Today was our last day in Ireland, and those of us who are non-singers had a relatively free day, my first in two weeks! In the morning I went with several others to the National Museum of Ireland (with Viking artifacts the most interesting to me) and the Natural History Museum (The “Dead” Zoo!) In the afternoon, the choristers had a workshop at the Royal Irish Academy of Music while I relaxed at the hotel.
Tonight was the Hawaii Masterworks Chorus’ last concert in Ireland, and it took place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Because there was a concert scheduled by Beyoncé in Dublin at the same time (85,000 people were expected!) we allowed one hour to get to the venue because of the horrendous traffic, with streets blocked off. Our taxi driver remarked that 75,000 of the concert goers were women!)
There was a plaque dedicated to choral composer Charles Villiers Stanford who spent his formative years at St. Patrick’s. Also I learned that on April 13, 1742, members of the St. Patrick’s choir, along with those of Christchurch Cathedral, took part in the premiere of Handel’s Messiah. There was even an original manuscript of the tenor’s part, displayed under protective glass.
We had a one-hour rehearsal prior to the concert, and I would like to take you into my world from the vantage point of the organ loft. You first climb the 44 steps to the level of the organ console and try not to feel dizzy as you climb higher and higher.
Here are some views of what you see when you finally get to the console. You’ll see Tim Carney in the video monitor on the left side of the console. Notice also Margaret Thatcher’s face smiling at you from the bottom of a pair of underpants! You pass these hanging on the wall just before the organ bench.
Tonight’s concert had some absolutely beautiful moments (in addition to a few oopsies!) Hopefully the couple hundred people who were in the audience were happy they came to our concert!
Aloha, Ireland, we had a great time!