Christmas came early for many at St. Paul’s Cathedral presents A Classical Yuletide, partnered by t2. Soprano Susan Williams (right), with Jennifer Heemstra on the piano, performed Christmas classics such as Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Jesu, Thou Art Watching Ever and many more at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the evening of December 17. Before the programme began, a moment’s silence was observed in memory of the schoolchildren who lost their lives in Peshawar. “Around this time of the year, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the child. He brings us hope and that’s exactly what we need now because of what happened in Pakistan,” said Father James, assistant presbyter of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Golfer Rukmini Mehta dropped by with mother Rashmi to “soak in” the atmosphere. “It gets too crowded right before Christmas and so when we read in The Telegraph about this programme, we stopped by. It’s so peaceful... more people should have come,” said Rukmini.
This is a new thing for us Calcuttans and I enjoyed listening to these classics. The best part was that no microphones were used. The singer was singing in her natural voice which is what made this evening even more special — V. Parmar, who had brought his grandson Prathum to experience the evening.
I used to study in La Martiniere for Girls and I used to sing in the school choir. I came here this evening mostly for nostalgia, but apart from that, I’ve always enjoyed choral music and it’s nice to hum along with these familiar tunes. The acoustics of the church and the ambience is great — Vidya Kaul, homemaker
The main reason why I came today was the venue. It is something different and I liked the performances by Susan and Jennifer a lot. If I had to pick a favourite Christmas carol, I would say Silent Night — Suchandra Bhutoria, singer
I loved the concert. The performance was beautiful and I admire St. Paul’s Cathedral too, since it has so much of history which reflects vividly. Jennifer and Susan were both excellent. It seems that I’d be attending more concerts around the city, since I’ve already dropped into two and this was the third —
Marco Saxer, Swissotel GM
Text: Deborima Ganguly
Pictures: B. Halder