On Saturday the 24th May, I had the pleasure to attend ‘A Night at the Opera’ featuring Sophie Kochanowska (Soprano), Christian Schneeberger (Tenor), Kamilla Dunstan (Mezzo Soprano), accompanied by Liam Lees and Zosia Mazurkiewicz. The concert took place at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral on Great Western Road at 19:30. The evening’s sky was a softly lit navy blue and the relaxing atmosphere was extended into the idyllic fairy-light lit interior of the church. Jessica Hurst and Lynn Bellamy sat alongside me and I thoroughly enjoyed their company all evening.
The concert began with the performers entering the space with an enchanting charisma. Everyone was beautifully presented, from sweetheart red satin dresses to terrifically tailored suits. I was eager to immerse myself in the beautiful music and Christian opened the program with a beautiful rendition of “Vi Ricorda O Boschi Ombrosi” from Monterverdi’s L’Orfeo. The concert included 15 pieces ranging from Mozart to Moore, providing a contrasting and an exciting program.
This fabulous event had been organised by Sophie Kochanowska and it ran so smoothly and professionally that it made for a very enjoyable evening. Sophie is currently fundraising to help finance a trip to Germany to further her studies and I wish her every success.
Apart from the lovely singing it was great to see Christian and Kamilla in action. As a second year studying music at the RCS I understand that I am training towards a future where I will be constantly learning and I am only on the first leg of the journey. So it is refreshing to escape from the practice room and see students from the Masters course take to the stage. One of the areas of my singing I have been working on this term is my character representation. Having this in mind I was watching how the artists used gestures and facial expressions when trying to depict different emotions.
It was interesting to note that for different songs and genres they used different levels of acting in their performances. For example, Kamilla sang “Mon Coeur S’Ouvre A Ta Voix” from Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saens and she performed it with a sense of power behind her stillness that captured and held your attention, then contrastingly she took to the stage later in the concert with Ben Moore’s “I Can Be A Sexy Lady’. Where she employed large gestures and exaggerated facial expressions that exploited the comedic genius of the text.
From this I now feel that I have to let the piece lead me to the correct level of acting required, utilizing the drama provided in the text and the music to provide the inspiration for my performance.
So sad that I can’t see the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s MMus Opera Scenes this week due to rehearsals. The first year masters students perform a varied mixture of opera repertoire, piano accompanied and simply staged. The performance is open to the public in the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio. Great for newcomers to opera.