After a little flurry of performances over the past few weeks, it’s time to dig in and practice repertoire for upcoming engagements in April, May, June, and July. It’s usually said that the performance is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’…most of our time as opera singers (or actors, or dancers, or anyone in the arts generally) is spent in preparation, practice, and rehearsal. Opera singers in particular are expected to turn up to the first day of a rehearsal period with their role completely memorised, a process which takes place on our own time, with some time (and money) spent in the teacher’s and/or coach’s studio; but mainly on our own, whether it’s in the home studio, rented practice space, or the snug of a local pub! It can be difficult trying to explain this to ordinary punters, who mainly want to hear about our past triumphs and upcoming appearances (wouldn’t it be nice if that was all there was!), and don’t really get all the weeks or months of ‘I’m spending most of my time practicing and learning new rep…’
So here are a few of the things I’m preparing for at the moment:
- A 1940’s style trio for a local festival in May (which will be loads of fun to do) and means brushing up some old / learning some new repertoire.
- Covering Brünnhilde in Die Walküre for Longborough Festival Opera, rehearsals in April/May and performances in June. A brand new role (and composer) for me, so lots of practice/learning/coaching/memorising.
- A concert on July 4: ‘Heroic Voices’ which will involve some old + some new rep, solos, duets, opera & art song, and writing some narrative links. Seems I have my work cut out…