October 22, 2020

World Hospice day Concert

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Above, Lisa Carlisle and Isabella Rooney (photo by Melissa Wolfe)

Beautiful voices for hospices

A wave of simultaneous concerts around the globe which took place on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day last Saturday October 8th included a concert here, on Grand Cayman. And what a concert it was.

A packed, almost full house, at the 900 seat Arts and Recreation Centre at Camana Bay, were treated to an evening of entertainment that left everyone crying, gasping, laughing, applauding, cheering and wanting more. The full Cayman National Choir and Orchestra under the baton of the incredible Sue Horrocks, soloist Isabella Rooney who is only 13 and is the Butterfield Young Musician of the year 2011, the Cayman Prep School Choir, and International soprano from the UK Miss Lisa Carlisle, all for the price of $10! Yes, $10!! Children under 12 – $5! Can anyone name another event of this magnitude, with this talent, including an International Star who has toured the World, for such a miserly entrance fee in a modern air-conditioned building where everyone can sit down in comfort?

The event was advertised as “One voice … Many voices”. It certainly lived up to the advertising and more. The evening started with an introduction from the beautiful M.C. Cynthia Hue, who spoke about Hospice Care and how dear it was to her, almost breaking down as she told us of her own experience with a loved one who needed Hospice Care. Director of the Choir and Orchestra, Sue Horrocks was introduced to a standing ovation and we were treated to a rousing rendition of “Gloria”, “A Grand Night for Singing” and a James Bond medley.

By the buzz going through the audience when the guest soloist, Lisa Carlise was announced, and now no stranger to Cayman having performed three concerts in Cayman, we were expecting something special. Despite nursing a very bad cold and chest infection since she arrived and some doubt whether she would be able to perform, she did not disappoint. Soaring effortlessly to heights that left us incredulous she sang the operatic piece “Lo Son L’umile Ancella – Cilea”. Next came a duet with Lisa singing with Cayman’s young star Isabella Rooney, Mozart’s “Sull’Aria.”

“The Gift of Music” followed sung by a large group of youngsters from Cayman Prep with Lisa doing the solo work. What a thrill it must have been for these youngsters to sing alongside her. They followed with “Siya Hamba”. The first part of the concert was wrapped up with Lisa singing with the National Choir “What I Did For Love’ and then for me the best item “Music of the Night”. I have always loved Sarah Brightman’s solo on this piece from “Phantom of the Opera” (she was the first person ever to play Christine) but I have to revise my opinion. Lisa’s version was even more powerful and many in the audience were rubbing the tears from their eyes.

Space doesn’t allow me to say much more. The second half continued in similar fashion with Isabella Rooney doing most of the solo work to much admiration and applause. Lisa’s only solo contribution was a very funny rendering of Tesori’s “The Girl in 14g,” changing her voice well to sing and ‘act’ out all the many diverse characters in the song. Very funny and a very difficult piece to sing which she achieved to many cheers and claps. Sadly the evening had to come to an end with everyone on stage for “One Voice” and the whole audience rising to give a standing ovation. A vote of thanks was given by the Hospice Medical Director, Dr. Virginia Hobday. The sponsors were Camana Bay, Cayman National Choir & Orchestra, Dine by Design, iNews Cayman, Lions Productions, Radio Cayman, Walkers and Wigglypen Creative Services.

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