Opening Night – La Rondine

May 11, 2014 — 44 Comments


I wrote about being thrilled to be asked to join the rehearsals of La Rondine in “My First Opera” if you didn’t see it. It’s been my first opportunity to take part on the opera stage and I was cast as a ‘Party Girl’. Please excuse the bullet points below but as you can imagine I had a thousand different thoughts and emotions running through my head and it was the easiest way for me to share with you all how my first performance day went.

At Home Preparation:
• I was counting down the minutes excitedly, planning every five minutes so I could fit everything in, I had an essay to finish for my arts leadership and fund raising module. I’d been working on it during downtime in rehearsals so I had to put all my notes together.
• Cooked my dinner – chicken and mushroom and green beans as I required lots of energy.

• Put my hair into curlers so I looked like Medusa, quite scary but definitely worth it. However next time I think I will sleep with the rollers in so the curls stay in my hair for longer.

Warm – Up:
• The chorus came together in the AGOS opera studio at the RCS and we sang through the opening of the Act. It was fabulous to hear everyone have fun and mime through their own stage actions. The atmosphere was on fire and everyone was electric ready for the show. Our conductor Ollie Rundell was fabulous and very excited too.



Svetlina Stoyanova and me

Backstage (Changing Rooms):
• The ladies chorus changing rooms received a good luck card from Jonathan Cooke (Ruggero), which lifted everyone’s spirits and as a group we were feeling very appreciated by the main cast and by the conductor.
• The room smelt of hot curling tongues mixed with hairspray and a collage of perfumes.
• The walls have a banner of mirrors with light bulb borders to add to the changing room finesse. However we had to turn these off as they produce some mighty heat!
• Two fabulous hair and make-up ladies were at hand to give the chorus finger waves in our hair and advice.
• At the end of the room were our costumes neatly racked and each dress flew off the rail as time reached closer to curtain call. Our costumes covered all the colours of the rainbow and multiple fabric textures. Each member had a personal flavour to the costume to inspire creativity and personality to the acting.
• As the first act began we began an excited chatter, which covered various areas of the act as well as the plan for the evening’s celebrations.


Thanks to the production staff for all their help


Backstage (Rehearsal Room):
• Like ants in a line, we entered the backstage rehearsal room, trying to be as quiet as mice as this room lead straight to the stage.
• We stood there in suspense knowing that we were about to go on!
• When the curtain went down for Act 1, the stage crew whooshed onto the stage like Tasmanian devils and cleared and re-assembled the stage in two minutes. The efficacy and quietness of their work was outstanding.
• Then we got our call to take our places.
• I crept on stage, fast paced, but on the tips of my toes. And reached my chair. Double checked my prop and I got into starting position. There was a ‘buzz’ in the air.
• My tummy started to have butterflies and I knew it was only a matter of seconds before the curtain went up and the ‘Party Girl’ took over me.

Then the orchestra began and as we’d rehearsed I let out a huge stage cackle and the performance began! Oh how I love this 🙂

Audience and Onstage connection:

• I will tell you more about this after the last show, I don’t want to spoil it for people who will see it later (examples being my parents, which makes me very excited!)


I have just found this great interview with Tim Dean who is talking about La Rondine with Opera Scotland.

44 responses to Opening Night – La Rondine


    Great, thanks for sharing Charlotte, many thanks. You’ar lovely, beautifull, fabulous and very, very kind !!! All the very best for you !!!!


    I love your look – perfect. You sing like an angel and I’m sure you were a huge success! Congratulations and I wish you many, many more performances!


      Hi Jennifer I love dressing up, I told the costume ladies I’ll wear whatever you want and gave them a completely free hand, the more hats and feathers the better lol.

      Best wishes


    I am exciting reading your preparations!


      Fabulous because I really wanted to share how exciting it is for all of us 😉 . I have to keep busy all day on opening night just to keep a lid on it bubbling over.

