Peak Music’s last offering of the year was an absolute humdinger. Four young postgraduates (soprano Julia Mariko Smith, mezzo-soprano Naomi Rogers, tenor Philip O’Connor and bass Peter Lidbetter) from the Royal College of Music, together with their accompanist, Christopher Pulleyn, gave a memorable gala performance of mostly well-loved favourites that would have been familiar to any listener of Classic FM.
The enthusiasm and energy were positively bursting from these talented youngsters, who are clearly all names to look out for in the future. Despite having to give two socially distanced performances at 4pm and 7.30pm, they were as fresh at the end of the evening as they were at the beginning of the afternoon. Their stage presence was every bit as outstanding as the intensity of their sound that filled the Edensor Hall, as you can judge for yourself from the video clip below.
Chairman Jennie Ball was absolutely convinced she heard glasses shattering next door in the Cavendish Club when Julia Smith hit her high F in Je veux vivre from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Peter Lidbetter’s interpretation of a drunken and desolate Ralph in Quand la flamme de l’amour from Bizet’s Jolie Fille de Perth was simply brilliant, as was his ability to tie his bow tie while performing – no dickie bow for him!
A fantastic evening, ending with the audience insisting on an encore, which turned out to be the haunting Va pensiero (better known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Verdi’s Nabucco.
The memory of this performance will keep us going through the dark winter months until our next concert on March 16th by the Kammerphilharmonie Europa.