An environment

dedicated to

making music of

all varieties at

a very high level

Nicholas Mulroy, tenor (1995-99)


Asia Tour Blog - Day 2

Date: Sunday 04 September 2016 5.45pm


Saturday the 3rd September saw the choir arise at an early hour to catch the morning ferry to Macau. Most of the choir departed at 7.30, albeit not in the best of shapes following the previous night’s partying chez Mao, but for one member of the choir, whose night had only recently ended, knowledge of the choir’s departure was as absent as the bass 2’s ability to sing sotto voce. ‘Illness’ seemed to be the only explanation for Greg Barber’s absence.

The boat journey to Macau had more of the choir feeling queasy, even those who had abstained from Ken Mao’s ample stocks of vodka. Despite our hotel’s name, The Mission to Seamen, being apt for our voyage, this mission proved too much for our Choir Administrator, Alice, who made Laurence Booth-Clibborn parade her sick bag up and down the boat for all to see.

Meanwhile, Greg was still asleep.

On arriving in Macau, the skyline of seemingly endless casinos astounded many, but to our great surprise, the tasteful aesthetics offended the sensibilities of our resident Art Historian, Laurence B-C. Our modest surroundings of Parisian and Venetian casinos confused Graham, who “never knew Paris was so close to Venice!” Fortunately, it turned out that we were after all heading in the right direction – the Eiffel Tower, canals and film studios were merely replicas, rather than the result of a late night flight whilst under the influence.

Meanwhile, Greg rolled over. He glimpsed something out of the corner of his eye – was that the sun, just about to rise, he thought? No matter, he knew there would be plenty of time yet before our journey. More sleep would still be possible; nay, even required.

Macau University’s welcoming hospitality included an incredible dim sum lunch, immersing us in the local dining customs including some not-so-successful attempts from the choir to eat with chopsticks. Our open rehearsal was met with rapturous applause, even after the choir’s appalling attempts to sing in Chinese, described as “before good” - more work was definitely needed. Our resident Casanova, Leopold Benedict, saw opportunity in the reception following our rehearsal to sound his usual mating call and turn on his irresistible charm, taking it upon himself to flirt with as many local females as possible. Unsurprisingly, success was had, the unsuspecting girl handed over her phone number, much to our sympathy.

Meanwhile, Greg was strolling downstairs. “How long do I have until we leave for the ferry?” he asked at reception. He swiftly learned that the more correct question to ask would be “How long is it until we leave for dinner at the Hong Kong Club?”

With a little luck, then, Greg arrived on time at the Hong Kong Club for his first engagement, and our second outstanding meal of the day, where we made our second attempt at singing in Chinese. Hopefully, enough time had passed for the evening’s performance to be “after good”. A cumulative fifty oysters down and a successful (if wine-infused) performance completed, it is safe to say, the choir enjoyed a fantastic night.