Paul Grist [Company Manager] sent this back today:

‘Hello from Guangzhou! Well, nearly all of those involved in the first week of the tour have now arrived in China; the Technical staff arrived on Saturday and have had a couple of days to settle into the city before starting work at the theatre this morning. The main Company group arrived late last night (Sunday) and most people have spent the day either exploring the city or sleeping, depending on their jet-lag!

All the flight and connections were very smooth and the journey of the Company group by coach from Hong Kong was more swift than expected – including an interesting few minutes when we were quite literally driving through ‘nowhere’ having officially left Hong Kong but not yet entered China!

Guangzhou is quite an ‘ordinary’ city but I for one am overwhelmed by the scale – although it’s the smallest of the three cities we are visiting, it seems vast by comparison with London and much more densely populated.

The weather is great – very mild during the day (quite warm in the sun) with a slight chill in the evening. I’ve heard that you’ve got snow in Birmingham – if it’s any consolation, things are set to get colder for us too with Beijing currently averaging -5 and Shanghai only a couple of degrees warmer! The hotel is great and very comfortable (perfect for getting over the jet-lag).

Technical work is cracking on at the theatre and the first orchestra rehearsal took place this afternoon. We have our first piano rehearsal on stage tomorrow evening. Anyway, I think that’s just about all to report for now – more news soon!

Paul’

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