I am back from the most amazing few days in London, both at Buckingham Palace and at the Savoy Grill and then a personal visit around the Houses of Parliament courtesy of the Liberal Democrats who were delighted to honour the late Charles Kennedy's kind invitation after my investiture.
The day was like a magical journey of protocol, beautiful manners, glorious architecture combined with such a wonderful family time - really a never to be forgotten time. I was so happy to be able to share it with Sara, Cecilia and Wilson. I hope they will remember it long into adulthood.
I arrived back very late on Sunday evening to almost hit the ground running with a heavy week of teaching and three evening rehearsals for The Gondoliers ! It was a very big bump back to normality. Actually it was my last full teaching week for the summer, and a mostly happy one. Those youngsters who had gained such incredibly high marks for their exams read their crit sheets with unashamed delight.
The show is well on course to be a big hit I think. After some ups and downs through the week, Thursday's rehearsal was stupendous. One of those moments when a cast suddenly gels and the cohesive musical glue has a strong bond, set to get stronger and stronger. The three principals arrive tomorrow. That is Marco, Guiseppe and The Duke of Plaza-Toro ! All three have, of course, learnt their parts prior to arrival, much in the way that in the profession one has a three week rule. The amateur element of the cast work solidly week in week out, enjoying the process, having a weekly blast and build slowly to a full production, but professionals arrive fully conversant with the role, off score and ready simply to add in the blocking.
The whole home team are now so looking forward to the arrival of the gang of three. This moment always brings about such a psychological lift as well as a musical one, so by tomorrow evening they will all be on Skye. I know they are really champing at the bit to get here as well if the truth be known !!
Our resident dancer L is coming on our long Sunday rehearsal to put the Duke, Duchess, Casilda and Luiz through their dancing paces, and to help with general stage type stuff, and then she has kindly volunteered to do the make up and hair 'thing' ! Something at which I am not so proficient. The Cachuca which she choreographed a few weeks ago is fast and exciting and they know it ! I feel certain it will be a great moment in the show! Even our more mature gentlemen are giving it their best shot, and last night I was very proud of their feet !
My young Tessa and Gianetta, both 17 are doing brilliantly, especially since they have to do most of their rehearsing minus partners - P and K were standing in for the two gondoliers for the last couple of months, but now they need to be themselves within their smaller roles and chorus line ups !
The singing last night was absolutely top notch, it sounded like a chorus from La Scala Milan ! We are so fortunate to have a raft of dedicated and talented adult voices, most of whom have lessons and really know how to produce their sound, and when that is combined with a dozen very accomplished young singers I am almost blown away by the sheer wall of sound !
Seanmhair and a selfie on our way home from a truly incredible two days - see I am really up to date !
On to Barataria...........
The mock up hunting coat for the Duke !
Something like this but minus the 'sideburns' !