Wednesday: and the orchestra and the children from Brooklands School are here for the first full run through. I’ve decided not to take any more pictures while we are working as I must concentrate, so today’s pictures are from earlier rehearsals!
For our first entrance we start singing while still off stage, (ie crushed into the corridor) and we are required to do it again because us tenors are too loud. It takes an age to pack everyone back into the corridor, and we sing with our backs to the door which makes it difficult to see Duncan (who is conducting above his head anyway in the remote hope that those 30 yards away down the corridor will get the beat) then of course we have to get the doors open to get on stage, and are a bit late, though not disastrously.
Two of the children are meant to put garlands round the necks of Olga and Tatyana, and don’t quite know their cue so they slow motion creep forward, looking anxiously sideways. Harry later gives A the task of giving them the nod.
It’s going to be interesting when we get real cobs to shuck for the competition, whilst singing The Miller’s Pretty Daughter; my team are getting slower and slower, we barely managed 24 today, whereas the winning team had managed an improbably 40 odd. I wonder what the rules are- do we just peel back the leaves, or does the silky stuff have to go as well, and do the stalks get broken off or not?
We are into real lemonade now, so the jug work is trickier and Act II is now replete with actual cake, not baked by an eager chorus member, but bought in. It is unfortunately excessively gooey and gets all over the bottoms of the plates. It is also so laden with sugar that after only a mouthful I am having palpitations. Harry instructs: we are not to refuse cake – even if there is enough to sink a battleship on the table already, accept the plate and let the deliverer get back to what they are meant to be doing.
When the children get up to greet M. Triquet, they abandon their plates of cake on the floor, and Panos has to pick his way through them. There is still a plate in the middle of the floor as the musical chairs are about to begin, so I whisk it away.
The musical chairs goes reasonably well, but when one of the chairs is returned to our table, a leg falls off. Fits of giggles ensue, not assisted by that cake.
We get through act III without anyone noticeably sobbing at Gremin’s aria.
The orchestra sound fab. Nick is picking them up on little nuances that to my ear are unnoticeable.
I am impressed with the children, they go where they are meant, and keep quiet when they need to, Ollie has done a great job with them.
We are already doing a sing through at home most days, and I can multitask quite happily, singing the words and tune correctly without the score whilst working on the computer, but get me in amongst people singing other things and require me to move, and I become less sure of the tune or the words.
I remember that last year we were having the same problem and we set up our ‘marks’ around the house, and sang through, walking through the actions as well, over and over again; the cats thought we had gone stark staring mad. It worked though, so that’s a task for Friday before Tony (the professional photographer) arrives.
Copyright Cherry Potts 2011