Libraries Full Of Music

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of performing at the Royal College of Music as part of a fund-raising event on behalf of the College Library, along with fellow soprano Yiwen Su and my friend Addy Stoiber who accompanied us both on piano. Through the event, titled ‘Restore A Score’, the RCM wanted to raise awareness of the important work that they do in safeguarding musical works for future generations of musicians and enthusiasts to enjoy.


Charlotte - Restore A Score
Just Before The Performance



The two arias that I performed were both by Carl Maria von Weber, the first was “La Dolce Speranza” and the second was Ännchen’s aria from Der Freischütz “Kommt ein schlanker Bursch Gegangen”.  It was a real privilege for me to actually to be able to see on display a manuscript ( full score ) of Der Freischütz which was used for the first English production in 1824.

Der Freischütz

I read on the RCM website that:   “The Library at the RCM contains a wealth of material, over 500,000 items in all, ranging from rare, early 16th-century printed music to contemporary manuscripts, from standard orchestral repertoire to band arrangements, from scholarly collected editions to single songs, from early libretti to journals, e-resources and modern textbooks, and from 78rpm records to compact discs and DVDs .

The museum at the RCM in London’s South Kensington is undergoing an exciting redevelopment.  It will be fully accessible to the public when it reopens in 2019.  During this period the museum will be recruiting volunteers to help carry out conservation, digitisation, outreach, learning, and engagement so if you’re at a loose end you can join the mailing list by contacting .

People debate about funding the arts, especially from taxation as there are ‘more important things to spend taxes on’ but if we turn our back on art what distinguishes us from the other animals just surviving to eat and breed. Read this excellent article by Rupert Christiansen [Here]


Charlotte Today

This morning I took advantage of the beautiful spring sunshine and decided to take a walk through the park before heading into South Kensington.  Over the weekend there has been a piano festival on at the Institut Français, which is opposite the Natural History museum in South Kensington.  I went along to support my friend George Todica who was performing a four-handed piece with Daniel Hart who also is studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with George.  I enjoyed the concert immensely, which took place in the library recital room within the institute, and it was great to catch up with them both after the performance. Both George and Daniel also performed solo recitals during the festival which came to a close this evening.

George Todica and Daniel Hart
The Library at the Institut Français


49 thoughts on “Libraries Full Of Music

  1. Restore a Score was a wonderful performance for you Charlotte. Great that you are using your gift to the glory of God. Nice selfies also and keep taking good care of yourself. This will be a great fund raising success and we are all very thankful for you.

    1. Even as a toddler I had a library card and we visited the library in Knutsford regularly to replace books, when I got older I did the reading challenge in school holidays, the library was lucky and got a lot of money to update and they had lots of different clubs inside. Now libraries have to do so much more self-fund raising I want to help out where I can and I was delighted to be asked to sing for an event. I can’t wait for the library/museum to reopen.
      All my best wishes

      1. Any time, dear Charlotte! Thank you! Wish you wonderful Easter time. May spring bunnies bring you a lot of chocolate eggs! 🙂

        Best regards,

    1. I do want to fill my life with more music 🙂 In fact, I have 14 new songs to learn in six weeks. I do like to do my research into each song too so anything that adds a bit on spin like reading the original score or an article about the poets really inspires me.
      Best wishes

  2. Such an honor, Charlotte, to be included in this important piece of musical history. Kudos to you. It is nice that your talent is being recognized by people who know talent. Keep up your good work, and of course, you good blog. It is so nice to be able to mark your progress as you grow in your profession.

  3. Wonderful job supporting the library Charlotte !
    Glad to see your sacrifice of time and effort for the record keepers 🙂

    1. Art organisations are having to become more and more inventive to raise funds, there are so many wonderful claims on the Arts Council, it was a lovely concert and it was nice to be asked to participate.
      Best wishes

    1. Just as the arts are depending more now on private patrons because of so many claims on the government’s spending I feel the arts need to look at new ways of encouraging people to share in the culture all around us and it’s only by informing more people and visitors to London about what riches we have to view that these spaces and treasures will be protected for future generations.
      Best wishes

