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June 2019
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2004-11-05 Munich, Soundcheck

reviewed by Gertraut who won the soundcheck as a quiz prize


A soundcheck, three tenors and....



Some years it seems you have all the luck that's possible. As such a year it seems to be for me. I managed to get to London for a fortnight, having waited 44 years to do so. I wrote a short story about Austria being free for 50 years now and much to my surprise it got into a book.


I did the quiz-picture in one of the newsletters and I was a winner! I won allowance to go to a soundcheck for one of the Celtic Tenors concerts. This afforded some thinking as I live in Vienna / Austria and the tenors have never been near my hometown yet. But as my luck would have it this year I was asked to go to Salzburg because of the book that was made and - lucky again - at about the same time the tenors made their German tour. So I decided to get in touch with Anja from the Fan Club and combine these two events, Munich being not far away from Salzburg anymore. Ant it worked!


First I went to Salzburg and took care of everything related to the book, then I hopped on the next train to Munich. A hotel room hI had secured before and as this town has about the same transport system as Vienna has I had no problems to find my way. I did even manage to find out the way to St. Lukas Church where the concert was the next day.

So on the fifth of November I managed to get there in time and ran into Anja right before the church. She had told me that she would wear the green tour pass but I recognized her instantly, having seen her on some photographs. IT is really nice to see someone in person whom you have been writing to for more than two years! So she took me in, whispering in a worried way that they all managed to catch some bug and that James and David were the worst off. Well  there was not much I could do about that, almost everybody knows how it is to work while you are ill but at least we do not have to sing with a sore throat. For this is a major difficulty. Quietly I settled myself in the front pew and after a few minutes they all came in, still wearing their Jeans and jackets. The first thing Niall did when he saw the covered piano was to take the cover away, settle himself on the bench and start playing somthing I instantly recognized. No nothing of their songs, it was from Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" the aria sung by Ferrando "Un aura amorosa" and eventually he started to sing it just for himself. IT was lovely and quite unusual, for itwas just Niall, the piano, this big church and me sitting there. Then he went into a rendition of Bach Gounods "Ave Maria" and I heard this for the first time sung so casually. It is a lovely gift if you can so so effortlessly. The next thing that happened almost made jump out of my skin - Matthew was standing on top of the stairs and obviously tried how loud he could sing in this place, and I can assure you it was a mighty sound! I am sure he does not need a microphone if he does not want to! As James was nowhere to be seen they both came over and said hello. Niall came down the stairs with a dancers grace already smiling at me when he still was on top of the stairs. He is a very charming guy with such a lot of natural friendlieness! We chatted for a few minutes and then Matthew took over, opening his backpack holding a disk up for us to see. He seemed very happy about it and suddenly I realised that it was a diamond saw blade for cutting tiles. Now this is not an item you usually think a tenor will carry around but he explained to me that he needed it for his house-bulding project and this led us to talk about his wife and his little son what date is it? If it's the fifth he will be two in four days and we agreed that this a lovely age, both for the child and the parents. In this church they had a very unusual carpet in the middle between the pews, literally thousands of pictures from the people belonging to this parish in all stages of life from babies to great-grandparents and he looked around for childrens pictures and he showed me one and meant that it looked nearly like his son, admitting a little shy that he thought that he would look like himself a bit. It was like talking to someone you have known for a long time and at the end I gave him a little wooden horse I had in my bag for the child and got a spontanous hug and a little kiss on my cheek before he left me, for they started the soundcheck in ernest now.


David was at the piano, the guitar player at his place, from a door to the side of the alar Deirdre (I did not know that she was on the tour, too) and James emerged and now they started to sing different songs they were going to sing during the concert. But never a whole song  just a few lines, listening how it sounded in these surroundings (the church had quite an echo!), then moving on t the next one. Deirdre started one song that I did not know and worked right through it (the titel was She moved through the fair). Then they discussed obviously a change in sogns, maybe because it caused them problems as they all had to fight an infection in different stages. Then James walked to the back of the church and listened how it sounded there and when they were all satisfied with what they had tried out they left to get dressed and ready for the concert.