Monday, 7 March 2011
Concert Review - High Class Singing in Paradise
I was so thrilled with the concerts. It feels like a lifetime since we last performed, and in reality it is a good while. We had to cancel the Christmas concerts due to the Arctic conditions, so if I look back it must be last May when we did proper mixed bag concerts. Of course we did perform HMS Pinafore which was a great deal of work and rehearsal, but concerts are different beasts, and a fair proportion of the group were performing for the first time as a soloist, or even for the first time with a 'new' or greatly developed voice !
There was a relaxed and 'family' feel within the singers, and this leached out into performances. I truly felt that whilst there was the accepted trickle of Adrenalin running like a small river through all the singers, it was a healthy amount of fear - not the destructive nerves which destroy and paralyse.
The youngsters were brilliant. They are so much more vocally developed than last year,and they shone brightly under the pleasure and surprise exhibited by both audience and performers.
The tinies were truly excellent. Both M and H sang two songs each - which lasted around 50 seconds, and as ever, made it very difficult to follow them and win! H sang John Brown's Body, with a pure and ringing treble tone and captured the audience completely, and M gave a beautifully controlled and heart warming performance of an unaccompanied Hebridean folksong called 'Morag's Cradle Song'.
We had a wide range of repertoire which took four of them up about 3 technical notches. The gorgeous 'Fly Home little Heart' by Novello was a quite magical moment sung by 13 year old N, and Summertime was performed by a confident and accomplished R, whose top A in the final phrase was stunning. L sang the Libera Me from Faure's Requiem with such depth and with such ringing tone, I think he shocked the assembled audience/singers to their very core. Young M was quite the actress when she performed a delightful Buttercup's aria, showing what confidence she has gained during the last year.
The slightly older singers acquitted themselves very well, R sang with such relaxation and showing how she thoroughly deserves her place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama - and another young soprano showed her new and glowing colours in her first foray in 'classical' singing.
There were two beautiful SATB quartets, soft, controlled, and with divine tone, from the fearless four who worked together like a well oiled wheel.
Let us not forget my 'ladies' !! There were some sensitive and musical performances especially a lovely Bless this House from E. Then three other more mature singers gave us a wide selection of humour! A terrifying Duchess from |The Gondoliers, scary enough to frighten the top notes from a tenor, and a superb Fairy Song from an unusually fluffy and frilly retired college lecturer, whose bending wand sent a ripple of laughter around the hall. P sang a fine and suitably stiff upper lipped housekeeper in the song 'Miss Otis Regrets' by Cole Porter, resplendent with pinny and yellow duster.
C's conducting debut was fantastic - he had definitely got the job! His confidence has grown so much, and when the chips were down, I felt he was truly in control. Good man!
So you see, I bet you all wish you could have been there!
You would have loved it.