GB2338: Friday 3 December: London Song Festival at Hinde Street Methodist Church


Message 2338:

FRIDAY 3 DECEMBER (evening): "AN OBSESSIVE RELATIONSHIP": THE LONDON SONG FESTIVAL at HINDE STREET METHODIST CHURCH (35 complimentary places for "Gordon's friends": booking with Nigel Foster required by 4pm on Tuesday 30 November)

Nigel Foster, Director of the London Song Festival (LSF - ), has very kindly offered my group of friends 35 complimentary seats for the LSF's concert on Friday 3 December, starting at 7pm.

The Programme:  This concert, entitled "An Obsessive Relationship", explores the 40-year long relationship between Pauline Viardot, French composer and celebrity opera singer whose bicentenary falls in 2021, and the Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, telling their story through her songs. The programme touches on Viardot’s friendships with Chopin and Gounod, and shines a light on her extraordinary life at the centre of the international musical world of the 19th century, moving from St Petersburg to Paris, their château at Courtavenel, Baden-Baden and back to France. Some of the songs will be in Russian and the others in French. You can see further details at (scroll down to the correct date).

The Performers:  The performers comprise Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean ( ); New Zealand-born baritone Kieran Rayner ( ); a speaker (TBC); and Nigel Foster, piano. You can read about Nigel on the home page of the LSF website, and you can read more details of the other performers at .

Interval Refreshments:  During the interval, tea, coffee and snacks will be available, for which donations will be warmly welcomed.

Venue and Transport Details:  The venue is Hinde Street Methodist Church, W1U 2QJ, and the entrance is in Hinde Street near the corner with Thayer Street. You can view a map by clicking on The nearest tube station is Bond Street (Jubilee and Central Lines, Zone 1).

Reserving Tickets:  Nigel is kindly dealing with booking requests. Please reserve your seat by e-mailing him at nigelfoster1@... by no later than 4pm on Tuesday 30 December, using the following subject heading: "Fri 3 Dec: LSF/GB/comps". In the text of your message, please state your full name, with your family name in UPPER CASE letters (so that the guest list can be arranged in alphabetical order by surname). PLEASE NOTE that you can only book for yourself (no "plus 1"s), and that if you wish to invite others, they will need to book individually in the same way. This is to avoid wastage of places, and to that ensure everyone's name and e-mail address is on the list. No paper tickets will be being issued, and the names of all guests will be listed individuallyYou should expect to receive a reply from Nigel within about 24 hours. Should you have any query regarding your booking request (for example, if you have not received a reply after a day or so, or if you wish to cancel), please contact Nigel and not myself.

Important Note regarding Ticket Wastage:  12 of you booked for the concert on 12th November, but failed to attend. This equates to more than a third of the 35 who registered! Another 7 of you booked for, but failed to attend, the concert on the 19th November. On 26th November, there was only one no-show, so please try to keep up this improvement. I have a list of the names of no-shows for this series of concerts, and I will ban anyone from my membership list who books and misses three concerts. Please do not book unless you are sure that you will be able to attend, and to arrive on time. However, if having booked, you later find that you cannot attend, please let Nigel know as soon as possible so that your seat may be offered to someone on the waiting list. To do this, use the same e-mail address, but include the word "cancellation" in the heading and your name in the text.

On Arrival:  Please note that there will be only one guest list, with no distinction between paid for and complimentary places, and we are asked to be discreet when at the ticket desk. If the paying public were to learn that some people have got in free, this could jeopardise future similar offers to our group, so just mention your name and nothing else. There is no need to print and bring your confirmation. I suggest you arrive in good time because the seats are unreserved and those arriving early will have a better choice, but please note that the doors will not open until 6.30pm. Please do not attend unless you have received confirmation from Nigel of your booking, as no additional free seats will be released on the night, so anyone turning up on spec will need to purchase a ticket. I will not be helping atng the ticket desk, but you will find me in the church from around 6.45pm.

Printed Programmes:  Since we are lucky enough to have been offered complimentary tickets, please consider supporting the LSF (a registered charity) by purchasing a programme (cost: £3). The programme is very comprehensive and includes historical and background information about the songs being performed, and English translations of all the songs in this Russian and French programme.

Summary of Timings:  6.30m - doors open; 7pm - concert starts; 7.50pm (approx.) - interval starts; 8.10pm (approx.) - second part of concert starts; 8.50pm (approx.) - concert ends.


Mon 29 Nov: concert at The Actors' Church, Covent Garden, starting at 7pm (complimentary tickets, but advance booking via Eventbrite was required and unfortunately this is now fully booked - see details at ).