Welcome back readers.
Since I last wrote I have successfully made the move to Glasgow and started working for Scottish Opera. I find the people of Glasgow very friendly and I can say the same for Scottish Opera – there is a very positive atmosphere within the company!
It was a relaxed start to my contract. I spent my first two weeks having coachings, the odd costume fitting and doing plenty of solo practice. This suited me down to the ground, as I had a lot of music to prepare for Scottish Opera’s Rodelinda and a forthcoming Opera Gala with Glasthule Opera.
I had plenty of time to think about the way I practice over these couple of weeks. Musicians often struggle to find motivation in a practice room. They can be airless, windowless places with overhead fluorescent lighting removing all sense of time. It is all too easy to ‘phone in’ a session, to sing for an hour or two without focus or direction. Having read a number of books on the subject I now know this to be a complete waste of my time. Although it is a challenge it’s very important that I concentrate on the specifics. Not only that, my attitude determines the quality of the work. If I am happy and positive the singing is of a much higher standard.
Armed with this intelligence I have launched myself into Rodelinda with gusto. And what fun it is proving to be. We’ve been rehearsing for nearly two weeks now and things are going really well. We were extremely fortunate to have the set from day one so we haven’t had to contend with duct tape on the floor and imaginary walls as is usual at the beginning of a rehearsal period. I’m working with a great bunch of people. Everyone is motivated, ambitious and positive, which is fortunate, as we’ll be spending a lot of time on tour together. I guess they look for more than an ability to sing / direct / stage-manage etc. when they’re hiring people.
I’m playing a mother for the first time and finding it all very interesting. In rehearsals I spend as much time checking I’m holding the baby’s head properly as I do thinking about the singing. The child is called Flavio, a very unusual name for a baby in my opinion. But I’m sure it was very fashionable back in the day. There’s a rumour that Flavio cries – oh joy!
We have another two weeks of rehearsals to look forward to and then the tour starts. We’ll be travelling to all sorts of interesting places; Fort William, Ullapool, Stornoway, Wick, Ellon, Dumfries and many more. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to see Scotland and I can hardly wait!