For the fourth time in the past two years, Northiam Conservation Society organised a stunning evening of opera in the village. This was the third time that it was held in the beautiful music room of the Grade 1 listed Brickwall House – and this recital had a Christmas theme. The first time this event was held, it was in the newly restored great barn at Great Dixter.
The evening, organised by the society’s chairman, Mervyn Hayes, started with champagne and chocolates in Brickwall’s imposing main entrance hall. The lucky 60 Northiam residents who were able to get their hands on the strictly limited number of tickets, were then entertained with a selection of operatic music from a wide selection of composers, including Mozart and Verdi, sung by the Glyndebourne singers, Thomasin Trezise and Paul Hopwood. These were then followed by On the Street Where You Live and I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.
The evening ended with a tribute to the men from Northiam who were killed in World War One: “Northiam Remembers”. This opened with the haunting and moving unaccompanied singing of Silent Night in German by Hopwood, with Trezise then joining in, to sing it in English. First World War songs followed, accompanied on a violin played by Peter Fields, Northiam Chamber Orchestra’s conductor, and these included a moving Danny Boy and Keep the Home Fires Burning. Fields also played the heart-rending solo of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables, although not a WW1 song, so appropriate for the men who did not return to their homes. The greatly appreciative audience were then encouraged to end the evening happily with a hearty rendition of We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
Photo: Conrad Freezer
Image Credits: Northiam Opera .