Cardiff Without Ruth! - May 2016
Date: 13th June
CARDIFF WITHOUT RUTH
SATURDAY 21ST MAY 2016
By Richard Martindale
The signs weren’t good: to sing in the Millennium Stadium was the original idea but that was cancelled – just as well as it turned out. That would have been a washout what with the weather we had on the Saturday!
Then Ruth’s operation got scheduled for two days before we were due to go. So that put Plan B at risk. Ruth was not going to be able to conduct the choir on the Glanfa stage at the Wales Millennium Centre. To cap it all it transpired that a Velothon was to take place on the Sunday meaning all roads in Cardiff City Centre would be closed to traffic so even if we got in we might not get out!
Was Cardiff trying to tell us something, we asked ourselves? Were we those “unused to City noise, especially at night” for whom the Angel hotel provided complimentary earplugs? Country bumpkins? They should have known better. The men and women of Côr Dewi Sant are made of sterner stuff than that, especially the women. Up to the rostrum in turn stepped Heather, Glenys, Maria, Laura and Suzanne conducting with aplomb and a smile, ably accompanied by Heather and our soloists Ali, Laura and Carolynn. And the choir responded to them as a man with enthusiasm, good tone and good balance.
We were privileged to share the stage with a choir comprising Younger people with dementia/Alzheimers and with members of the John Lewis/Waitrose staff choir. The former were responsible for many a moist hankie and we hope the latter enjoyed singing with us as much as we did with them.
Our joint pieces (Calon Lân, Rule the World and Sosban Fach) were conducted by a bundle of energy called Helen Woods (one of Ruth's friends and Welsh National Opera colleagues). She was fab but it really isn’t fair: only champagne should have so much fizz! Afterwards we had a tour of the Millennium Centre and later some went to the Opera which they found “challenging”. Others went to see a Queen tribute band which was “loud” and some just did their own thing whatever that may have been.
And Ruth? She wasn’t there but she saw it all on the live feed and it brought tears to her eyes: she realised she was missing out on a party! Choir resumes on Monday 6th June - usual time and place.
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