Händel and Humanity

In Grieghallen´s basement rehearsal room, figures in tattered grey sing Händel as they shuffle towards a table where soup is ladled from a vast battered pot. The scene is bleak. We are in Ireland – or it could be Norway – in some kind of timeless misery with freezing weather and famine, where the country´s distant officials have long ceased to care, and where the church is struggling between old-school hell-fire authority and its need to offer succour.

A dog’s life in Larvik

“You´ll have time to have coffee at the station” someone said. I´d just come off an early flight from Bergen. Torp station, bathed in sunlight, boasts three teenage girls sniggering into i-phones, a bench and two rusting bicycles. Ripening crops glow in surrounding fields, and a cat is washing in a leisurely way, draped across […]

Rock’n roll approach to Purcell headed for Bergen

En route to Washington I´d forgotten about US Immigration, the queues of exhausted parents and bewildered children, hopeful students, excited tourists all waiting to get into God´s own country via New York´s Kennedy airport. An hour and a half in a queue – it´s now 00.45 and I´m led into a side office where around […]