Thursday: the second full run through, except it isn’t quite; we have the marvellous Duncan Robertson instead of the orchestra, and Nick Jenkins has to conduct us backstage for our first entrance, and then run back across stage to his podium… but we are missing Simon Marsh our lead peasant, so Nick has to sing us in; after a moment of frantic scrabbling (what are the words?)
We have the children from John Ball School with us for this run through. A is once more given the task of cueing the garlanders, and doesn’t get it quite right, but never mind.
Stage management have been busy, and all our baskets have big labels in them saying: I am Full! I am Half Full! and I am an Empty Basket! We have a real metal table and chairs and real sun-lounger and rocking chair. The fairy lights are up, we have enough chairs of the right kinds, and the broken one is strapped up, I assume while the glue sets.
We rollick through The Miller’s Pretty Daughter minus our chief shucker, which I only notice belatedly, someone steps in but we make a very poor showing, barely scraping 20 invisible ‘cobs’.
Act II’s unintentional highlight was the “mended” chair collapsing under Andi. She makes light of any injuries, but I will be checking all the chairs before we go on from now on.
The cake is eaten swiftly by the children and is all gone before M. Triquet arrives, so this time Panos can walk across stage without tripping and slipping hazards. However a great many people are walking about with buttercream smeared on their clothes – it gets everywhere.
Something that impresses me about Nick Sharrat (Lensky) is that he has played the bit when he has fallen out with Olga but before he blows up entirely, completely differently each time, and given us something different to respond to. This time it felt entirely appropriate to turn and suggest he joins in the dancing, and have him barely manage to lift his head to shake it.
We have an almost full compliment of dancers for Act III, and the divertissement is shaping up quite nicely. Harry gives us an additional moment, as we return from ‘supper’ to witness the final scene between Onegin and Tatyana.
Rose asks me for photographs to decorate the foyer. Happy to, although again I didn’t take any pictures tonight. Orders for the book (The Blackheath Onegin) are going well, but the more people who commit early the better the discount and the more money towards next year’s opera! Hint hint.
Unfortunately, not all the drama is on stage tonight. When we return to the recital room to pick up our belongings, several bags and purses are missing. Very glad I hadn’t brought my camera. The police are called, but have not arrived by the time we leave. A rotten end to an entertaining evening.
Copyright Cherry Potts 2011