A lot of learning to do

Under normal circumstances, the summer tends to be a quiet period for amateur performers.  Everyone goes off on holidays, so rehearsals dry up for a couple of months before gathering momentum with the coming of September.  However, my diary for July, August and early September is peppered with a number of concerts with different groups of people, in sundry locations around the Garden of England and with varying contents.

Somehow, I have managed to pick up quite a variety of solo and duet material in addition to the ensemble work which includes everything from a lovely Cole Porter medley to a stupid (in my opinion) arrangement of ‘Mack the Knife’.  In approximate order of singing, I have ‘I’ll Know’ from Guys and Dolls, ‘Suddenly, Seymour’ from Little Shop of Horrors, the Sergeant in ‘When The Foeman Bares His Steel’ from The Pirates of Penzance, ‘All I Ask of You’ from Phantom of the Opera, ‘Being Alive’ from Company and ‘Agony’ from Into the Woods.  Oh, and possibly singing Marius’ part in ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables, though I’ve not really agreed to that one yet.

Quite an assortment of pieces, using all of my performance muscles as they cover comedy, romance and drama, and using pretty much all of my vocal range from the deepest depths to those notes which make me want to switch to falsetto.  The pieces, only one of which I’ve sung in public before, were written between 1879 and 1987 and range from songs which the audience will know very well to a couple of numbers which will be new to the majority of people.  I am at least on nodding terms with all of them, but I have an awful lot to learn over the next month or so, getting the words and tunes right and trying to blend my voice to four different duet partners, all with much more musical training and technical proficiency than I have.  Still, I like most of the songs and I enjoy a challenge…

    • David
    • June 17th, 2007

    Where are you doing Being Alive? I love that song, and when I saw Company yesterday at Questors, Ealing it brought a tear(s) to my eye.

  1. David (no, not me, a different one), well, that’s a good question! It’ll be in September, but we haven’t finalised the details yet, so this is the first time I’ve ever started work on something without knowing the exact times and places. We plan to ‘do’ Sturry Church and hopefully at least one other venue. You can probably imagine how the lack of specifics makes me feel, but I’m staying out of the organising – I do enough of that with COS. I will be sure to let you know. The only tears I’m likely to produce are tears of pain if I miss the top note, though! It’s a rather daunting number.
    General update – looks like Marius is on, as I’m the only available tenor at the time. There are three tenors (no, not those ones) doing this specific concert, and as one will be singing Valjean and one will be on the piano for this number, I was the only one left!

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