Recently, a good deal of time has been spent not on what is happening at the present but on the longer past. Having access to the local press of previous centuries because of its nature and coverage is as good, if not better than the archives of certain major dailies of the present.
So, one begins to look for this or that, finds something but then has a look at other columns and pages. All sorts of information is there and raises many interesting questions. One striking feature of the past is the scope and nature of the music that people engaged with which leads to who was doing what?
One item found was the picture above from the Manchester Evening News, the first performance of what became the Halle Orchestra. It gives the full programme and it is at the Free Trade Hall in January 1858. But I wonder, who was there?
In 1974 I was at the Free Trade Hall, but all I had to listen to was the Secretary of State for Education singing for her supper. As it was a Mrs. Margaret Thatcher I have wondered since that was it her trips to the Free Trade Hall that inspired her economic policies?
Perhaps This Chorus at three minutes long was all it would need and it would have been one of the selections of "Il Trovatore".
Because she did go banging on.