A young(ish) opera singer's random thoughts and observations.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

New week = new faces

Day 7 - Sunday

Our day off, so as you can imagine this is spent lying in, relaxing, recovering from the previous night and vowing to have a more active one next week (who knows, maybe even some hiking?). As stunning as the surroundings are, the program is intense and after a week I'm not quite in the stride of it, so the day off needs to be lazy. Besides, I have chorus music to learn...

Chilling out

Day 8 - Monday

Yesterday evening the rest of the chorus arrive, so this week brings a definite split in the group of participants. Because there are so many of us, we are divided into 2 groups for movement and drama classes. The weekend also saw some of the faculty leave, while today sees new members arrive. We've lost Adrian, Joan (voice teachers), and Jean-Aimé (movement). While the thought of no more pilates is a relief, I am sad to see them all go after just one week. We do get to meet the new teachers: Kinza Tyrell (our chorus master), Mark Bellamy (acting) and Tracy Dahl (voice, I actually haven't met her yet, but some people are having lessons with her). Movement is taken over by Gioconda Barbuto, who had had one session with us last week.

Morning: we had a late start today, as Kinza's flight was delayed and she only got here for the last 45 minutes of our scheduled Lillian Alling session. We crashed through all the music and that was it.

Afternoon: even with all the work to be done on the operas themselves, we still get general tuition, so the entire afternoon is split between drama/acting and movement. Acting consists of an introduction to Stanislavski. RWCMD readers will be familiar with this (but actioning is called verbing here), but basically it is a system of breaking down a scene into it's smallest building blocks and identifying character's objectives, obstacles, tactics and actions, within each small unit of text (usually consisting of a couple of lines, units are distinguished by when characters' objectives change). Movement focussed on exploring the ideas of space, focus, awareness, push/pull and control... in short - indescribable.

Acting class

Evening: three hours of chorus work on Lillian Alling. The music is great, but quite difficult, with some of the part splitting leaving only 2 people on each line, so more ensemble than chorus. We slowly tackle the piece and hopefully a couple more of these sessions will have us ready to start staging the first (and most difficult) scene on Thursday.

Evening ensemble rehearsals happen in a conference room,
so naturally the girls try to look professional even during the break

On a more social note, while the previous week seemed to abound with a strange obsession of some of us with the Northern Irish accent, today was very much focussed around Keith's glasses and posing for photos (so the Picasa album has understandably grown).

In Maclab (the bar / bistro) with the infamous glasses
(I've decided against putting a photo title in the veins of
'making a spectacle of myself'
in the knowledge that readers probably have
a more sophisticated sense of humour than my tired self)

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