Soprano reaches great heights

Lisa Carlisle, the Welsh soprano,
received three standing ovations following her performance at the St. George’s
Committee concert at the Wharf restaurant last Saturday.

Staged as a benefit for afterschool
children’s programmes run by St. George’s Anglican Church, the event attracted
200 attendees, according to organiser and committee member Colin Wilson.

Ms Carlisle from Pontarddulais,
South Wales, sang from a repertoire, which included the Cayman National Song,
the British national anthem, and You Raise Me Up, (sung as a Mother’s Day

to Mr. Wilson he booked the opera singer having listened to her work. “I heard
her on BBC radio and there was an article on her in a national daily newspaper
when I was in UK a year ago.

had the most amazing voice I had ever heard even better than Catherine Jenkins
and Sarah Brightman who are my favourite singers,” he added.

In helping select the concert’s
songs, the organiser said that he had a very specific sound in mind for the

“I wanted some English patriotic
songs like the Last Night of the Proms in England and the USA 4th July with the
Boston Pops, to go with the St George’s Day theme, so I suggested Jerusalem and
I Vow to Thee My Country.

“When [Lisa] suggested some show
numbers, I sent her a copy of I’ll Never Ever Love Again from Magna Carta
Musical Trial that Chuck and Barrie had written for me when I wrote the play
and asked if she would include it.

“Two people commented that it was
the best singing of our National Song they had ever heard. One person suggested
she record it and give it to the radio stations here! The rest of the songs she
chose,” he said.

Concert-goers enjoyed a
three-course dinner with wine pairings prepared by the Wharf. Following the
meal, the audience watched a dance of George and the Dragon, performed by
dancer/choreographer Linda Rayner (damsel), Sue Horrocks (St. George) and
Roberta Testori (dragon).

The opera singer was accompanied by
Fran McConvey (piano), Sue Horrocks (flute) and Kate Allenger (violin). Ms Carlisle
then sang a selection that included Summertime (Porgy and Bess), I’ll Never
Love Again (Magna Carta), O Mia Bambina Caro (Gianni Schicchi) and Viva Tonight
by Gary Barlow from Take That!

The event’s auction followed. Lots
included a Dali print. The auction raised nearly $10,000 and the Dali went for $5,000. In
all nearly 15,000 was raised, Mr. Wilson confirmed.

For the finale, Ms Carlisle sang
several songs, which the audience was invited to sing along to including Jerusalem,
I Vow to Thee My Country, We’ll meet Again, O Waly O Waly (a traditional
Scottish air), Calon Lan (a traditional Welsh hymn) and Oh Danny Boy (an Irish

The singer finishing with Moon
River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) left the audience clamouring for more and
returned on stage to sing Time to Say Goodbye for her encore.

“I really enjoyed the event,” Ms
Carlisle later said.

“My lasting impression of Grand
Cayman is of how friendly everybody I met was and the genuine sense of
community spirit and appreciation for music I found here.”

Local musicians Chuck and Barrie
Quappe were audience members. The concert was particularly memorable for them
as they were the first singers to have performed the Magna Carta song I’ll
Never Love Again, which Ms Carlisle included in her performance.

The St. George’s Committee is
hoping that Ms Carlisle will return to perform in Grand Cayman next year, either
for St George’s Day and/or a concert with the whole Cayman National Orchestra
& Choir.