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The Headlines Concert

An evening of beauty

With the opening bars of the Swan (Carnival of the Animals) by Saint Saens, from the cello of Louise McMonagle with Richard Keohane at the piano, we realized we were in for a musical treat.

In a programme masterminded by Marie Soulier (Opéra pour un Salonand Georgina Rosanna Murray, an enthusiastic Clapham audience with a good contingent from the local French community settled down on Friday 15th March to a succession of delectable pieces played and sung by musicians of rare talent.

Chloé de Bakker's rich mezzo-soprano voice opened the singing in the concert withUna voce poco fa from the Barber of Seville and Tu n'es pas beau from Offenbach's La Périchole.  This was followed by the thrilling Un bel di vedromo from Puccini's Madame Butterfly, sung with passion and sensitivity by the soprano Georgina Rosanna Murray, who'd only landed from India the day before, but whose voice was unaffected by the journey.

Chloé de Bakker also teaches, and it was two of her pupils who took to the stage next,  these young trebles wowing the audience, firstly with Alex Shinebourne performing - that's performing, not just singing - "Deh! Vieni alla Finestra"  from Mozart's Don Giovanni, followed by Oscar Powell delivering the beautiful Voi che sapete from Figaro.

They were followed by Georgina Rosanna Murray taking to the stage once again, firstly with an enchanting performance of Quel guardo il cavaliere from Donizetti's Don Pasquale, and then........well then came that masterpiece from Purcell's Dido & Aeneas When I am laid in earth, with Murray's masterful singing accompanied by the haunting cello of Louise McMonagle and Richard Keohane's sensitive piano playing.

Some balm was applied to our souls by the flute of Julie Murray, accompanied as always by Richard Keohane, in J.S. Bach's lyrical E major sonata for flute and continuo.

Light relief after the deeply emotional Purcell piece was given by Chloé de Bakker and Georgina Rosanna Murray performing an uproarious double act, firstly with Rossini's Cats' duet, followed by Mozart's Ah, guarda sorella from Così fan tutte.

The audience got its reward too, for its enthusiastic applause, by a performance of the beautiful Barcarolle from the Tales of Hoffmann.

All the musicians performed free of charge and so Headlines, the tiny charity providing support for those living with craniofacial conditions, for whose benefit this concert was arranged, benefitted by well over £2,000 from the evening.

Needless to say, we are delighted that the Church of the Holy Spirit provided the venue for a wonderful evening.