We went ahead in the evening and the audience - a stoical band of opera lovers - came armed with all kinds of wet weather gear, bags of blankets and cushions; there was a distinct lack of picnic hampers and champers, but plenty of enthusiasm and absolutely no complaints about the weather. "Never mind - It could be worse".
John Nettles took the stage, made a quick quip about the title of the show "One Fine Day" and then Paul Drayton lifted his baton and we heard the 'overture' - Nessun Dorma. The music flowed on from there - the sound was magnificent, and the audience was very appreciative - thank you for hanging in until the final moment. All our soloists really excelled themselves - in the words of one of them, Kay Deeming:
(May 1st) "Forecast as at today says... Monday....sun and cloud, very little wind and... A full Moon! Perfect!! Let's hope it's right!"
(May 4th) "Actual weather was.....absolutely pouring with rain!!! We are all like drowned rats, but we had the Dunkirk spirit and the show went ahead! A b****y good one too!!"
RNLI volunteers from Sennen were probably the best-dressed for the occasion in their bright yellow oilskins: their sale of CD's featuring Cornish tenor and international opera star John Treleavean was well rewarded. And what about the Japanese TV film crew who were in attendance throughout the day? The camera was an inch or two away from Cheryl Brendish's nose
as she gazed towards the horizon in her aria from Madame Butterfly - but that was just the rehearsal after all.
A dripping John Nettles, who gallantly stood on stage throughout the whole concert, ignoring the wet chair beside him, not a hair out of place and handsome in his DJ, was amply applauded and was still smiling when he dramatically proclaimed "Wagner next year" as he left the car park; and replied 'no - it was not the worst experience of my career, by a long chalk!' when asked. Perhaps he might add the experience to his anecdotes when he is next invited to be our after-dinner speaker (see Friday's "Rumpelstiltskin")
I mustn't say that we saved the best until last, because orchestra, soloists and chorus really excelled themselves throughout the whole evening as the whole landscape filled with oceans of drama, passion and fabulous music, but John Treleaven brought the house down with his rich, resonant singing of "Nessun Dorma". We were left wanting more.
Full credit must be given to Paul Drayton, our musical director, who worked selflessly to produce this fine evening, which he devised and brought together so skillfully. We fully appreciate his dedication to high musical standards and count ourselves truly blessed to be inspired and guided by him.