A long Sunday rehearsal yesterday left us all exhausted and quite wound up. These big music sessions combined with the heavy footwork of learning new and difficult set pieces are always tough on everyone. We worked very hard yesterday and I think it paid off in manifold ways. The opening men's chorus is very complex both musically and choreography wise. The problem being that the words repeat and repeat which makes the different footwork for each section so very difficult to join up. Ones brain becomes addled with which 'Bow bow ye lower middle classes' is the one we are talking about ! Is it the first time, the second or perhaps the eleventh.......
The fairies entrance and subsequent moments are looking rather lovely - I have gone for serious and somewhat scary fantasy figures with long flowing medieval dresses, veils and shields. I suspect they will frighten the poor Lord Chancellor and his cohort peers to death ! It is fairyland woman power ! I am setting it in the depths of winter so there is already an icy 'blue' feel to the atmosphere, which of course will warm up in Act 2 when the said formidable fairies give way to their various love interests and decide that partnered mortality is preferable to single immortality. Their twist of the wrist and slow procession onto the stage is beautifully contrasted to the 'Tripping Hither' music - not a moment of 'tripping' in the entire piece !
We rehearse again tomorrow evening and I feel sure that the men's tricky moves will have fallen into place and they will feel more confident, and happier with the result. These big choruses are sent to try us, and they do !
My baby alto L came today and I was so astonished that she can now flick between her big alto (and totally natural) chest register, and a growing and sensitive head register. She grows each week, but is as proud as punch of being one of only three true altos in Inner Sound. It is so pleasing to see such pride in what she is doing, and such pleasure in her growing top notes !
Tomorrow brings lessons with Iolanthe herself, the second of my Phyllis's, I taught the first Phyllis of the week today, J the footman, and our Lord M, who will so enjoy fooling about with the Lord Chancellor, and then a rehearsal.
I shall be singing Iolanthe in my sleep Zzzzzzzzz !
My teacher, Marjorie Thomas made many recordings of Iolanthe, here are two of them - what a lineup of famous British singers of bygone days !