In September 2017 I made my debut at the Rheingau Music Festival performing in the role of the Angel in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius.
We started rehearsals with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Paul McCreesh, Brenden Gunnell tenor, Marcus Eiche bass at the beautiful neo baroque Laeiszhalle (formerly Musikhalle Hamburg) which is the home of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra. Composers such as Richard Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky played and conducted their works there. It survived World War II intact and Maria Callas gave several concerts there in the 60’s.
It was also great to have the opportunity to see a little of the centre of Hamburg the following day before we travelled on to Frankfurt for a further rehearsal where the Philharmonia Chorus joined us in the Sendesaal concert hall in Frankfurt.
Our performance of the Dream of Gerontius took place at the beautiful 12th century Eberbach Abbey, a former cistercian monastery located in the Rheingau Valley of Hesse area near the town of Eltville am Rhein. The Abbey was actually used in 1985/86 to film scenes for the movie “The Name of the Rose” starring Sean Connery!
It was the most magical setting for the performance which was given to a capacity audience in the Abbey. I was so lucky to have family and friends travel over for the performance which made the whole experience very special.
There was a little time to explore the Altstadt (old town) in Frankfurt on our final day which contains many of Frankfurt’s most important sights, including the Romerberg plaza with the famed Romer City Hall.