Thursday, 15 March 2012
Mattinata and Tantrums
Leoncavallo the perpetrator of the Mattinata upset
I think I threw a large, and fearsome tabby cat amongst some very nervous pigeons last night. I was, once again at the Shau Kei Wan church in a commercial multi storey high rise building for my evening session. I heard a very good boys class, which has as it's set piece Vorrei, by Tosti. An unusual choice for teenaged boys, but there you go! All was going swimmingly until I had the Open Soprano Solo, the last class of the day.
I am thrilled to see that all the singers in the Open classes, which is only up to 23 you understand, dress beautifully for the occasion, and take it very seriously.
The set piece was the Mattinata by Leoncavallo. It is very well known, and thus often butchered by singers not really up to the task! Well, it was a fine class, with 9 very competent singers, all looking as if they had stepped out of Vogue magazine. There were also 3 very fine singers, all of whom study at the Chinese University Music Department, and clearly have some excellent singing teachers.
One was tiny, smiley and with a light voice entirely suited to the song, and soared up to the top A's. The next was a very fine voice, big, full and she was wearing a very gracious evening dress, and sang in a sophisticated and mature style, with perhaps a teeny hint of 'I've won this before, and it is a dead cert this time'. The last of these 3 was tall, long haired and sang with joy and freedom, and not a hint of pre conception about results, thus there was a lovely freshness to her performance.
Well I was really taken by the latter, and I wrestled with myself over the first and second place for about 10 minutes. My gut feeling won, and I chose the latter singer, she exuded pleasure and happiness rather than contrived professionalism.
My second placed lady, who fully expected the glory, and thus to be put through to the final was not pleased, wept and swept out of the room like the QE11 in full sail, dress flowing and rippling with indignation.
Oops. Sometimes that sort of surety simply does not cut the mustard with me.
Ah well, we have to be loathed at some point in the 5 weeks I suppose, and I suspect I have been slightly less loathed than some of my male colleagues who get a little testosterone-ish frisson from going against the grain!
I got back to the hotel at 9.30pm, had an extra strong cup of M&S tea with Nestlé Creamer ( the milk turns to yogurt too quickly!), watched an episode of Dad's Army, and fell into a satisfied sleep.
The wicked at rest!