I have no idea what the typical congregation turnout for a Sunday at the beautiful St Cuthbert’s Church is but what I do know is word of Ciara Harvie has got out.
The number of attendees would be the envy of any clergyman.
Ciara chose the theme of cinema songs set to her unique operatic rendition. She introduced each song with a small introduction to its Genesis in a timid, quiet and unassuming voice, the music started and so did she. She was magnificent! In contrast to her speaking voice her singing voice is incredibly powerful filling every nook and cranny of the church. She could have easily out sung a full choir. Her Mezzo Soprano voice is silky, mellifluous and varies between filling the whole church to seemingly reach just you, the individual listener.
The songs she chose were in contrast to the past miserable 18 months we have been through and everyone left with the broadest of smiles, exchanging nods of approval to strangers, some even in tears of pleasure. It was an uplifting and thrilling performance.
The mark of how professionally talented this artist is is that as a technician fiddled with her microphone after suffering a minor technical hitch her beautiful voice remained just that without missing a note and to top it all she hit the highest note of Moon River perfectly as the technician fiddled away. That right there adds to the star quality of this artist.
For those of us in the know, lucky or last minute bookers to this performance we can feel very privileged to have been there and a little bit smug. For those of you who missed it? That’s one you’ll regret as she only has one performance scheduled for this festival. So my advice? Seek her out, find out where she is performing and go see her. She has her own music channel, search that out too.
Ciara Harvie, Cinema Paradiso, St Cuthbert’s Church , 7 August