Candide Rehearsals – Surrey Opera

June 24, 2018 — 40 Comments

Rehearsals for Candide by Surrey Opera are now well underway. The scenes are starting to slot together like jigsaw pieces, and I’m looking forward to the coming week to finalise the blocking, (the setting of movements, character’s intentions and gestures) for the last few scenes.

It has been a real joy to explore the arc of Cunegonde’s growth through this process. She begins the operetta as the adolescent school girl, who is the daughter of a Baron and Baroness, she lives in a grand home surrounded by love and the comfort provided by wealth. Cunegonde is taught by Dr. Pangloss that ‘this is the best of all possible worlds’. A philosophy that the play questions dramatically throughout.

After Pangloss’s lesson, Cunegonde experiences the instant chemistry between her and Candide, which begins to bud and blossom into a sweet first love. However, the first love duet is quite humorous as they both list their desires for the future, without really listening to the other. If they had paid attention, they would have realised their dreams were quite dissimilar. If this was a different story, perhaps they would have had a discussion, found a comprise and lived happily ever after.

But sadly, that is not the case, this love story is interrupted by the horrors of war with their lives turned upside down, Cunegonde, now orphaned and without the means to support herself, is taken to Paris where she is shared between two men. Her innocence is quickly stripped away and she must learn how to survive using only her instincts, clouding the emotional heartache with her blinding optimism. These chaotic occurrences are interspersed with moments of hope each time her path crosses again with Candide. Unfortunately, time and time again she has to fend for herself and use her womanly wiles in order to survive.

Jumping to the end, in order to not spoil the plot too much. Just before the finale, Candide finds Cunegonde in a Casino in Venice, attending to the needs of the Male visitors and is appalled by what he sees. He asks in his aria if this is what he’s been fighting for and if her soul is dead. It is a heart-wrenching moment as Cunegonde decides whether to interject or if it’s better to stay silent knowing the awful situations she has lived through in hope that they would meet again and reunite their relationship. It is her strength at this moment that helped me to understand her character more deeply and realise the sincerity of her love for Candide.

It is a very complex story with multiple twist and turns, I do hope that I bring her character to life and do her story justice.  I can’t wait to work alongside my brilliants colleagues in the coming weeks as we finally get to perform at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall

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40 responses to Candide Rehearsals – Surrey Opera

  1. 

    I can feel the excitement building. It looks like you are in with a fabulous company. Cheers!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather June 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      I’m having a great time with very supportive colleagues. I’m happy because I just ran for a train after this evenings rehearsals and the train guard held the train for me because he saw me jogging 🏃‍♀️ yay.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. 

    I wish I had a hope of seeing (and hearing!) that show.

    Here, the train guard would have closed the doors extra fast, sniggering.

    • 

      Could post a video ?? Of you chasing a train 😛

      • 
        Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:20 pm

        Haha no video, but it is one of the benefits of a big smile 😊.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      It’s an hour and a half journey home so it was fabulous he did hold the train because after 10 pm they reduce the services. We did a complete full run through last night its good to see it coming together.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  3. 

    Wow, thanks a lot, your writting is like a movie ! full of passion! I’m very happy for you ! I’m sure you gone to be fabulous ! wish you the very best !

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Merci beaucoup Pascal, I wish you all could see the show 😊.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. 
    Peter Alexander June 24, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    What fun, and what a great show for such a great moment in your life! I wish I could see this—but I am at least fortunate that I will see another Candide this summer in Santa Fe. Obviously, this is a good year for Candides (and Cungedondes). Great good luck, Charlotte! Toi, toi, toi!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I’m happy to hear you get to have a chuckle at your Santa Fe version of Candide, thank you for the luck Peter.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. 

    Really excited Charlotte.
    Cannot wait to see you in Cornwall
    What a lovely guard waiting for you ,not many would have done.xx

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I must have looked a sight with my pigtails flying hehe. It will be lovely to see you in Cornwall excited about that.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. 

    Can imagine editing complexities. Beyond me 🙂

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      First full run through the show last night, need to practice a few bits at home but the time has flown by.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  7. 

    As always, Charlotte, a fascinating post giving us such insights into this complex plot and the character you are playing. If you were not a singer you could be a great writer of programme notes! I love the ‘aside’ about the run for the train – as so often this kind of ‘aside’ lets us feel we know you a bit better. So sorry I will not be in the UK at the time of the performance(s), otherwise I might be tempted to make the trek to Cornwall.

    • 

      PS. I think you’ll know about this Charlotte but in case not there’s what promises to be a great series of programmes about Bernstein on ClassicFM, presented by Bernstein’s official biographer Humphrey Burton. Begins Saturday 30 June. If you can’t listen then it will be available for 7 days on the ClassicFM app. Can’t tell you the time nor how many episodes, the ClassicFM website doesn’t say.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      I do like good programme notes when I go to see a recital or a show. I also like to read everyone’s biographies. Such a relief with the train it’s quite a long journey home but I got used to it. I hope you have a super holiday too.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. 

    Is this the Bernstein opera? It sounds much more complex than the overture I hear on the radio. Good luck with the performance. I am sure you will play Cunegonde with depth and understanding. x

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Yes it is the Bernstein opera. I think you’d really enjoy it Christine it is a fun production. I’m looking forward to getting the show underway now.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  9. 

    Such a complex story, you will do fine! You delve into your characters and do a great job embracing their complexities. Have a great time, Darlene

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for your confidence in me Darlene, I appreciate it and your encouragement.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. 

    You are a professional at this stage of the game (no pun intended), so I have every confidence that Candide will come to life when cross the boards!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      I travelled on a train to Buxton in the Peak District which is a beautiful part of England I used the time to get ready for the performance and went over my words as a couple of the songs are from my older repertoire that I’ve not sung in a while and catching up reading my blog. It’s always lovely reading your message of support GP.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. 

    I can feel the excitement!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Only two weeks now to travelling to Cornwall and show time, and before that I have my graduation ceremony so it’s all go at the moment, very exciting.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. 

    That sounds like a very good story and that would be very exciting to be part of it too!

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      I’ve really enjoyed learning the story, its really about survival in a cruel world but it all turns out well in the end.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. 

    What a wonderful experience you’re having! I am pleased the rehearsals are going well.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks Clare they are very intensive my only regret is that I didn’t get to see my RCM chums in the year end opera ‘In the Locked Room’ and ‘The Lighthouse’ I believe they’ve been amazing.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      You would love this opera, it has so much character. Its sung in English and has lots of catchy tunes.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. 

    Good luck, Charlotte! It was lovely to read your insights into the role of Candide; I know you will bring her incredibly to life on the stage! All the best.

    Best regards,

    Cate

  15. 

    Thanks for visiting my blog Earth Pig Pottery. Classical music is often on in the studio but Candide is not an opera I know well. I shall explore! Hope everything goes well.

  16. 

    Best of luck with your performance. You will shine as you are meant to, Charlotte! You are a star! Maybe one day I will see you. Sounds like quite a demanding role.hugs xx

  17. 

    I wish I could see it and you perform. Someday, it’s in my list of things to do. ✨

  18. 

    Is that Leonard Bernstein’s Candide? Looks like a fun thing you’re doing, Charlotte. There’s an outdoor performance near my city in an open amphitheatre in beautiful Banff. Here’s the link. Imagine performing it outdoors among the Rocky Mountains.

    • 
      Charlotte Hoather July 10, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Yes it is, Scottish Operas version, we did our dress rehearsals Sunday and yesterday with orchestra.
      We’ve had the most fabulous weather in the UK I just hope it’s going to hold up dry from 15th-20th 😀.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

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