It was really disappointing last night listening to the Lexus Song Quest to hear the results and find that my friend Claire Barton had missed out on a placing. The other Dunedinite, Emma Fraser, came third, which was good, but Claire was with the three unplaced finalists. I hope Claire gives it another go. I thought she sang superbly (although because I forgot about the broadcast until half-way through, I didn’t hear her doing her lieder), and her voice is in great shape, with a soaring mezzo at the top of the range, and a wonderful strength to the lower voice.
After the singers had done all their work, we had to have several long speeches. This isn’t the time of the evening to do this, I think. Get them out of the way at the beginning, or in the middle. Don’t keep the audience and the contestants in suspense. It’s fine that the judge should speak at that point, but not the Fran Wilde, and the Prime Minister and the representative of Lexus. People just don’t want to hear them at that point.
Elizabeth Connell – her surname now pronounced Connell with the emphasis on the second syllable, something I don’t recall from the days when I knew her – gave her comments in a humorous and warm style, and came across as someone who would have been good for the six singers to have spent a week with. She and the three prize-winning singers are going on a brief tour of the country next week, coming to Dunedin on Wednesday.
As I’ve mentioned before, Elizabeth and I were engaged for a brief time back in the late sixties. My wife is keen to go and meet her. I suggested we should take all the kids and the grandchildren too…