ceud míle fáilte

a hundred thousand welcomes

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

G is for...


This was my first recording for Naxos a few years ago...

Initially, I was going to use 'g' for 'garden' but was rather overwhelmed by the amount of photos to choose from. I love gardens and all things green and have taken hundreds of pictures of things that have caught my eye in that department, but my wee blog just isn't up to the amount of photos I could add... I just couldn't choose... So hence, 'Gideon' - a pastiche oratorio by G F Handel and compiled by J C Smith. It was recorded over two live concerts in Germany - talk about stress! I've done 'Solomon' (Queen of Sheba and 1st Harlot) and 'Hercules' (Dejanira) with them since... The 'Hercules' project holds particularly good memories, as it was during this that Klozknitz (aka C) taught me to knit! She was playing cello in the orchestra while I screamed out front...

I am now back at home in France. (Huzzah!) Mind you, I've been as sick as a dog since I got back and have been sleeping roughly 18 hours a day. Ugh. Not sure if it's a bug I caught or just exhaustion kicking on from the shows and travel... But I feel like cack. Moan, moan, moan! I did manage to make it outside to buy some essentials yesterday (ground coffee for my lovely life-saving machine), but that's about it!

MERG went down well. It's basically a fusion of baroque music (Monteverdi, Rossi, Luzzaschi) and modern dance using 3 singers (2 sopranos and an alto), 5 dancers and 5 musicians (2 violins, 1 theorbo, 1 viola da gamba and a harpsichord). The musicians are kept in a kind of cage (I'll try and find a photo) and the rest of us move around them. Yes - ALL OF US - DANCE!! The show was an hour and a half long extravaganza and rather good fun to do! The photo below shows what the stage looked liked when I was singing the 'Lettera amarosa' by Monteverdi. The monody itself is a long love letter/poem to a woman with blonde hair and the text of the poem was projected onto the covering of the cage, but the staging by the choreographers was quite opposite to the meaning of the words (quite difficult to maintain when you've been trained to be honest to the text) so I was to be unattached to the poetry and had to cut locks of out my long blond wig with very over-sized scissors. Bizarre, but it worked! Mind you, I was very fond of my baroque corset and full skirt! The blond wig, on the other hand... (Especially after being hacked away... One wig only lasted three shows at the most!) But I think photographic evidence of those can wait a while!

Right now I'm going to concentrate on getting well again.

Please do not feed the musicians.


  1. Anonymous said...
    No, please do feed the musicians!

    I'm so sorry to hear you're sick, but I'm glad to hear things went well. That sounds like a really fun show to be in! I imagine it was a little bit like, and nothing at all like, the production of Philip Glass' The Photographer that I was in about a year ago. We were supposed to dance as well until the vocal coach explained that it would be nearly impossible to memorize 40 minutes of "bah bah bah" in the time frame we had. The got real dancers instead!
    I hope you feel better soon! I'd love to see some of those garden pictures. The sun is out here for the first time in at least a week.
    Iron Needles said...
    Thanks for your comment. I've been watching your blog for a bit now. Very different from my day to day routine, and I find it interesting and imagine it...well...glamorous!
    Don't laugh and take away a middle aged, mountain-living American's dreams of life classical singing on stage in Europe!
    Peter Chen said...
    Hi RedScot,

    Thanks for leaving an earlier comment in my post Change background color or image of main column of blog which was only recently approved because I did not get email notification. I have responded to your comment.

    Blog for positive changes
    Digital Candlelight Vigil
    (not my main blogs)
    Anonymous said...
    Oh, Philip Glass. It was hard. I was singing alto for a couple of reasons. One was that the soprano part sat at the top of the staff for the entire time and it would have been too much for my heavy voice. The other is that we initially though there were only five singers instead of six. The vocal coach needed someone who could balance the other four singers on their own. That would be me. Eventually we had another alto. It was very tiring on my voice, particularly since the tessitura was right in my break. Overall, it was a great experience though. I loved the challenge and the show itself was so different from anything else I'd ever done. There had been talk of taking it to New York, but it never happened.
    Glad to hear you're feeling better. I can't wait to see the next attempt at those socks! Thanks for the kind words about mine!

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