The Hatstand Opera outdoor fundraising performance season started in earnest last Saturday with a wonderful performance in aid of Cherry Trees respite care. One of their supporters has opened their home as a venue, and after some considerable advance planning, all was set for a great evening in the garden, with us performing on the raised terrace. The whole set-up looked lovely.
Not that the weather looked lovely, with scudding grey rain clouds, but thanks to a carefully places mini marquee, we stayed warm and dry through a very wet afternoon’s rehearsal.
By the time the gates opened at 5.30pm, the rain has stopped, the grass was actually drying, and everyone set up their picnic tables in sunshine that grew stronger by the minute.
Indeed, by the time we started Act 1 at 7pm, the sun was shining brightly, a sure sign that our sungoddess soprano Toni was working her magic.
Back in the days when Toni toured with a variety of UK companies, she was often double-cast in major roles such as Violetta in la Traviata. Whenever she sang outside, the sun would shine and the weather would be fine. On one memorable occasion, a major thunderstorm literally held off until her Violetta gasped her last, ending the opera with a spectacular lightning display. The other Violetta fared less well on her nights, often getting very wet!
After our show for Cherry Trees, we drove home in fine weather to discover that almost everywhere else we passed through had experienced heavy rain all night. We were truly blessed, and to top it all, the charity raised almost £6000 from the evening, an amazing sum.
So, if you’re planning an outdoor opera fundraising performance and you want good weather, you know who needs to be there…!
photo courtesy of Jon from Cherry Trees www.cherry-trees.co.uk