Wednesday, November 29, 2006


It was lovely to be back in Wales again and I received a warm welcome at the house of my two good friends Tony and Carol.
However in connection with the concerts we met a few hitches along the way.
Our first gig was a lunchtime concert in the foyer at the Welsh Millennium Centre on Thursday 3rd of November. The plan was that the programs for the concerts and my concerts dresses were going to be flown over from Norway by my parents on the Thursday. Wednesday night I got a phone call from my parents in Norway. “There is a pending strike in Norwegian airlines, we might not be able to come over, be prepared.” Ahh, I was determined not to panic, I had to focus on our first gig, and fate would decide. I was not really sure how it would be to have a concert in the foyer, but thought of it as a very good experience and it was indeed! Loads of people turned up and sat down on the benches around. The cafés filled up with people who decided to sit down and listen to us too. I was overwhelmed and touched by this, a lovely surprise. Half way through we also received some good news, my mum and dad were on their way!
Our next concert at Insole Court turned out to be a little bit more dramatic than I had expected. The venue was booked and we were all set to rehearse at the venue at 11o’clock the same day. Tony, John and I turned up at the venue ready to start the preparations for the evening event, but to our horror and annoyance we were told by the manager that the venue was closed on Health and safety grounds. Why? We were speechless. Something was going on. John came over to Tony and myself and explained that Cardiff Council had received a message the night before about the closure of the venue. “But, we have a concert here tonight! The tickets are all sold out! What do you expect us to do?” we asked the people from the council.
“Find another venue or cancel it,” they said.
I was shocked. This had to be a joke! No, they were serious, this was no joke. So 8 hours before our concert we were without a concert venue and in danger of having to cancel! I tried to stay calm. Tony, another committee member, John, and myself were determined not to be beaten!
After a prolonged argument we realised that we were making no progress, even when the Deputy Chief Executive and the Health and Safety Inspector were summoned. Thanks to the Cathedral authorities we found a new venue, and were lucky to get somewhere nearby. The Council were persuaded to pay for the transport and tuning of the piano for the new location. The lack of information to the organisers of the concert by Cardiff Council left a lot to be desired and any future dealings with the Council should be undertaken with care. I must admit that the huge bouquets of flowers from the council as an apology for the inconvenience didn’t help matters much.
At 5.30 the piano was tuned, John and his little helpers built a stage, set up a red velvet back drop, lights were rigged and sim sala bim an atmosphere of stage dramatics was created. The concert was a success and people really seemed to enjoy themselves with the good old Gershwin and Weil repertoire and a glass of wine.
Our last concert at Llandaff Catherdral went without any complications and a lovely crowd of 130 people turned up, amongst them were family and some of my dearest friends. It is a fantastic venue and the acoustics where amazing and Taina finally got the chance to play the grand piano!
It certainly turned out to be a weekend I’ll remember, not just because of all the challenges we had to deal with but because of what a fantastic team we made!
Now I am looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead of me. Denmark, Norway, Cardiff in the New Year and then the Netherlands.

Thursday, September 07, 2006



I am about to start a new adventure, to Copenhagen in Denmark. I am leaving for Kristiansand on Friday early in the morning to record and complete the tracks I am taking part on in this house music project. Then I am off to Denmark. A lot of butterflies in my stomach right now! Can’t wait to get some intensive guidance on my voice and make new friends in Denmark. If all goes as planned I will be staying there until the end of November, but it is all down to finance to be honest.



I have had one of the most inspirational weekends of my life! To stand in a studio, letting the music fill my body and soul, just let go and improvise not thinking of what’s right or wrong. What an amazing feeling! It gave me extra confidence and faith in my voice. It made me see that if I just let go, my voice knows what to do. This is a feeling I want to bring in to my classical music!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Master classes and workshops in Sussex

What an amazing experience! I have learnt so much this last week and worked with some fantastic teachers and coaches such as Ameral Gunson, Penny MacKay, Richard Jackson, Delia Lindon, Andrew Robinson, Robin Martin - Oliver, Gregory Rose, Robin Bowman and Jonathan Hinden. The participants were such a nice bunch! Not only did we sing, but Monday night I experienced my first barn dance!
Our opera scene from Verdi’s Falstaff where I played Alice was a challenging but joyful experience. After our final performance at the end of the course it was also fantastic to get such positive feedback, not only for my stage presence but also for the quality of my voice, and believe it or not for my top register! This I can thank the yoga and Trager sessions for! In the beginning the thought of yoga at 7am in the morning without first having breakfast, was not a tempting thought. However as the week went by I grew to love it! This and my trager session helped me to discover a freedom in my voice that I have been working to achieve for such a long time. Now it is up to me to achieve this freedom and release on my own and to continue the work.
It was a week which gave me so much confidence, joy and even more love for music, if that is possible. I am so looking forward to all the challenges, projects, gigs and the unforeseeable future that lies ahead of me. I feel blessed and very lucky.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Exiting times ahead! On Friday 17th of August I am off to Summer Music School in Sussex for a week 18th – 27th of August. I can’t wait to start working on the scene from Verdi’s Falstaff, the Mozart recitative class and the song classes. It is so much fun to learn new material and get new impulses especially from such excellent staff. I was also very lucky to be one of the people who received a scholarship and it was because of that scholarship that I am able to take part in the course. I have been preparing for this summer course not just by practicing my singing voice, but also by splashing around on the lovely lake “Selbusjøen” in our family kayak. Peaceful for the body and mind, you should try it! Had some fantastic weeks working as a guide at Ringve music museum and taking part in cruise concerts. Got to broaden my skills within the music instrument world and play some beautiful instruments, but also got to use some of my language skills such as German. In other words I have had a fantastic summer where I have met a lot of interesting and lovely people!
Apart from this John Mills and I had the fantastic news! Our concert tour in Holland has been confirmed, April 2007. I will tell you more about these concerts nearer the time.