What a wonderful first day at this years' Song School ! I thought I would be fighting fatigue, but not at all. When the singers are excited and the repertoire is exciting, suddenly my exhaustion melts away and I get a new musical lease of life.
We began with a jolly and warm heated O Thou That Tellest' from the Messiah sung with a real feel of spreading the good news, and moved on through such a plethora of great music. The Bach Agnus Dei was so beautiful, rich and full of line. It is an aria I simply melt when it is performed well ( see a precious post!), and M did it so much more than simple justice.
We had a superb Un Moto di Gioa, the normally 'cut ' aria from Figaro, which we could set with a charming young Cherubino and a giggly Countess. Flush with lots of scarves and a hat, our Susanna dressed her young pageboy whilst totally forgetting to worry about the singing, so it was very free and pingy!
Our chap this week, B, has, as he matures begun a wonderful new journey as a baritone. He sings so beautifully as a tenor, but hormones determine when a voice changes, and he is very excited about this total change of vocal route. The lower register is as yet a little raw, but my goodness he sang with a dark gravitas, and other purple colours which were completely new to my ears, and, I imagine, to his!
Two of the Dido arias were particularly moving, our small and perfectly formed When I am Laid in Earth had many folk watching through somewhat wet eyes. It was so intense both vocally and physically, and then a role reversal when another singer with a voice the size of Inverness sang a controlled and very human, 'Ah Belinda'.
We also had a funny Despina complete with penny and polishing props, who castigated and helped the two sisters understand how to treat men! Poor B and L in the audience were heavily outnumbered, and probably felt a little scared of a room of females at that point!
A great start indeed!