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Gentlemen of the ENO pay tribute to their late friend Jonathan Miller

By: stagedoorscribbler - July 27, 2020

Jonathan Miller. Photograph by Hattie Miles

So lovely to see the tribute paid to the late lamented Sir Jonathan Miller last week on what would have been his 86th birthday. Jonathan, who died last year, was a force of creative nature. A doctor, writer, actor and humourist , he was part of the generation of satirists who changed the history of comedy. Alongside Peter Cook , Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett he initially found fame in the early 1960s satirical revue Beyond the Fringe. For many years he was also a regular speaker with Clive Conway Productions. Prominent among his multiple talents were his revered skills as an Opera director.
So it was fitting that his posthumous birthday tribute took the form of a special lockdown rendition of one of his favourite songs, Wochenend und Sonnenschein, which was  sung in German and with much gusto by the ‘Gentleman of the ENO’.
The piece which, as you will have guessed, translates as Weekend & Sunshine but is probably better known as Happy Days Are Here Again, is now available for all to see on YouTube.
It was written and performed back in the 1930s and was a firm favourite of Jonathans. The Gentlemen of the ENO - a group of tenors and basses from the chorus of the English National Opera -  originally performed the piece at Jonathan's funeral in London last December and decided that it would also make a fitting birthday treat.
The lockdown format, with each singer appearing on a separate screen, also highlights the plight of thousands of talented musicians and performers who’s professional lives have been put on hold by the Covid19
You can find more information this fabulous performing group at  their Facebook page: The Gentlemen of ENO or pop over to YouTube to see them perform. Here's the link