Well.....what an EXTRAORDINARY week! Natasja (my PA) and I are sitting in the departure lounge at Zurich Airport, waiting for return flights, guarding, very carefully, the biggest bar of Toblerone known to mankind!! This was presented to me as a gift just before last nights concert, mainly out of love and generosity(!), but also possibly in response to my expression of outrage, on behalf of the people of the United Kingdom, at the changes the makers of Toblerone have made to 2 of their bars. Namely, the removal of at least one triangle, in order to save costs....(how dare they?!)
I think what really helped was my warning that, as far as I was aware, an elite Force from the British Army was already close to the border between France and Switzerland ready to take some, as yet undefined, action against Switzerland unless they put the chocolate back where it should be...!
But...how to express in words just how much I have felt carried and supported this week, when I most needed it?
I fell ill on my first day here. I managed to get through the two rehearsals, and fully expected that I would have at least a reasonable singing voice in time for the first concert. But I didnt....and I left the stage that night so disappointed, emotionally and professionally that after a full 18 months of preparation in St Gallen, when the moment came, I couldnt give what I so wanted to give....
But....within minutes of the end of the concert, as I sat alone in my dressing room, sinking lower by the minute, first dear Natasja, then, one by one, Andreas and Natasja Hausammann, the concert organisers, members of the band and 200 piece choir, just enveloped me in their love and care, and offered me the absolute assurance that (as I so often need to be reminded) its when we are at our most vulnerable that in a strange sense, the audience comes even closer, listens even more intently as they witness that additional struggle from the stage....
And indeed, that is what took place that night. And last night, although I was far from completely well, the whole evening became an extraordinary expression of Gods Compassion, Mercy and Love, and a joyful, beautiful celebration of Human Dignity, the theme behind the concerts which were entitled "Fierce Love".
Almost exactly a week ago, as I boarded the flight to Zurich, I really hadnt expected to spend most of my time in bed, or doing pretty well every kind of vocal exercise imaginable in an attempt to regain something at least recognisable as Adrians singing voice!
But, Im returning to the UK joyful, deeply grateful, and with the knowledge that I have at least 200 WONDERFUL friends in St Gallen! (Oh....and with four and a half Kilos of Swiss Chocolate!!)
About Adrian Snell