By Monique Brynnel and Jon Weaving with Gillian Nikakis.
Excerpt from the book, page 135
"Kiel, 1969: the man with the voice
The conductor of The Merry Widow, Karl Eckert, greeted me when I stepped off the ferry from Gothenburg. It was 9.00 am and we went straight to the Opera House situated on a beautiful lake in the middle of Kiel. The original building was destroyed during the war and was not rebuilt until fifteen years later.
After breakfast, we went to room 320 to run through the music. I was relieved that it was just me and Karl to begin with. The tenor was due to arrive an hour later.
One hour later, Jon Weaving, my husband to be, walked in. I have thought about this moment a lot, and I’m not sure if it was love at first sight. I think I was too nervous for my hormones to activate, even though there was a stunning man standing next to me singing his heart out. I listened to the voice and something stirred in my mind. I knew I had heard that voice before, but couldn’t recall exactly where and when. It all fell into place during the break a couple of hours later.
While enjoying a cup of coffee together, it was as though I was suddenly hit by lightning! Was it the coffee, the surroundings or the man himself? We both found it incredible that our voices had already met through the Wigmore Hall’s studio walls some seven years earlier. Somehow we felt we were not strangers but that we already, in a way impossible to describe, belonged together. The two people who went back to the rehearsal were not the same people who had left thirty minutes earlier. We were a pair!
And now I could simply write ‘and the next is history’. And it is! But it is so rich, that I want to share it with you."
Monique in Melbourne for launch of "Music and Love" in 2017