      Best wishes


    Great post. Continue to have fun. 🙂


    Now I know what goes on back stage. Sounds like you’re having the time of your life.


      There’s nothing I love more than performing Don and the bigger the spectacle the better 🙂 that’s why I love opera so much, larger than life characters, fabulous sets, sumptuous music, large orchestra and cast, dancing and on and on.

      Best wishes


    So exciting, Charlotte! Have fun! Xo


    How exciting! Really interesting post!


    You’ve described the excitement and ‘butterflies’ so well! Have a wonderful time xx


      I wanted to put some butterflies coming out of the text and up the side so I’m glad you felt that without having to see the image. Thanks Clare.

      Best wishes


    Oh, wow! An electric experience, for sure!
    I couln’t help being amused at the ‘hot curling tongues’ for ‘tongs’. The former would be for a warm-up of some of the trickier lyrics? 😀


    So interesting dear Carlotte ! Your vividly written post captivated me and I followed all your preparations step by step and of course I shared your pre-performance anxiety and anticipation.The interview link is also interesting ! Looking forward to details …
    All the very best , Doda 🙂 xxx


      A lovely comment Doda; thank you. So excited as my parents are coming to watch too. I’d ask my Mum to write a review for my blog but she’s a hard critic to please.

      Best wishes


    Lovely post Charlotte! Love your picture of dinner but where’s the mash??? You love mash with chicken xxxx


    What a wonderfully exciting experience and time in your emerging career this must be! I hope you are enjoying it all, drinking in all the moments on stage. I look forward to this continued path and am most excited for you Charlotte. Enjoy!


    Isn’t it amazing all the chaos that goes on right beyond the stage to create something magical on it? it is like two worlds!


      It is amazing, the directors and production teams work so hard to make it all seem so seamless. I just love this world the end of the show always brings me back to my real world.

      Best wishes


    Another fascinating post, Charlotte. Thanks so much!


    All so interesting, as usual from you. May sound odd, but I’m a graphics geek, and I LOVE the La Rondine show bill … along with all the rest, of course! 🙂


      Thanks Cheryl, My younger brother did graphics at school, he did some great designs with typography you should look up some images of that on Google, he spent ages cutting out letters from magazines to make a fabulous collage.

      Best wishes


    Great descriptions of life back stage and how performers feel, Charlotte. As a writer (not a musician), I’m itching to borrow them and put them into a story. I hope it’s all continuing to go well.


      I’m glad I’ve inspired you Charlie :), one of my favourite blog friends Hilary Custance-Green wrote a fabulous novel called ‘Unseen Unsung’ I’ve just finished it and I felt like I knew her main character an opera singer called Luca.

      Best wishes


    There is NO question in my mind as to how the reviews will read!! Congrats – your career is off to a roaring start!


      The first review was in today from David Smyth bachtrack 4 stars isn’t that delightful. We certainly roared 😉

      A Stylish Rondine from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
      “Bullier’s nightclub in a splendid centerpiece to the opera, was a riot of tables, chairs, coloured lanterns and people seriously enjoying themselves as everyone partied towards dawn. It was a magnificent spectacle to watch as the party-goers ebbed and flowed to and from various tables, flirting, ordering more wine, sometimes falling out and dancing wonderfully.”

      Best wishes


    Congratulations, Charlotte! I’m so excited for you! Enjoy every performance as much as the audience will!



      Thanks Cate I always enjoy every performance, I’m very aware this could be someone’s first time in an audience for whatever show I’m in, it’s so important not to let the energy of the first night go during the rest of the run.

      Best wishes


    I am so…ooo envious that you have been there inside an opera.


      I know, it was absolutely fabulous I am having a fantastic time and loving every minute of it. I just wish that it was a little closer so that you could come and watch.

      Best wishes


    Charlotte, even though you are super busy, I love how you are still blogging and keeping us up to date on all that is happening. You look beautiful! 🙂

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