On Saturday 16th of July 2022, I had the pleasure of walking down the aisle with my husband again, but this time in Romania. We had always planned a wedding blessing to take place in Iasi, where George grew up and it was certainly worth the wait.
Typically in Romania, the couple gets officially married at the Town Hall to obtain a marriage certificate, after which they can attend a religious blessing at the church. As we had already received our marriage certificate in London, we could get straight to the good stuff. Our blessing took place at Biserica Sf. Nectarie in the heart of Iasi.
We picked this church as his brother Cozmin sings there every Sunday, as did George when he was young. In Romanian orthodox blessing, you have Godparents who act as spiritual guides for your future married life. George’s brother, Cozmin, and his wife, Otilia, took on these roles and presented George and me with ceremonial candles adorned with dried flowers to symbolise the light of Christ, who is with the couple as they join their lives together.
In contrast to our British wedding, the couple enters the church together, followed immediately by the godparents, then the rest of the family and friends. During the ceremony, the priest present the couple with golden crowns, which the bride and groom wear for their prayers. It symbolises that they are the King and Queen of their newfound family. Next, the couple drinks three times from the same cup and bites a communion cracker three times, representing that they will share the same experiences moving forwards together. Finally, with their godparents, they walk three times around the altar to symbolise that their first steps have been taken in front of God and that they should remember his support when they face future hardships or temptation. Throughout our ceremony, the priest sang every single prayer accompanied by a fabulous choir. It was an intimate and spiritual experience.
We then visited the Opera House in Iasi to have some photographs taken and material filmed for a wedding film. George’s older brother Ionut organised this for us, as he is an opera chorus member and their audio engineer. It was a fantastic setting for the photographs, not only for our love of opera but because the temperatures were scorching, and we surely would have melted outside. Our videographers, Cristy and Axi, were phenomenal at making us feel at ease behind the lens. We felt like movie stars, and I can’t wait to see the final edit in September. Silviu, the photographer, was also excellent and very creative with his shots. We must treat ourselves to a digital photo frame to store all the memories.
We greeted guests with pink prosecco in the late afternoon at Bizantiq, our romantic evening venue. Love was certainly in the air thanks to the superb playing of a string quartet. The music did not disappoint all day, thanks to the careful planning from Ionut; there was a brass quartet, who played Romanian folkloric music, a traditional custom of wedding celebrations. A gypsy trio followed this with a vocal and dance performance, in which they invited my Dad and me to join in the dance. I was gifted a red belly dancing scarf embellished with golden charms. This moment was even more special as one of the dancers was Axi, who had spent most of the day with George and me. Finally, a DJ completed the musical menu, playing an eclectic mix of Romanian and British pop hits. I hardly left the dance floor! Thankfully the dancing was interspersed with delicious food to keep our energies high. We had a magical day, with special thanks to our families, whose support and love allowed this shared experience to blossom and sparkle.
It is great to see auditions for opera productions starting to appear again after Covid forced so many Opera Companies to close or postpone their plans.
I am happy to announce that following the tour of ‘Bambino’ this Summer I am to play the role of Catherine in Gothic Opera’s production of ‘Le Loup-Garou’ in a Halloween double bill between 27th October 2022 and 1st November 2022.
I will also be taking on the role of Cathy in Keynote Opera’s production of a new chamber Opera, ‘Brontë’ based upon the play by Polly Teale, composed by Lisa Logan, with libretto by Polly Teale. The performances will be between 13th and 16th September 2023.