Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Iolanthe Finale Act 1

Sometimes rehearsals just 'work' ! Last night we had a truly stellar evening and achieved so much I could barely believe it when I got home ! It is still May (just!) and we have all but finished Finale Act 1 of our annual show ! Iolanthe has some very silly moments and the idea of fairies and Peers of the Realm locked in battle is, quite frankly about the most absurd of all the storylines attributed to WS Gilbert. All the operas are absurd in some way or another, but Iolanthe surpasses even the silliest of them. 

To see a dominant Fairy Queen casting a spell over the ridiculous and bumbling Lord Chancellor and his idiotic cohorts Mountararat and Tololler is comedic beyond description, and our Queen, M is icy and determined and walks over them as if they were aristocratic doormats. We got to the climax of the spells where the Queen is telling the peers all the privileges which they will be losing due to the fairy mischief in sending Strephon into parliament, and by 9.45pm the finale was running like a 'mostly' well oiled wheel.

Our Queen is off for three weeks to Iceland, so it was imperative that her biggest and most complex moments were covered by the end of the rehearsal so she does not need to worry whilst she is on her holiday ! Inner Sound works like a wonderful family team when the pressure is on, and they really pulled out all the stops to make sure the blocking was well and truly covered. Our Queen is solid gold, she already knows her music, and probably her dialogue - she reminds me of the Dame JB........the worlds greatest mezzo of the late 20th century always turned up to the first rehearsal of any production having committed every note to memory......this makes it so easy for her fellow performers, it also puts to shame those who have made little or no effort to learn roles or chorus parts ! 

My team of ladies are the core of the chorus, reliable to a fault, enthusiastic and staunch, and I couldn't do without them. The youngsters add an air of unpredictability and pazazz, as well as some wonderfully youthful tone quality, but believe me, it is that mix of talent and approach, work ethic and reliability which makes for such a good end product. This year I have the glory of three tenors - all youthful and all magnificently 'up for it' - what a rare pleasure that is.

Thank you everyone !

 World famous Mezzo Soprano Maria Ewing as the Fairy Queen !

She is better known for her Carmen, but clearly makes a formidable FQ !

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