Today was long-time friend Arnold Bachop’s 70th birthday. Arnold, a lyric tenor, has been singing for as long as I can remember; in fact, I did my first and only radio broadcast accompanying him back in the early sixties, and by that stage he’d already performed on the radio a number of times.
In the last two decades he and I have been involved firstly with Opera Alive, a group of twenty to twenty-five young people who would put on a musical variety show (often with a them, which wasn’t always strongly adhered to), and then when Opera Alive disbanded, we began putting on shows featuring the music of particular composers, such as Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and so on.
It was good to be included in the his ‘nearest and dearest’ group today – the group included lots of relations, of course, as well as pupils and other singers, and accompanists like me, people who’ve worked with Arnold over the years.
There were a number of grandchildren there, including one little boy who, during one of the songs that were presented, walked up behind the lady accompanist and lifted up the back of her jacket and tried to put his head under! Very disconcerting for the accompanist, but she coped admirably.