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A few weeks ago we  took a vast (by OAE standards) orchestra  up to Edinburgh for a programme of Weber, Mendelssohn and Liszt with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and violinist Alina Ibragimova. We appeared as part of the International Festival and were in a city for a total of 19 hours, including sleeping time – very much a whistle-stop trip! However for our latest video we have condensed the trip a little for you – the whole tour, there and back, in just 60 seconds…

I’ve set a timer for 60 seconds to write down everything i can think of about the orchestra’s trip to Warsaw now that we are almost half way through (this may be a test of how fast I can type!). Ready, steady, go:

Nice to have some good weather – makes a bit of a change from Edinburgh
Hotel is AMAZING – 5 stars
Enjoyed my swim in the pool this morning (had it all to myself)
Don’t jay-wallk in Poland!
Polish people are so weloming
… but boy do they seem to like those little rat dogs.
Concert venue is amazing – audience and orchestra are all on stage in the Opera House.

Ok, so that was 1 minute 13 seconds and a whole load of typos that I had to go back and change (although not as many as I originally thought as the spell checker seems to be in Polish!).

More when we are back, first concert with Vladimir Jurowski is tomorrow night!

Photos are: of the venue – acutally on the stage of the Opera House, with the safety curtain down sectioning off the auditorium; The Old Town Square; some loos that said ‘Toi toi’ on them!!! (Ed – traditionally you say ‘toi toi’ to someone to wish them good luck as they go on stage) ; the front of Polish National Opera

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell is a keen photographer and took some great pictures from the Luxembourg and Paris legs of the tour – here are a selection:

Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results:

Viola player Annette Isserliss concludes her US tour diary:

Thurs 17th

Awoke wondering how on earth the OAE homeward travellers (the players who weren’t staying on for the Heiner Goebbel’s concert) had managed to rouse themselves to leave at 6.00 am! Took the subway (with viola in tow) to meet cousin Judy in Chelsea, and after a guided tour of some of the finer architectural sights, we climbed up onto the High Walk: converted from an old railway on an overpass to a garden walk with views of Chelsea Harbour with Hoboken,New Jersey beyond, on one side, and interesting city glimpses on the other. Although botanically at this time of year it was confined to almost-budding saplings and crocuses (crocii??) it was exceedingly pleasant in the mellow sunshine. As we approached a bench with a be-hatted native simultaneously basking and scribbling, it looked up, and turned out to be fello viola Nick Logie! He was staying in NY a bit longer, not only for the sponsors’ reception that evening, but because his eldest son Sascha is currently working in NY for the UN. Read the rest of this entry »

Viola player Annette (known to many in the OAE as ‘Netty’) Isserlis made a diary of our recent tour to the US. Here’s days 1-3 with the rest following tomrorow. We hope to post some pics up soon too… A few additions from the blog editor in the brackets!

Mon Mar 14

Scene: Carluccio’s, outside Terminal 5, LHR.

Breakfast with husband Ken between red-eye flight in from Schipol (following 2 OAE concerts in Groningen and Nijmingen with Rachel Podger), and impending flight to USA: Ken to LA for solo concerts and Me to Boston with OAE and Sir Roger (Norrington), continuing the CPE Bachfest.
Dreadful news continuing to come through about the Japanese Disaster(s). Ken’s family all ok.

Painless flight to Boston followed by similarly painless Immigration, amazingly! It transpired that he chatty officer knew Yo-yo Ma personally….

Convivial dinner and bed not too early: it’s the only way to sleep through the 1st night, in my experience.
Read the rest of this entry »

Projects Manager Megan Russell got snapping when we were in Paris with Vladimir Jurowski and our Symphonic Enlightenment programme a couple of weeks ago:

Projects Director Ceri Jones took a video camera with her on our most recent tour to France and Spain. Here’s the (condensed) video diary:

1 Conductor, Opera
2 Types of currency
3 Flights, Acts, narrators, countries, languages (4, if you include the Catalan translation in the Valencia programme)
4 Concert halls (5 if you include a rehearsal in the RFH), hotels
5 Singers, Cities visited
6 Pieces of outsized luggage
7 hours from Toulouse to Tarragona (including lunch and loo breaks!)
8 1st violins
9 Players getting up at an ungodly hour to get back to London for an Education session on the last day of tour.
10 Bottles of wine, consumed on the coach after the last concert…ahem

Ceri Jones, Projects Director

Yes, the words of a Girls Aloud song and also something I re-discovered on our trip to Poissy last week.  We were in Poissy for a concert performance of Cosi fan Tutte, under the baton of James Gaffigan.  I kind of knew already that my French wasn’t entirely up to scratch and had been palming off all my French e-mails and telephone conversations over the last few weeks leading up to the trip to Megan, (who is perfectly fluent), but like the go-getter I am I decided to give the French a go – and be prepared to face the very embarrassing consequences.  This did get me thinking though.  Perhaps someone should write an idiots Orchestra Tours Manager Guide in the most popular European languages? Perhaps the not-so helpful ‘Computer says no’ staff at the Holiday Inn Gare l’est would have been more helpful if I could have sweet talked them in the language of Lurve???

Here is a list of some phrases I made use of and also some that I could do with some help on… Read the rest of this entry »

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