Saturday, February 17, 2007

Drama in Wales

After a 10 hour journey I finally arrived in Cardiff at 11o’clock Tuesday night. I had a warm welcome from some dear friends of mine from the Norwegian Welsh society and after a bowl of hot soup I curled up in a nice warm bed. Heaven! Wednesday, the people at Llandaff Cathedral allowed me to use their music room to do some practice both that day plus Thursday and Friday! Wednesday and Thursday evenings John and I rehearsed. It was a great joy to play through his arrangements of the Grieg songs. The Swan, The water Lilly, and I love you. The songs worked really well for voice and guitar and it was so good to see my dear friend again! Friday morning the drama began in Wales! Snow has invaded Wales! The whole society stopped up. Schools and shops closed, people were advised to stay at home and grownups and children made snowmen and played in the snow with their kids! I am stunned! I couldn’t believe it! At 1 o’clock I got a phone call from John, ”The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have evacuated all their staff and students because of fire alarms and bad weather. I’m sitting in my car, could we rehearse at your friends house?” I couldn’t believe it! We were supposed to record a demo that day too! What was the fuss all about? I was now starting to fear the worst. Would our concert in Ystrad Mynach be canceled? I made a phone call to the Rhymney Society who had invited us and they said they hoped that the concert it would go ahead as planned, but would let us know in the morning. “It must be 40 years since we had so much snow here in Wales!”
The day of the concert I got up and prepare to go, the trains were running and all the main roads in Cardiff were almost bare.
My phone rang: “Hello its John here. I am so sorry Mai but they’ve canceled the concert because people can’t get out of their houses. Since Ystrad Mynach lies higher than Cardiff there is far much more snow here and all the side roads are very slippery. You could catch the train though and we can rehearse where I am staying in Ystraad Mynach.” I couldn’t believe it we were both in the area, but there was not going to be a concert! Should I laugh or cry? That evening I wanted to be anything but a singer, I was very disappointed. However, there came some good out of this. Rhumney Music Society really wanted us to come back in June to have a concert there and they were willing to arrange two or three concerts in other places in Wales. Alls well that ends well.
The Concert in Christ Church Bristol on the Sunday was a success. We had a really good audience and what a tremendous acoustic! The feedback was very positive too and I left the UK on a buzzing high. What did I learn? Never have a concert in Wales in February! Ha ha. A Drama is never too big to handle especially in the company of true friends. I feel blessed and so lucky to have so many good friends and contacts in different parts of the world and hope that throughout my life I can continue to build these bridges.