In harmony

18:26, Jan 27 2013
Marsha Stringer
Marsha Stringer

Good friends and talented musicians, who met through music in Blenheim four years ago, reunited in concert yesterday.

Elinor Chapman, a professional singer from Cornwall in England, met Blenheim couple Marsha and Barry Stringer when she was on an official tour in the top of the south in 2008.

When the concert soloist booked a four-week holiday to New Zealand, she wrote to Mrs Stringer asking about the possibility of organising a concert.

"New Zealand audiences are fantastic and it's just lovely to have the chance to perform with friends again," she said.

Blenheim music teacher Mrs Stringer is a well-known pianist and played for Chapman on her Diva-Divo tour four years ago.

The two women instantly "hit it off" when they met, and she was delighted to perform with her friend again, Chapman said.


"It's wonderful that we met through music and singing and it's nice to catch up to do what we love."

About 120 people attended the concert at St Andrews Church yesterday.

Chapman (soprano) and Mrs Stringer (piano) were joined by Marlborough musicians Steve Austin (bass vocals), Elin Tomos (mezzo-soprano) and Caitlin Morris (cello).

Chapman, who studied music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, gave a powerful performance despite battling a cold and a sore throat.

She said her goal is to make classical music and opera more fun and accessible for people.

"A lot of people view it as being quite elitist, so I try to put the performances into context by introducing the pieces and staging our act."

Chapman, who is travelling around New Zealand with her 2-year-old daughter Camilla Rose, is also visiting Taranaki and Whanganui on her month-long holiday.

The Marlborough Express