So I am back to normal -
I was in Sussex again this morning and went to visit my old friend and boss George Christie. He was in terrific form and is greatly enjoying writing his very concise and to the point memoir.......now this is something to look forward to. And will be worth the wait.
And then this afternoon I was at the semi-finals of the Ferrier competition. As a couple of times jury member of the Ferrier, but not for a long time, and now a seasoned "judge" of these things what with the Neue Stimmen, the Met, and a host of other competitions that I have been involved with over the years, I try to keep up to speed with all the various prestigious arenas. And certainly the Ferrier is one of the top ones.
There was a great group of eleven semi finalists. And the jury must have had quite a time sorting them out. I have not yet looked to see what they have determinied for the final on Friday. But for what it is worth I felt that Jennifer France, Anna Harvey, Raphaela Papadakis, Christina Gansch, and Katharine Crompton did really well. I did not hear the last candidate - Marta Fontanals-Simmons. They were running late and I had to leave.
There were no contraltos - but two Mezzos, a baritone, a counter tenor and a tenor. That left six sopranos - the usual inbalance I am afraid. But I was glad to see the the mezzos chose some Ferrier classic numbers - O rest in the Lord and Blow the wind Southerly. I was cutting my teeth in music with these in the 1940s!
I have noticed a number of these young people before......Miss Papadakis was the winner of the Maureen Lehane Prize last year - and Anna Harvey was the excellent Ariodante at the Royal Academy just a few weeks ago. So the same good names pop up. As I write this I have no idea what the judges thought. But I guess the result is now up on the Ferrier website - well it is not, so who knows?
PS - the list of finalists is now available on the Wigmore Hall website