Barbara Kolator, member of the chorus, shares her highlights of Count Ory

Barbara Kolator and her husband John Baldwin have been singing in quite a few of our Blackheath Halls Operas and are pictured here with fellow chorus member Jay Hassan after Wednesday’s performance.

Highlights of this year’s opera

Well, as usual it is all fabulous and thrilling. Wonderful to be a part of something so dynamic and inclusive.

Everyone is performing at their best, soloists, orchestra, chorus, children and our special schools buddies.

It is great to have Harry back again (only some furniture moving involved). And what skill at handling so many disparate groups of people and making them all feel equally important and valued.

Nick makes music rehearsals such fun and entertaining that you don’t notice how much you are learning. The time just flies by.

I loved having the Trinity Laban students with us as chorus leaders, it helps to have someone next to you who knows exactly when to come in, before you know it you do too.

The principals are wonderful and great fun to have around, it is quite inspiring to be working with people of that quality and they are all so nice with it.

Let’s not forget all those people behind the scenes that make it all happen, from Jeremy playing the piano at all those rehearsals, the stage managers who get all those props into the right places for us and get us on stage at the right time too! Also the costume people and designers and the people who work at the halls, getting the rooms and hall ready, serving in the bar and cleaning up.

But I have to admit that this year’s particular highlight has been Jay’s lunches. What a pleasure when you have an all day rehearsal to be served up a fantastic quiche or moussaka with salad and then splendid cakes and desserts. What a great fundraiser and also a terrific way of getting everyone to socialise and mix. The highlight had to be the Sitzprobe lunch with the orchestra as well. There is nothing like good food to get everyone together. So well done Jay and Fiona for the cake refreshments at evening rehearsals.

Well I can’t believe it will soon be over but there is always next year!


And here is a picture of Jay, her daughter Bella and the team at the Sitzprobe – amazing food! Thank you to all who cooked and baked!

Jay and her team


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