Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Arcadians on The Little Road to Bethlehem !

The redoubtable and remarkable Joyce Grenfell

Back to work for a couple of weeks and then a somewhat complex fortnight whence I am teaching in Yorkshire, then 'nunning' in the south of England before I have another short ish holiday !

It was good to be back in harness today, and I had a pretty full day of lessons. Firstly my lovely adult pupil E, who loves her lessons so much ! She asked me to find her something really challenging today, so I thought, let's approach this with a two pronged attack ! She is singing the gorgeous 'Little Road to Bethlehem' by Michael Head, and I asked her to continue working on this song, but to sing every sentence in one breath ! No sneaky intakes, in the name of poetic interpretation, or at a considered rit point, simply to sing through every whole sentence! This is very taxing, and at the end of her first attempt she was feeling the musical pinch ! One prong down, we looked on the repertoire list for the Recital Certificate and I chose the gorgeous 'Lusinghe piu care' from Handel's opera, Alessandro. It has many runs and lots of wide leaps !

Be challenged E ! Enjoy both pieces!

Next was P, and we spent much time choosing repertoire also, and she too wanted to be pushed, especially for next years Song School. We found a superb piece for a solo. P does funny very well, and is a mine of musical theatre information. I generally let her rummage through books for new and interesting light song, and I stick, like the cobbler to his last, to more serious music! Today I managed to find an almost complete copy of the wonderful Joyce Grenfell 'Stately as a Galleon', which I know P will do brilliantly. Then another top notch choice when we came across a duet from 'The Arcadians' called Half Past Two; it is the second Eileen and Jack duet, when they try to decide upon a place to meet, a time and a day. This proves a tricky discussion as both have appointments, luncheons or other obstacles to their union! P will sing this very well with L at the next concert in November !

What an excellent morning with which to start my back to work day !

Then to top it off E had baked some of her fantastic cheese straws which we rapidly demolished over a hot drink and a chat! This sort of work I have waited for my whole professional life!


Eileen and Jack !


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