Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Epic Story...

I know, I know…time for an update! You guys have been seeing pictures on facebook and not getting any information! That must be torturous. Ok, well here’s the grand tale of how I met Imogen Heap.

First, I have to give credit to Cameron, who encouraged me to keep up with the goings on of Royal Albert Hall, though I thought all of the events would be too expensive. So, this story starts with me milling around on the Royal Albert Hall website, looking for random good concerts. The special this past week was the Concert for CARE, a UK-based charity organization that works to establish strong economies in small villages of third-world countries. The conductors that performed during the concert were truly amazing: Patrick Doyle (Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing), Harry Gregson-Williams (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Craig Armstrong (Love Actually), Christopher Gunning (La Vie en Rose), Rachel Portman (Chocolat), Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood, better known as the lead guitarist for Radiohead), John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon), John Ottoman (Valkyrie), Anne Dudley (American History X), George Fenton (Ghandi, Memphis Belle), Michael Nyman (The Piano), Dario Marianelli (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), and David Arnold (Casino Royale, Independence Day). So, even without Imogen’s performance of “Can’t Take It In” with Gregson-Williams, this concert was already a dead-ringer. On top of this, Jil Aigrot, the voice behind the voice of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, performed “Non, Je ne regrette rien” with Gunning conducting the orchestra in the background. Talk about the best £10 I’ve ever spent.

So, after discovering this goldmine, I called one of my other theatre/concert-obsessed flatmates, we bought tickets, waited a day, and took off on the tube Monday night toward South Kensington. After we arrived at RAH and walked up four flights of stairs, we headed to our seats in the Upper Circle (aka. Nosebleed Section) where we were stopped by one of the seat attendants. She told us that not enough seats had been sold in our section and that they were moving people into the Stalls section (aka. The front-row section) below. So basically, we sat about 8 rows away from the stage for £10…can you say, “EPIC WIN”?

Since I’ve already told you about the conductors, I’ll skip going through each one and just say that they were all incredible, especially since most of these pieces I knew well from watching the films.  After Imogen performed with Gregson-Williams, she walked off of the stage right past where Elliott and I were sitting, but best of all, she turned around, came back, and sat in our section! A little bit later into the concert, we noticed that all of the performers/conductors were doing this and that they had family in friends sitting in our section. It was at this point that we realized, not only had we been upgraded to a better seat, but we had been placed in the Family and Friends Guest List section. So, we were sitting quite near Imogen Heap, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rachel Portman, and Jonny Greenwood (who was sitting exactly one row in front of us). Needless to say, we had a major freak out moment that I’m sure the people sitting around us noticed. Anyways, after the concert ended we stuck around to try and meet Imogen Heap. I was terrified to go up and say anything, especially after having lived in Nashville and knowing that famous/semi-famous people kind of aren’t fans of being attacked by their fans. But, Elliott pointed out that this wasn’t just some meeting on the street; it was an organized event and she was standing in the middle of the auditorium/hallway, completely open to all of the people attending the concert. So, after watching a few other people go talk to her and realizing that she was quite happy to meet them, I finally got up the nerve to say hello and shake her hand. Elliott got up the nerve to ask her for a picture, and well, that’s history.

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