David Bates, music director of La Musica Nuova, and his players acknowledge applause after their accomplished performance of Handel’s oratorio, Israel in Egypt. In the foreground lies the effigy and tomb of William Longspee, half-brother of King John.
THE Happy Moonraker had a fabulous time in Salisbury Cathedral at the performance of Handel’s oratorio, Israel in Egypt. It was given by La Nuova Musica, the ensemble founded in 2007 by moonraker David Bates who went to school in Salisbury before studying at the Royal Academy of Music.
Staged as part of this year’s Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, the performance was recorded live by BBC Radio 3, and also attracted a large audience in the Cathedral itself.
The only downside for The Happy Moonraker was a bad case of Cathedral Foot, a condition brought about by prolonged contact with a cold stone floor, that affects both feet, no matter how careful the choice of footwear.
A couple of days earlier The Happy Moonraker went to listen to Anne Shooter, the Jewish cook, who was promoting her latest cookbook, Sesame & Spice, in an interview held in the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse.
Her interviewer was Matthew Stadlen who is always so admirable at his job: well-prepared, confident and friendly without being over-familiar.
Among Anne’s audience was Festival director Toby Smith, who said he’d been using the book regularly and bringing to the office examples of his baking from her recipes for colleagues to try. Everything had met with approval.
Unusually, the audience was invited to try samples of two of Anne’s cakes that she had brought: honey cake using a family recipe which was actually baked with golden syrup rather than honey, and her chocolate fridge cake.
Anne Shooter, journalist and food writer with the Daily Mail, prepares to sign copies of her latest book, Sesame & Spice, pictured with her Salisbury Festival interviewer, Matthew Stadlen.