29 July 2015

L’enfant et les sortilèges: Rehearsal Diaries

Image – Charlotte Le Thrope and Alexander Banfield in rehearsal for L’enfant et les sortilèges

By Charlotte La Thrope – who performs the title role in this summer’s Samling Academy Opera.

Wow! What a thrill. It is with much excitement that I am writing today’s blog, the morning after the opening night of L’enfant et les sortilèges at Saltburn Community Theatre.

It has been a whirlwind experience since we arrived just over a week ago and, having a week to work and rehearse here in such a peaceful, relaxing seaside town, has made the experience even more special. We have also been lucky to stay with lovely local host families who have been so generous. It isn’t every day that you wake up to a panoramic view of the sea and cliffs of the North East.

Having taken part in Samling Academy masterclasses in the past, this is my first opera with the group, and it has been an incredible learning curve, allowing me to put all the coaching into practice.

There was certainly a buzz behind the scenes before we went on stage last night and as I made my entrance I was greeted with a packed Saltburn Theatre. The band, that consists of piano duet, cello and flute, provides the accompaniment (arranged from Ravel’s original orchestral score) and sits on stage, working and interacting closely with the singers.

One of the most thrilling aspects of doing opera is that you are often able to be someone (or something…) totally different to reality. Tea pots, squirrels, clocks or cats but in this case, with the use of two bras and hair clips, I am transformed in to a tempestuous young boy – a chap of about 10. I also get to start the opera by having a tantrum, which takes me back to my childhood.

How lucky that we now look forward to two more performances, but this time in Hall Two at Sage Gateshead!