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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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]
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.