Monday, 29 March 2010

The machine swings into action. Final rehearsals have started for the Strauss, and from the schedule I have seen, it would appear that they are trying to kill us. Ha! Hardy beasts, Strauss singers, on the whole; they'll have a job!

Tonight was the first Sitzprobe (fistfight with the orchestra on their territory. Hot, very dead space to sing in, and the cacophonous din of an orchestral warm-up exacerbated the headache I had from the overcast weather conditions to the point of becoming cross-eyed). Loved it!! Such beautiful, beautiful music. Of course the thing about Strauss is his orchestral textures. They sound SO different when coaxed out of an entire orchestra; I am very glad indeed that I learned this music so thoroughly, with attention to counting, tonalities, rhythms: everything is needed at this point. What was an obvious cue with a piano reduction, or a particular recording, is not heard with this conductor and her individual interpretation; different colours are emphasized, and the music takes on a life of its own, and at a particular point where my vocal line finally pulls the orchestra into harmony, and rouses it to a climax, and simply leaves it hanging there whilst my voice expands into a desperate high shriek, dropping after an eternity over an octave, knowing implicitly that I have lost, that I am powerless, and feeling the entire orchestra and ensemble stop breathing with me after this... oh, it doesn't get much better!

Of course I am hoping it will indeed get better! I am still not quite 100% after my cold, the ensemble singing hasn't quite settled into my bones, and things I have learned or re-learned from a calm (well, relatively!) sing-through with the orchestra have yet to be digested and processed. But I am savouring every moment of this particular process. (You are invited to remind me of this foolish remark when I am cursing the powers-that-be for scheduling so many rehearsals one on top of the other!!).

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