiltonThe second highlight was the young soprano soloist Darcie Hamilton. She doesn’t realise how good she is, and I just hope that her experience of that concert gives her confidence.

The third highlight of course was the amount of money raised for Save the Children – over £800. All in all, a brilliant milestone on the journey!

Thanks again to all the guys in Vale Voices, the instrumentalists and soloists, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colin Jones, the Porthceri Centre Team, Jan Sharp, Jane Clarke, Ruth King, Bob Connell and the Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit.

PS : Great to hear on the grapevine that Bridget Dawes in the sopranos is now joining a choir in Penarth, and that Audrey Saunders and Gill Payne are joining the Atlantic Chorus at St Donat’s to do the Faure again.

THAT is what I call a result!!!

See the main Faure report here.

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