Glitter And Be Gay

June 5, 2018 — 59 Comments

Hello everyone wishing you all a happy June. I’d like to start this week by thanking the fantastically talented George Todica who unleashed his brilliance on piano during my final recital at the Royal College of Music and kept me calm and sane in the days before the performance on Monday morning, even suggesting using print shop when my trusty printer wouldn’t work on Sunday!

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Me and George Todica After My Recital

I had to dash off after the performance and a quick lunch with friends and family to Croydon on the other side of London to start rehearsals with Surrey Opera https://www.surreyopera.org/  for their production of Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ and my role as Cunegonde.  I’d spent some time getting the role ready before the rehearsals and with the agreement of my brilliant singing teacher Rosa Mannion and awesome coach Simon Lepper I put ‘Glitter and Be Gay’ as the final aria in my recital which after 40 minutes of near continuous singing was quite a high note to ask my voice to end on!

Bernstein was mentioned in the conductor Marin Alsop’s interview I’d read when I was reading up on Women in Music, he was her mentor and teacher. She credited him with this piece of advice ‘morality is very simple and based on human diversity, tolerance and about what we all strive to be. Be yourself, do not seek to be somebody else, but be the very best of who you are’ that’s all I sought to be in my recital.

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Rosa Mannion and Me

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Anyhow, a bit about Cunegonde and Candide for you if you’ve not heard of this Operetta.  The score was written by the American author, composer, conductor, lecturer in music and pianist Leonard Bernstein in 1956.  The story is based on the 1759 Voltaire novella of the same name, Cunegonde is the daughter of a Baron from the Country of Westphalia, a region in North West Germany.  When war breaks out Westphalia is destroyed and her family murdered.  Cunegonde is thought to be dead but she turns up in Paris, France with her duenna (chaperone).  She has fallen into the role of a demimonde (a woman supported or exploited by wealthy men) shared by a Grand Inquisitor and a wealthy Jew.

Candide is in love with Cunegonde, the daughter in the house where he is brought up.  Dr. Pangloss, their tutor, teaches them that everything in this world is for the best, part of God’s universal plan.  Candide is then tested in a knockabout series of unfortunate events to test this theory.  He is expelled from the Baron’s home, press-ganged into the army, is told Cunegonde is dead and meets Pangloss, together they survive an earthquake, are captured by the Holy Inquisition, and finally Pangloss is hanged.  When he is reunited with Cungonde, he kills her new lovers and they flee to South America where she is sold into slavery.  After many adventures, he returns to Venice where he finds Cunegonde in a completely fallen state, a whore in a gambling casino.  Finally disillusioned, he realizes that the world is neither good nor bad but what we make of it.

The cast is lovely, my role is dual cast and it’s going to be great getting to know Lizzie Holmes.  The direction is clear and very well organised. We will be performing this summer (praying for good weather) at the magnificent Minack Theatre on the clifftops of Porthcurno in Cornwall from 16th to 20th July 2018.  The tickets are £14/£10 Adults and £7/£5 for under 16’s great value for this crazy romantic comedy full of wonderful music.

Minack Theatre During The Day

Minack Theatre By Day

 

Minack Theatre At Night

Minack Theatre By Night

 

Surrey Opera receive no regular funding for their productions and are reliant on sponsors and fundraising to help finance the shows as ticket sales alone rarely cover the costs of putting on their lavish productions.  You can join their supporters club and take advantage of their packages starting with a Bronze membership with an annual fee of £30 giving you a newsletter, priority booking, programme listing and invitations to Surrey Opera’s fundraising events.

Sadly I missed a couple of my friend’s recitals on Monday but I’m hoping to watch a few of my colleagues at the RCM this afternoon and during breaks this week.

Every evening though for the next month I’ll have my head stuck in the score whilst developing my characterisation throughout the days, there is a lot of singing it’s a chunky role that I’m really looking forward to performing.

59 responses to Glitter And Be Gay

  1. 

    wow that theatre looks amazing! Well done and enjoy.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      The farthest South West I’ve been is to the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Minack Theatre is a further 50 miles out to the edge of the UK, I’m excited to learn more about it.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    So wonderful that you are enjoying your life and finding opportunities to enhance your career xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you Les, rehearsals are well underway now and I’m loving the role and company of people I’m working with.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 
    Peter Alexander June 5, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    What a spectacular venue! And of course, that is a spectacular role. I would love to hear—or better yet, see!—you in that role, in that theater. Charlotte, you are well on your way, and I know that great things are going to follow. I am so pleased for you, and proud to have you as a WordPress “friend.” Toi, toi, toi!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you so much Peter, I wish I could take you and all of my blog friends all along too, we could have a ball! It looks very spectacular, I hope the weather is kind. I’ve been reminded that as a fresh faced graduate I’ll be joining the back of a line of professionals and how tough this world is but I’m ready to work hard and travel for opportunities so I thank you for your vote of confidence.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 

