South Africa (part 1)

I’m back from South Africa and it was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had. I’ll try to give you a day to day account of my time there so I’ll have to split this blog in to parts.

I arrived rather jet lagged at O R Tambo airport late on Tuesday night and met with Ms Shorna-Kay Richards, the Minister-Counsellor of the Jamaican High Commission in Pretoria, whom I stayed with during my visit. I also met Philip who was to be my driver for the week and who was to prove to be an absolute star during my stay!

On Wednesday we hit the ground running. I met with Unathi Mtirara the CEO of Opera South Africa (OSA) and Sipho Mlombile (baritone), to discuss running orders and rehearsals and to find out a little bit more about OSA which is a new opera company in South Africa. After our meeting, I even got a work out in with Shorna-Kay’s personal trainer Alan. I thought it would be a good idea to get right back into my fitness regime especially after my indulgent Jamaican holiday!

On Thursday I woke up in agony! I knew that my muscles had taken a beating with Alan but wow! And it didn’t help matters that I had to wake up at 4am in order to make my way to Johannesburg to appear on the Morning Live show. I arrived at 6am and after heading to hair and make-up, I managed to warm up enough to just about get through O mio babbino caro at minutes to 7 in the morning. When I had to perform it a second time half an hour later, I had warmed up (and woken up) enough for Puccini not to be rolling in his grave………..

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