Life in Motion
I write to you this week from another train. I think trains act as the bookends of my life hahaha. I'm always calling my parents whilst on the train, or eating dinner and now writing to you guys. I guess it's very "urban" of me. lol.
The past two weeks have seen some hectic days coming and going - I didn't realise it had been two weeks since I'd last written until today!
The ongoing rehearsals for Western Arts Theatre's production of Annie continue. Today we ran the whole show from top to toe - first time achievement, with a month until opening night! A very exciting position to be in, and whilst I am absolutely exhausted now, I am very excited to move forward and start orchestral rehearsals with Minna (Musical Director) next week! The excitement builds. 🙃
Since starting working with Arts Centre Melbourne in the past fortnight, I think I've been to more performances in a concentrated period of time than I have all year. Everything from Argentinian dancing ("Tango Fire") to murder mystery musicals ("Curtains") to operas. The latter is the most noteworthy of them all, titled "Il Ritorno", presented by ACM, which saw a reworking of Monteverdi's Opera, "The Return of Ulysses".
It was, if I may say so, one of the most incredible introductions to live opera I have ever experienced. It wasn't your traditional "stand and sing a song in a language that minimal people in the audience understands", but a full performance experience. The musicians were all on stage, and the majority of instruments were played by the actors who were also the vocalists. Visual impact was just as large as the musical impact, in that exceptional physical stunts were also performed amongst the music: from vertical ropes to hanging cubes to contortionists and throwing people around. I was stunned. It was excellent.
I had the privilege of attending the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's performance with the one and only Richard Tognetti in The Lark Ascending at Hamer Hall. Absolutely spell-binding performance. I can't explain the silence within the room as Tognetti approached the very end of the piece, in a solo passage, as he plays the final soft tones of the piece as if the wind in the forest was gently coming to rest. You could have heard a pin drop in the packed Hall. Also, the MSO concluded their concert with Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances. Rach is one of my favourite composers, so I absolutely adored this concert. The emotion, the control, the precision, the beauty. But what about you? Leave me a comment with your best concert memory!
I also attended the MSO's performance of Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, featuring James Ehnes. Also an incredible concert, featuring another one of my favourite composers. I found however that it was difficult to focus on the soloist - I was simply so far away and the instrument was not projecting nearly strongly enough. None-the-less, a terrific performance.