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International Opera star’s Frome performance to support Festival

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Most likely to be seen gracing stages the of major opera house around the world, Sir Willard White performed at Cooper Hall in Frome on Sunday 27th October to a packed audience. 

As patron of the Frome Festival, Morag McLaren was keen to bring singing of the highest calibre to her venue which is also part of her home and help raise much-needed funds to support the work of the Frome Festival. The Cooper Hall Foundation covered the artist’s fee, enabling a donation of £2,000 profit to be raised from ticket sales. 

From singing songs by Schubert to Vaughan Williams, Copland to Gershwin, the audience was captivated.  

Morag said,”Having Sir Willard White perform for us as a Frome Festival fundraiser at Cooper Hall has felt like the pinnacle of our events to date.  His performance was mesmerising from beginning to end.  The range and choice of repertoire interspersed with his easy chat and interjections made for a perfectly balanced programme.  What’s more, he tempered his magnificent voice, presence and storytelling ability to the intimacy of our space, and held us rapt.  

“Eugene Asti not only accompanied at the piano sensitively throughout, but treated us to two solo piano pieces, played with lyricism and poignancy.  The audience’s standing ovation at the end said it all.  As one member said, we could have listened to them perform all night!”

After introducing the performers and enjoying the show, Festival director Martin Dimery said, “Morag McLaren has once again proved a wonderful patron to the Frome Festival in dedicating another great concert at Cooper Hall as a fund raiser. It is an indication of the respect in which she is held by her fellow performers, that Sir Willard White was persuaded to devote his day off from appearing in “Orpheus in the Underworld” at the Colosseum in London, to give a mesmerising and entertaining performance, accompanied by the superb Eugene Asti, in the intimate surroundings of Cooper Hall. 

“His finale included two songs from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” which brought audience members ecstatically to their feet. It was a privilege to be there.”

Cooper Hall continues to promote professional performance of the highest calibre and will be hosting a festive jazz gig with Iain Ballamy and Jason Rebello on  Tuesday 10th December at 8.00pm.

For more information about Cooper Hall and to sign up to their newsletter to receive priority booking for events: www.cooperhall.org

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