Archives For Dido And Aeneas

Opening-Night-01

 

Opening night of Dido and Aeneas, stage make-up done, excitement at boiling point, thank you all for your positive energy, feeling it 🙂

Best wishes

Charlotte

UPDATE

Here are some photographs taken by the RCS.

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Here is the review from the The Herald written by Keith Bruce

The Opera Project, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

Four Stars

The unassuming portmanteau title given to this double bill, featuring senior students at the Conservatoire, masks a very fine double bill of short operas written three centuries apart, which has further performances tonight and tomorrow and will more than reward the effort of catching at the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio.

Both crucially showcase the significance of the new name for “the Academy”, as they feature dancers from Modern Ballet course working alongside undergraduates and masters students of music. Kally Lloyd Jones has choreographed both the dancers and the singing company in both shows in what is an admirable example of integration at work.

The dancers crucially animate Mark Hathaway’s staging of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, a piece which is full of good music but only really has the one great tune, given a heart-breaking performance at the close of the tale by the full-voiced Eirlys Myfanwy Davies. She was very ably supported by Charlie Drummond, Jane Monari (Sorceress), Charlotte Hoather and Anna Churchill (coke-snorting witches) and particularly Victoria Stevens as her sister Belinda, whose bold first entrance signalled a skill for dramatic phrasing.

With a baroque band of seven and a chorus of eight, under the baton of Tim Dean, this was a well-resourced and very effectively, if minimally, staged Dido. Our Aeneas, Euros Campbell, however, looked much more comfortable as Le Directeur, opening proceedings for the juicy rarity that is Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias. This outrageous post-Second World War appeal for French procreation, with a libretto by Apollinaire from his own First World War play requires a good deal of cross-dressing, much dada-ist larking about, and our heroine to liberate her balloon breasts from her bodice and become a proud, flat-chested, and, um, bearded, feminist.

In fact Le Directeur’s prologue (and another layer of satire about opera staging) is preceded here by tenor Matthew Thomas Morgan singing the rather more serious Apollinaire/Poulenc song Bleuet in a clever piece of period contextualising by musical director Oliver Rundell. Morgan returns later as Le Journaliste in the picaresque tale that incorporates vaudeville, a hilarious snippet of classical ballet, and a big mirrorball palais de dance finish. Barbara Cole Walton and Luke Sinclair are both excellent as the central couple in a company that includes fine performances throughout and is musically sure-footed over tricky terrain, accompanied by pianists Marija Struckova and Michal Gajzler in the version made by Benjamin Britten for Aldeburgh. The piece is a gem, and a real hoot to boot.

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Dido And Aeneas

 

When I was at school for one week at Easter, we used to spend four days on a performance workshop at Stagecoach theatre arts school. In just four days we memorised lines, song and dance routines, learned how to get along with lots of new children. The team of Directors; Sue, Jo, Zoe and Jan worked hard together with us all to create a final show. It was absolutely brilliant. It was also fantastic training for my memory, a great introduction to stage craft and allowed me to quickly learn dance routines. We put on abridged versions of The Wizard of Oz, Oliver and Mary Poppins to name just three.

I thought of this on Saturday when I was called by the Director of the RCS Opera Project to ask to stand in to perform the part of ‘The First Witch’ in the Henry Purcell opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’ as the girl playing the role had an unfortunate accident. The RCS Opera Project performances are from the 4th March to 7th March, next week! My first thought was I’ve got an essay due in this week that I just have to finish! Then I thought, what a great opportunity go for it. I immediately set about learning the words and music to try to get it off score by the weekend 😊. Then into rehearsal whilst completing as many of my usual classes as physically possible. Today I’ve been there from 10am to 9pm with a couple of breaks to eat which also reminded me of long days of rehearsals at school when the musical theatre productions were under final rehearsal, I absolutely love it.

There are two operas in the Event – Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias fusing Baroque and 20th century repertoire.

Tickets are just £13.50 from the box office, two shows for the price of one.
You can see a great pictorial synopsis of Dido and Aeneas on the Classic FM website, it really helps to visualise the story.

So if you have any positive energy to spare send it my way ready for the performances 😀.  To sign off I just want to say a big thank you to my Dad for sorting out the pictures for me tonight.  Anyway I am off to get some rest now ready for tomorrow zzz.

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Mary Poppins

 

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Mary Poppins

 

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Mary Poppins

 

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Mary Poppins

 

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The Wizard Of Oz

 

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The Wizard Of Oz

 

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The Wizard Of Oz