27 March, 2011

Lift up your heads!

I have been having a kind of singing marathon last week.
Wednesday: recording session with the choral ensemble Les Métaboles
Thursday: dress rehearsal for Messiah with Choeur Varenne
Friday: première of Messiah
Saturday: voice tuition.

Luckily, I now get to rest until next Thursday and Friday when Choeur Varenne will give Messiah at Saint Germain des Prés Church in the centre of Paris.

The lesson I have learned is in the title of this post.

Lift up your heads to look at the conductor during the recording: it looks better on video.

Lift up your heads to look at the conductor during the dress rehearsal and concert: the church accoustics at Maisons Laffite where we first gave Messiah were very good for the choir as we could hear all the voices. However, the conductor said she could not hear us tenors because we were all at the back. We had to look at her and anticipate all her moves rather than just follow her: tricky.

Lift up the head of the palate inside the mouth to get a clear "o" sound; mine always tends to go off compared with other vowels and I have to pay particular attention to my Os.

I look forward to the concerts this coming week.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates
Messiah, G.F. Haendel.
The English Concert and Choir, Trevor Pinnock, Archiv Produktion

02 March, 2011

I'm on the top of the world

I was most fortunate to be invited by my friend and fellow singer Eric Cogniat in his chalet in the French Alps for a few days of skiing. In the village of Puy Saint Vincent, to be exact.

Big hearty breakfasts in the morning. Skiing all day with a midday break at the altitude restaurant to try out the local specialties (rabbit in mustard sauce or cabbage sausage). Home-cooked dinner by Eric's partner Emmanuel, me or whoever else felt like using the kitchen: cheese fondue, nouvelle cuisine, traditional French five-course meal, leftover smorgasbord, chocolate mousse, banana cake, carrot cake...

It was grand, including the view from the summit.

Top of the world
The Carpenters, Carpenters Gold, Universal