Lizzo thanks 'King of Flutes' for Met Gala duet

time:2023-06-04 11:59:58source:NBC News author:Press center4

US singer Lizzo has written a gushing tribute to her musical idol - and fellow flautist - Sir James Galway after they duetted at the Met Gala.

The pair performed for sharply-dressed guests at the prestigious fashion event in New York on Monday night.

For Lizzo it was an opportunity to play with her hero; for Sir James it was late-night rehearsals, trips to the Vogue offices and keeping big secrets.

"It was amazing - she is a very good player," said Belfast-born Sir James.

He told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme that he "really enjoyed" the gig and he praised Lizzo's performance.

Nicknamed "the man with the golden flute", 83-year-old Sir James is a world-renowned classical musician and has previously claimed to be Lizzo's number-one fan.

The adoration is clearly mutual.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday night Lizzo shared a video of her playing with Sir James and said he had "changed the trajectory" of her life.

She wrote that when she was 11 years old and learning the flute she needed a challenge and found Sir James's 1976 album The Man With The Golden Flute.

She added: "Now, years later I had the honour to play beside Sir James Galway, and receive lessons from him and even play his alto flute.

"I can confidently say I wouldn't be the musician I am today without his influence.

"Thank you for everything this week. You are truly the King of Flutes and I can't wait to play with you again."

The annual Met Gala is one of the biggest events in the New York celebrity calendar, raising money for the city's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tickets are rumoured to cost upwards of $50,000 (£40,000) and the 400 or so guests are handpicked by organiser Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor-in-chief.

Big, bold fashion statements are the order of the night and this year the guests were asked to wear outfits in honour of German designer Karl delayerfeld, who died in 2019.

Lizzo dazzled in a long, black gown donned with strings of pearls and wore matching black leather gloves and Chanel earrings.

The Grammy-winning singer and classically-trained flute player was chosen as the performer for Monday's event and she and Sir James duetted on The Flight Of The Bumblebee.

Sir James and his wife live in Switzerland but were in New York to visit friends and family when they were invited to join Lizzo at the gala.

Speaking to BBC News NI, he praised Lizzo as a "great entertainer".

"When she gets on the stage she takes full command," he said.

"It was quite funny - they wanted to give us chairs and Lizzo complained so they came up with these two thrones.

"I was definitely impressed, she was very respectful."

His wife Lady Jeanne Galway said they had been sworn to secrecy ahead of the event but ultimately had a spectacular night.

"When we first met Lizzo at the rehearsal on Saturday at 11pm at night she came and she bowed down to my husband and said what an honour it was," she said.

"She kept saying to me: 'I'm so nervous, I'm so nervous, he's my idol.'"

Lady Galway said the performance was centred around the flute "and that's why they wanted Sir James".

"It started with 18 flautists planted around the hall and they're in incredible costumes.

"It was the most elegant group and they were so quiet when Sir James and Lizzo were playing."

Lady Galway, also a famous flautist who regularly duets on tour with her husband, spoke of her amazement at the Met Gala.

"We had to sign more forms to secrecy that Sir James was playing," she said.

"And when we got invited Sir James said, typically: 'Ah, I don't think I want to get involved in this. This is going to be very complicated.'

"But the team is so professional and they brought us down by car to Vogue and they would give him anything he wanted to wear.

"They refitted my gold dress with pearls and they couldn't have been kinder.

"[The performance] was spectacular - it was a minute-and-a-half on stage but it was a strong minute-and-a-half.

"Then they went into the rest of the gala and the afterparty and we went home."

Related content
Recommended content