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How I made my Cathedral debut

Last Sunday, I attended the first performance of the first of my literary works to be set to music.

I kept very quiet about it beforehand. No tweets, no blog posts, no critics invited. Not even my kids. Total radio silence.

It was not that I lacked faith in the work. On the contrary, I was full of admiration for the way Roxanna Panufnik had set to music a libretto made from my first novel, The Song of Names, and made it into a 25-minute concert oratorio for baritone, choirs and orchestra. I could hardly wait to hear the world premiere.

Until I set foot in the venue. A Cathedral. The house of a different, often hostile, faith.

Here’s where I describe what happened next.

photo: (c) Peter Langdown/Lebrecht Music&Arts, all rights reserved

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  1. Congrats, Norman. Hope we can get a US performance one of these days.

  2. Peter Klatzow says:

    Well done Norman. This could become addictive for you!

  3. Petros Linardos says:

    Congratulations, Norman. Your personal report in the Jewish Chronicle is moving.

    Is there is a way we can listen to the oratorio?

  4. Jonathan Kahn says:

    Looking forward to watch the live concert.

  5. Really pleased to read about this for several reasons – when I ran the LMP I set up their relationship with Portsmouth Grammar School and the then Headmaster Tim Hands, and it has been a great success for both sides, and I loved your book, so delighted to hear that it has been made into an oratorio with Roxanna as the composer. Are there plans for any further performances – what about one in a synagogue in London for balance?

  6. Stephen Carpenter says:

    How might one be able to hear this at the least? The depth of source and the care that went into the crafting has given me goosebumps, just about it. And thank you also for sharing your commentary.
    More and more, I am convinced that all the arts, but especially music has the power to enoble us all.

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