    What a life you lead and will be leading, Charlotte!! Dashing off from recital to rehearsal amid other talented performers!! That theater is magnificent – by day and night! It will compliment the story-line.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      We’re having great fun developing the story, apparently, I’ve been told I have good comic timing – who knew! He he. I’m so naïve my Mum had to explain a couple of the jokes during a read through, and my big brother and his partner Alex both read parts with me so that I could learn my words, roping everyone in. You’ll be pleased to hear my younger brother Thomas just had his MA in Geography awarded by Glasgow University First Class Honours so my Parents are happy and he got a full-time job starting at the end of summer. Sadly, his graduation ceremony clashes with rehearsals so I’ll have to make it up to him in Cornwall when he comes to watch.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        So nice to have family supporting your endeavors and please give your brother, Thomas, my heartiest congratulations on his degree and new job. The successes of your family reflect highly for your parents – they have done an outstanding job rearing the 3 of you!!

  5. 

    Dear Charlotte,
    Happy George came through for you at the Royal College of Music. May the Lord bless you richly my beloved.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      As I was away working for five weeks all over Easter it was going to be difficult to find practice time with a pianist whilst learning the two opera scenes I performed a couple of weeks ago so I was very relieved that George rode to the rescue with lots of intensive rehearsals, whilst he also had a big concert performance and his jobs in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
      All my best wishes Rev. Tim
      Charlotte

  6. 

    That sounds wonderful. I am just this week starting to reread the dual-language version of the original play in the little 1962 paperback, which says unhelpfully that the play was 200 years old but did not pin it down to exact year and did not say ‘anniversary’ or similar–

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Which languages are they in, that sounds like a good read. I’ve loved reading the Scottish Opera Version of the Operetta from 1988. I’ll be excited to see the costumes and set, we’re still in early stages, one full week down and four to go.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I miss working on (small) shows as production stage manager, but just haven’t in a year or two. Enjoy!

        It’s just the original French and 1962-contemporary English, with annotations. I have hardly begun to read it, but keep fooling myself that I will relearn all the languages I studied by reading these excellent dual-language books…I have a stack that I keep promising myself to read and they have not gotten used yet!

  7. 

    LOVE Glitter and Be Gay! I know you’ll be fab in Candide. Cheers

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Thanks Annette, it’s a great role straight out of college and helped me to get over my final recital dip quickly.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    That recital sounds ambitious – I hope you duly dazzled.
    That is a challenging part; trust you aren’t going to adopt her as any sort of role model!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      I hope I dazzled too, that’s a great word. There was a lovely retired man who came to watch everyone’s recital as they were all free, I bumped into him several times after watching some of my friends recitals, he was having a great time and told me he’d enjoyed my program thoroughly as did my parents and grandparents so that makes me happy. Well she was a survivor 😊 but role model! No hehe.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    I remember going on one of my first dates with my now Wife to that theatre. We saw the Magic Flute. Earlier in the day we had sat on the beach and watched the waves, when one sudden surge threw one completely over us. Luckily it was such a hot day we were dry by the time we sat on the stone steps of that theatre.

    Good luck and have fun!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      So happy to have given you that memory jog Scott, I’d love to see the Magic Flute there I bet that was spectacular. I had a wave go over me in Blackpool once we just got wet and cold hehe. Perhaps you need a mini break to Cornwall around the 16th to 20th July to catch a fun operetta 😊.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    Great !George is a Great guy ! Minack seem to be a very nice place . Congratulations , wish you the best and take care of you !!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      I think you would like Cornwall a lot, it is warmer usually than the rest of the UK, lots of beautiful scenery and gorgeous food especially sea food but naughty food too like Cornish pasties and clotted cream scones and freshly made jam yum.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    Hi Charlotte, you and George look terrific! You have been so busy! The theater looks magnificent by night and day! I love that you are the best that you can be. Take care and know that we are all thinking of you, Darlene

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you Darlene. It’s been pretty hectic since January, my Mum suggested I pencil in a holiday break at the end of August or September. Eating well during long rehearsals is especially difficult especially if they go on to 10pm from before lunch, so I’m organising myself better after my first week.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. 

    I have no doubt you put 100% effort into all your roles – enjoy Cunegonde!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      I do Sheila but it doesn’t feel like work, the travelling is the hard bit when you just want to get home quick. She is a great character to play.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    Aaawww… This Story is sad! Terribly awful things happen to the Characters. Is there such a thing as a ‘happy’ Opera? Still, I must say that the outside venue is absolutely gorgeous. What a View! Listening to the waves crash as you perform… The ultimate Spiffy. But I must warn you I’d scribble out all the parts of the Story I don’t like and re-write it if I were there. 🙂 No one would notice, right?

