Woodland Grange Hotel, Leamington Spa

19/20/21 OCTOBER 2018

The hotel was a little way out of the town, but set in lovely grounds.  Our Friday evening followed the usual pattern, with  pre-dinner drinks followed by a very good buffet.  New members were welcomed, including Valeria Pugliotto from Rome, who has promised to return next year with her sixteen year old son.  

Following the meal, George Thomson played a selection of his music while everyone renewed acquaintences and chatted.

Saturday morning was taken up with both the AGM's, the Educational Foundation and the BMLS.  In between we had coffee breaks, all free  I might add.  Following a stupendous buffet lunch (with many returning for second helpings!)   We were treated to  many  Gianluca  Terranova recordings via Youtube, with many members amazed at his rendition of Mes Amis (the 9 high C's).    Long service awards were handed out to those present.  Volunteers then offered to tell of their memories relating to the BMLS and Mario.  Following a coffee break the film 'For the First Time' was shown, taking us up to break time to prepare for the evening dinner.

We returned to our private room to a sparking wine reception and a lovely three course dinner which included wine for each person if they wanted it.  During dinner George played his lovely selection of orchestral arias etc, which really sets the mood!  Following dinner the raffles were drawn.  Three beautiful  hand painted portraits of Mario and also the general raffle  Also, Derek Mannering's 'Life in Pictures' .

Following the raffles George showed us his film clips from old movies etc, which was enjoyed very much indeed.  Folllowing more chat members gradually retired to bed.

Sunday morning is given over to George and his 'Member's Choice' of music which he transfers to CD and after playing, is presented to the winning member.  A draw takes place for next year, which was won by our Rome member, Valeria.  We then had a coffee break folllowing which George presented film clip selections all about Mario, ending in comments by Domingo, Carreras and Pavarottie from the Sky Arts  series 'Legends of Opera'.  A very enjoyable selection.

We then, via Youtube, showed one member's interview regarding her visit with three other members, to visit Mario in Rome and how they also met him at Victoria Station in London.  This was followed by Ellisa's interview  in Dublin.  We were then treated once again, to a fantastic buffet lunch, before members said their goodbyes and set out for their various destinations.

Next year will see the sixtieth anniversary of Mario's passing and we will return to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Reading.  


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