“I held my birthday party at Roberto’s Restaurant in Hitchin for 70 friends and family.  I knew I wanted an Italian theme with classical music as a background and with an opera singer to perform during various parts of the evening.

Unfortunately the performers I had organised could not appear leaving me somewhat in the lurch. Fortunately Roberto suggested Marco Marconi (piano) and Sally Ann Hayes (soprano) who stepped in, almost at the last moment.

Marco discussed the programme with me and made adjustments to suit the relatively confined, acoustically damped nature of the room.  He also arranged for the singing to be broadcast by loudspeaker to the ground floor.

Both Marco and Sally Ann appeared in evening dress and were very professional throughout the evening, adjusting the programme as the evening developed.

Marco was very proficient on the keyboard and Sally Ann has a beautiful, controlled voice.  I had guests from abroad who are regular opera goers who were very complimentary of their performance.  We had agreed a set list prior to the performance which included arias from my favourites of Carmen, Turandot, Tosca, Don Giovanni and others.

It was exactly as I had imagined it would be when I planned the event 3 months earlier.  Brilliant!”

Russell Walker, Hitchin