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      I should have given the finale away for you 😊 it end on a happy note. “I’ll give you the last words from the song: We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; we’ll do the best we know; we’ll build our house, and chop our wood, and make our garden grow.”
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    Fantastic Charlotte! It’s a beautiful photo of you and George, well done both of you. See you soon, (Tideswell!). 🤗😁😘

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Thanks Gill, can’t wait to see you both. Edwina Curry the President of TMVC sent through a poster for the concert so I’m putting it in my blog post tonight, it will be nice to be back in the beautiful Peak District.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. 

    Congratulations on your recital, Charlotte! And what a role to look forward to – and the setting couldn’t be more magnificent! Break a leg!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 10, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Thanks Noelle, I’ve been note bashing for Cunegonde most of today, it is a fun role and a good opera for opera novices to see too. Hope you’re well 🙋🏼.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. 

    Like many I suspect, my introduction to Bernstein’s music was ‘West Side Story’. It made such an impression on me that I have a fictionalised version of that visit to a musical in the novella I’m trying to write. I don’t think I discovered ‘Candide’ until DG recorded the revised Scottish Opera version in the 80s.
    An interesting question: I wonder what was meant by ‘Glitter and be gay’ when it was written in the 1950s; ‘gay’ had a quite different meaning for most of us then, though Bernstein was ‘gay’ in today’s sense.

    • 

      It’s Scottish Opera’s version we’re performing. I love West Side story, I couldn’t be Maria in our stagecoach production because my big brother was Tony! At High School I was one of the Jets and in Drama club I was a Shark. Gay in this song is bright, fun loving, outgoing, happy 😊.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. 

    Congratulations on your recital, Charlotte! Wish Allie and I could have made it–have you got any of it recorded to put up on your blog later? And good luck with Cunegonde; you know, I think Candide is such a funny satire-of-a-satire: Voltaire was supposedly ridiculing the “best of all possible worlds” idea that all turns out for the best (the theory developed by one of my personal favourite philosophers, Leibniz, who didn’t get along too well with Voltaire); but in Candide, it all really does turn out for the best! Despite all the miserable “tests” they have to go through, Candide and Cunegonde get each other in the end, and are planning a life of simple, genuine pleasure: cooking, gardening, raising children, taking care of their friends, and of course, singing! This world really would be “the best of all possible worlds” if we all just stuck to that; it’s our own silly fault if we don’t. Well, enough of my moralizing–on with the show!

    Best regards,

    Cate

    • 

      I asked and paid for it to be recorded but I think I can’t share it publicly. Thank you for the extra information, my brother took Philiosphy first year additional course he loved it, time flies he’s graduating after four years on Wednesday 27th June.

      Will you and Ally be able to make the Mansfield Park near Oxford in August? It would be great to catch up, sorry I couldn’t make the Proms with you this year.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    • 

      I’m so happy that you and Allie can make the performance, the ballroom looks spectacular, I hope we have a good weekend weather wise so you can enjoy the gardens too.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  18. 

    I know the opera. It’s a fun one.

  19. 

    That theatre looks so beautiful! Have fun!

  20. 

    I remember reading Candide in school. It was one of the more enjoyable stories we had to read that year. Hope the opera goes well! 🙂

    • 

      Did you go to school in France or England? What a fun book to study. Thank you Stephanie.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      • 

        I was in France at the time. And yeah, it was pretty fun to study. I love books/stories that don’t take themselves too seriously/poke fun at popular tropes, and Candide does that quite nicely.

  21. 

    Congratulations on your recital Charlotte.
    It was fabulous you sang beautifully, we really enjoyed it
    Looking forward to the opera, in those beautiful surroundings ..xx

  22. 

    Congratulations on a successful final recital at the Royal College! How marvellous that George came to your rescue!
    I read Candide (translated into English) a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it but have never seen/heard Bernstein’s opera. I have also never been to the theatre at Minack – I hope you will enjoy performing there. Reading your comments I see that rehearsals are going well. All the best for a happy and successful summer season, Charlotte!

  23. 

    You are on your way to the top!!!

  24. 

    Well done again. Do hope you have good weather at the Minack as it’s the most beautiful backdrop and area. x

    • 

      It looks spectacular doesn’t it, I remember seeing the famous opera tenor Joseph Calleja singing at the cliff edge at that theatre on his facebook a while ago and thinking it looked brilliant then.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  25. 

    Congrats on your recital, Charlotte. The theater looks incredible. Enjoy yourself! You are really living your dream! Blessings & hugs – keep on going girl!!! Xx

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