Goodness me! The whirlwind of wedding excitement has certainly kept my energies high, enabling me to jump straight back into the rehearsals for Scottish Opera’s third tour of their Pop-Up Opera season.
On Sunday 29th August 2021 I drove to my parent’s home in Cheshire with my trusty travel partner, my Great Auntie Val. Together we relived special moments from my wedding weekend, in the hope to add some order to the preparations and flashes of excitement from my wedding day, so that I could seal them into my memory. We tried to dictate a diary entry of the past few days onto Val’s iPad – but the details and names jumped around in our recounting, followed by many fits of giggles. In the end we decided to just reminisce through the art of good old-fashioned conversation and soon enough we were back home. Despite the distance between our locations, George and I were able to enjoy some newlywed traditions. Thanks to the help of technology, we called each other via Facetime and opened the presents and cards together that we each had with us. We also enjoyed slipping in the new vocabulary of Husband and Wife into our regular conversations as often as possible.
On Monday afternoon, the 30th August 2021, I drove back up to Glasgow listening to a recording of me singing the vocal score of Bubble McBea – the new show I would be rehearsing with Scottish Opera. I find that repeatedly listening to the music that I am trying to memorise is a fantastic way to solidify it into my memory. I often create for myself learning tracks. They can vary from me singing the part with a metronome, to George playing the accompaniment whilst highlighting my vocal part clearly on the piano, or George and I together: I sing my part whilst George accompanies. I find that these tracks really help me to use my time well whilst I am traveling, walking, cooking or if I do not have access to a practise room with a piano.
The company came together on Tuesday 31st August 2021 at Silvercloud studios to rehearse. I worked alongside:
Chris Alexander – Narrator
Allan Dunn – Narrator
Aidan Edwards – Baritone – Pirates of Penzance
Alan Penman – Composer of Bubble McBea
Andrew Drummond Huggan – Cello
Sasha Savaloni – Guitar
Ali Biggs – Stage Manager
Emma Skaer – Assistant Stage Manger
Everyone was in good spirits and the hard work commenced. We began working through the musical scores of both Bubble McBea and Pirates of Penzance. Once we felt comfortable and there was synergy amongst our ensemble, we worked together to lift the story off the page with actions, pictures and dancing. We finished the week by running both shows (from start to finish without stopping), with the focus of making the transitions between song and narration run smoothly. The musical score for Bubble McBea is fantastic because it is like a film score. Each moment of the narration is underscored, when a large crashing wave is described Andrew (on the cello) plays an extremely loud and fast chromatic scale, sailing down the strings from very high to dramatically low. It was our challenge as a team to make sure that these moments align with the script to emphasise elements of the story and to really capture the magic for our younger audiences. With a “Flip, Flap, Flop” we finished our week and I look forward to sea-ing you next week to tell you more about the next stage in our voyage.
For those of you able to attend you can buy tickets for the shows on Scottish Opera’s website:
Monday 13th September, 18:00 – Pirates of Penzance – The Buttery, Glasgow
Saturday 18th September, 11:00 – Bubble McBea, 13:00 Pirates of Penzance, 15:00 Bubble McBea – Rotterdam Wharf (Glasgow Canal Festival)
Thursday 23rd September, 18:00 – Pirates of Penzance – Kirkcudbright Primary School
Saturday 25th September, 12:00 Bubble McBea, 14:00 Pirates of Penzance, 16:00 Pirates of Penzance – The Wigtown Showfield, (Wigtown Book Festival)