Thursday, October 25, 2007

Soothing Tea

You might remember I talked with Karl Jenkins about the latest album on EMI, Kiri Sings Karl, found here.
But you may not have known this, from back in 1993, when I was stage manager of the Wichita Symphony:
The Wichita Eagle
by Jon Roe/The Wichita Eagle
Those were two great performances Sunday night in the Century II Concert Hall. Kiri Te Kanawa sang the classics in a smashing Wichita Symphony Celebrity Series recital, and John Clare brewed the chamomile in a demonstration of how versatile a good stage manager must be. Dame Kiri, the soprano from New Zealand, drinks chamomile tea backstage. And, since she generally has to grab quick sips between numbers, it has to be perfect . . . brewed in boiling water, but then mixed with tap water to ensure that it's hot, but not so hot that it burns her vocal cords when she comes off stage and takes a sip.
It was John who brewed the tea and stood in the wings with a cup for Dame Kiri. And she pronounced it done to perfection.
Century II's caterer, Volume Services, excelled as well, providing just about all the exotic fruit she requested for her dressing room apples, grapes, pomegranates, kiwi and star fruit. The only thing they couldn't find was mangoes, and she didn't complain.
Matter of fact, Dame Kiri was constantly warm and gracious, charming everyone who met her, signing autographs for about 50 people backstage and, when she received two dozen apricot roses from her management company, giving them to her driver to take home to his wife.

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