One of those wonderful coincidences today which you wouldn't go putting in a novel for fear of the sneer on your editor's face. We had just finished the morning rehearsal in the depths of the building and were variously changing, nattering, collecting bits and bobs etc, when in wandered a baritone in search of our pianist, with whom he was due to have a rehearsal for a forthcoming concert. It was completely unrelated to our rehearsal and normally you meet up with the pianists in their rooms upstairs - I have no idea why he was down there, having never come across this before - I can only guess that this particular pianist might prove slippery to pin down, being a glorious musician, but not 100% sure of his German, and just the tiniest bit eccentric. Anyway, we weren't taking any notice, until he started to sing - and the entire room turned and stared, because it was precisely the snatch of Verdi that is referenced in our modern opera. Fragmented in our case, and about ten notes of the same, but unmistakeable. I was chatting to the conductor at the time, as we made our way out of the door, and we simultaneously turned back and gawped. Weird!
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The disparate fragments of my role are STARTING to knit themselves together. Extremely fragile construction at the moment, though. It resembles an ancient but beloved patchwork skirt I own, which I keep treading on or snagging in the spokes of my bike and ripping to bits, always along a new line - as soon as I stitch one tear together, another appears diagonally across it. Honestly, there are times when it feels that the more I study the role, the less I remember. I know rationally that this isn't true, that the more small connections made, noticing of differences accomplished, and odd intervals mastered, the more secure the role will eventually feel, but there's only so much you can keep in your head at any given time and I am NOT USED to having important bits of a role slither out of my memory. Grrr.
The sleepwalking scene is actually here a proper mad scene, and I am soooooooooooo enjoying setting it and looking forward immensely to playing it with a public. How often do you get to actually tear your hair out? HahaHA. Most satisfying. And working together with the director on this is a dream. Her ideas are wonderful and are expanding my possibilities; she is taking notice of what I need; and at this point in rehearsal she's allowing me to dictate the pace and the content of the rehearsals, repeating things as and when necessary for me. It doesn't always happen that one is treated as an adult and an equal colleague in such relationships, and I appreciate it.
And I think I am approaching the right vocal tone for this scene. I spent a wonderful Easter with good friends in Alsace. Relaxation, good food, fantastic wine and great company were naturally uppermost in my mind, but heck, there was Stuff to be Learned, so learn I did, in small and (I thought) discreet doses. However, I was approached one evening by a couple of the children. "Are you OK, Auntie Katy?" "Yes, thank you; why?" "Because we heard you moaning when you were in the loo and thought you might be poorly." Like the coincidence above, you seriously couldn't make it up!