Emma will be singing at the 3rd October Festival in the Dutch city of Leiden. She will perform Gounod’s Sanctus from the Messe Solennelle de Sainte-Cécile, together with the Marine Band of the Dutch Royal Navy and the Leidse Cantorij, at the formal memorial service.


On 3rd October each year, the Dutch city of Leiden celebrates its liberation from the Spanish in 1574. Legend has it that, after the Spanish had left, an orphan boy called Cornelis Joppenszoon found a pot of stew (‘hutspot’) in their camp, which he took back to the city and shared. To mark this, the city council gives out hutspot to Leiden residents, as well as herring sandwiches.


The city is closed to traffic, fairground rides and market stalls spring up, and there is a carnival-like atmosphere. Several formal parades take place, as well as community singing of traditional Leiden songs in one of the city’s parks. The memorial service at which Emma will sing is the most formal event, with the local dignitaries present. It is held in St. Peter’s church, at 10:00 on 3rd October. Emma is delighted to be taking part.