  4. Living in the U.S., I think it’s the nation’s responsibility to allocate more funds and resources towards Arts & Education more than Military spending. If a country really wants to improve the Economy, invest more in libraries and after-school programs while raising the salaries of teachers to attract quality individuals. Unfortunately, we talk about these things, but (for example) all of the local libraries have to cut staff, cut Open Hours, and raise money independently in order to achieve more. Unless we fix our priorities, the U.S. will continue to fall behind in Education & Creative Arts. 🙁

    1. I think the modern outward looking libraries and museums are becoming good meeting places and interesting places for people to want to be, I’ve heard some are having coffee houses opening up inside and using their space better, now people can download books onto kindle there has got to be a more social aspect to them so that lonely people can meet up and have a chance to share their interests. I love to go to the museums in London we are spoilt with amazing collections here.
      Best wishes and thanks for your thoughts Eric,

  5. I got a chance to visit the RCM Library last year (which, coming from Australia, was a bit of a hike!). It was a magical experience and it absolutely blew my mind what stuff they had squirrelled away down there. After four hours in the library, my whole idea of the classical music world changed.

    So glad they’re keeping up awareness about the place and that you were able to help out. Keep up the good work!

    1. Brilliant that you heard about the museum Matt and made the time to visit, it’s a lovely area of London to spend time though, isn’t it? I read your interesting blog posts. I’ll be sure to say hi to George for you.
      Best wishes

  6. I agree with you that we must do all we can to encourage funding in the Arts. As soon as there is less money to spent the Arts are classed as ‘luxury’ and theatres and galleries close. ‘Restore a Score’ seems a very worthwhile and fun project – your concert programme sounds wonderful! I’m glad all went well. It is nice to see George Todica again and know he is doing okay.

    1. Thanks, Clare. George is in his final year of his Masters after six years in Glasgow and one at College in Edinburgh, he has some concerts lined up and is working hard to try to line up more.
      Best wishes

  7. Hi Charlotte, so great to see George again, and both of you performing for a great cause.
    Spring walks are so beneficial and are good for the soul.

    1. Thanks, Darlene, he is doing well exciting times of change ahead for him this year as his Master’s course in Scotland finishes in June. I believe London will have a heatwave this weekend and I’ve headed back up to Glasgow I hope the sun finds time to travel north too.
      Best wishes

  8. Not funding the arts would be a travesty. How do we record history if not through art? how do we study other eras and civilizations if not through literature and visual arts and music? Sheesh. Anyway, always good to read about what you are up to!

    1. There is a big conflict in education in England at the moment about music teaching in our State schools and how, if we don’t do something and speak up, it will become the preserve of the wealthy, this can’t be allowed to continue. We are concentrating so much on what is called the EBacc qualification that the arts don’t contribute to that funding gets cut and an emphasis on the difficult reading of scores, aural and instrument classes just may not be supported. I was really interested when I went to study in Scotland that music is much better supported in their schools especially free instrument classes but I read recently they were fighting for survival too.
      Best wishes

      1. Yep, it’s the same here. And kids get so bored with no artistic stimulation throughout the day, just a constant focus on testing and core curriculum. It’s a real shame!

    1. Thank you Janice, it was nice to mingle with people that appreciated the event and I’ve been told that many reported that they had enjoyed the concert, always good to hear.
      Best wishes

  9. A great update… and for such a good cause!. Excellent that you were part of it, dear Charlotte. How amazing to see Der Freischütz´s manuscript as well.
    Thank you for making a difference, with your voice, culture and kindness 😀 have a beautiful weekend ahead!. <3

    1. Thank you, my friend, I loved catching up with your recent blog post, it’s widening my knowledge every time I visit your fabulous blog. Lovely to read Holly’s poetry too.
      Best wishes

  10. We have some benighted people here who think the arts are frivolous. Fighting this mentality is going to be fierce. I feel sorry for those who don’t have the resources you have (and many great cities of the world also enjoy) to share in this rich tradition.

    London is one of my favourite cities for a lot of reasons, not the least of which are some of the places you mention. I know you are taking advantage of all these fabulous opportunities, Charlotte and I am enjoying seeing it through your eyes.

  11. So glad to know you are sharing your beautiful voice with the world on a regular basis, and also helping to preserve music libraries!

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