Thursday, 21 January 2010


I went to the Harrow School Singing Competition tonight, which was hotly contested by some truly talented people. It must be hard when your voice changes - and when you have sung in the choir, you must naturally feel a sense of loss when it moves from soprano to baritone; equally, when you have to cope with new ways of portraying very difficult pieces of Bach, Mozart and Handel. The Adjudicator tonight was Mark Wildman, the Head of Vocal Studies at The Royal Academy of Music. Accentuating the positive, he truly believed that all the boys tonight had talent and promise, and they did. Of course, I had my favourites too, including Charles Eliasch, a counter tenor who just happens to be my son. (This is a tricky voice because it can split between the low and high voice, but he is beginning to make the transition.) However, enough of him. There were others that caught my attention - in particular, Adam Urisevic - who, demonstrating that the Vienna Boy's Choir's loss is Harrow's gain - sang a piece from The Marriage of Figaro, and Simon Kim '(For Behold the People That Walked in Darkness' from the Messiah). I also loved watching my favourite boys: Ben Kinsella, who should be a comedian, and Ed Parson, last seen walking down Harrow High Street in top hat, tails and cane. But my sincerest congratulations go to Anton McCormick, who won the Oliver Sichel Prize.

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