Opera Recital for Charity Cyclists

Just as the 2010 Tour de France gets underway, Alice Woodbridge and Susanna Stranders, two self proclaimed ‘dotty divas’, will be taking on a cycling challenge of a different kind, attempting to raise £20,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society and Multiple Sclerosis Society by cycling 700 miles on an opera recital tour of the UK.

They launched their tour on Monday at Coutts’ head office on The Strand. Alice, an acclaimed young soprano was accompanied at the piano by Susanna and also sung a few pieces with Coutts CEO Michael Morley, an accomplished pianist.

Among other pieces, they performed Deh vieni non tardar (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro), O mio babbino caro (Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi) and Spring Awakening (Sibelius).

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Michael Morley commented: “I was delighted to be able to join these wonderful performers to entertain our clients and staff and help raise funds and awareness for such worthy causes. We wish Alice and Susanna much success in their exciting endeavour.”

The duo were presented with donations to each of the charities courtesy of The Coutts Charitable Trust and clients and staff dug deep to add to the collection.

Their tour starts in Wells from where they will cycle through some of the most beautiful areas of England before crossing the border to finish with recitals in Scotland including Edinburgh and Fort William. All venues and accommodation have been arranged with the help of music societies, festivals, friends and kind strangers who responded to pre-tour calls.

The concert programmes will be varied. Each is centred on a song cycle (a group of songs by a single composer connected by a theme or story) but they will also include favourite opera arias as well as light music.

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